For months I couldn’t find a single account of a developer-focused company that did great dev marketing on social media.

And then I saw @swyx mention Supabase Twitter account. Checked it out and they are crushing it.

Supabase Twitter profile

28k+ followers and tweets getting 400+ likes and 100+ comments every week like it’s nothing. In 2 years. Nice.

Just so you understand, most of the billion-dollar dev-focused companies are getting 10 likes and 2 retweets on Twitter.

So the Supabase team is doing something really well. I wanted to know what it is.

Took a weekend to go over the last 4 months (Jan-April 2022) of their Twitter feed to extract some learnings that you and I could use to get our company Twitter account some results.

Here is what I learned:

  • Connect with your ideal users: They understand who their ideal developer is. They create content that connects with this ideal user. They make it functional and emotional. They use memes and jokes to do that.
  • Talk like your ideal users: They use jargon and dev terms. There is no fluff. Sometimes dry, sometimes funny. But it always feels as if a developer is writing those (which is probably true).
  • Make your tweets look great: Almost every tweet has either an image or a great-looking thumbnail. They use emojis and a nice text structure. Their tweets stand out in the feed and make you stop scrolling.
  • Retweet everything about your product and community: They retweet users sharing good words about Supabase, people being happy about their first accepted PR, devrels creating stuff with Supabase, other companies integrating with the tool.
  • Build up excitement for events: They create tweets and a lot of engagement before, during, and after the live events. That goes for hackathons, features, live coding sessions, everything.
  • Mix different types of content: Their content is a mix of product announcements, memes, blog and videos promotion, events communication, and live sessions. It didn’t get monotone even after reading 3 months of content in a few hours.

Ok, let’s dive deeper into examples of how exactly they do those things.

Connect with your ideal users

Ok, so I think folks from Supabase really understand who their ideal user is and talk to that user.

Marketing 101 but almost nobody actually does it. Let alone does it so well.

This is Supabase homepage hero section:

Supabase homepage

The way I see it is that their audience cares about:

  • open-source software
  • Setting up projects quickly. Often as a side projects
  • Are backend website devs
  • PostgresSQL
  • Authentication

And they talk to this exact audience in their memes and jokes. They make a connection.

You can show that you are part of the tribe when you like/retweet something that only backend website devs find funny.

And it is a great way of attracting other website backend devs who don’t yet know anything about Supabase.

Memes

Each and every one of those is about their ideal users.

I don’t get those jokes sometimes :) but looking at the comments it seems that hundreds of backend devs do.

Memes from Supabase Twitter profile
One additional tactic I liked here was to start the tweet with a link to an article and add a meme that is related to the article.
Some people will share the meme and more people will see your article.

Joke questions

The idea behind the joke questions is the same. Connect to the ideal users.

Let people feel smart and understood. It’s about belonging IMHO.

Jokes from Supabase Twitter profile

One tactic I saw that I really liked was the “... Wrong answers only” question. I am stealing that for sure.

Product releases and integrations

They even use memes in their product releases. There are two benefits:

  • if people don’t care about the released feature they may still like the meme and share it
  • memes make the tweet pop in the feed which gets more eyes on your product announcement
Feature and product announcement form Supabase Twitter profile

They even pulled off talking about the enterprise plans with a meme.

In this video you get a sneak peek into how folks from Supabase ideate memes. No srsly this is a dev-focused meme masterclass.

Talk to developers in their language

People behind Supabase use tech jargon a lot.

They make it easy to understand for their ideal customer profile (and harder for anyone else).

Code snippet tweet from Supabase

storage server”, “NodeJS streams”, “bundle size” those are just keywords to me but those keywords are important to some people. That is what matters.

A big benefit of using tech jargon is that it signals that you are part of the tribe. I think with devs this is really important. It builds trust.

I like the use of code snapshots here as well (you can use Snapify or Carbon for that).

Let’s look at one more example:

Video promotion tweet from Supabase

“create a trigger listening for insert events” it feels like dev is writing this.

Takeaway?

  • Try and get your devs to write tweets :),
  • If not hire dev advocates to do it
  • If not get your devs (if they are close to your ideal user) to review your content

Make your tweets catch attention visually

Something that was very clear was that their successful tweets are all very attention-grabbing.

Supabase folks use many things to make Tweets pop in the feed:

  • Memes: they used them even when the tweet was about a feature or an article.
Integration announcement from Supabase
  • Code snippet images: Code snippet speaks a thousand words. Use it.
Code snippet tweet from Supabase
  • Thumbnails: Their brand colors are very dark. And dark looks great in the light and blue feed.
Integration announcement from Supabase

Video promotion tweet from Supabase
  • Emojis and text formatting: They add emojis and format text in blocks to make it look good. Easy to skim.
Course promotion tweet from Supabase

All of that to make those tweets pop in the feed. And they pop indeed.

Another thing that is a crucial part of the mix is retweeting folks from the community and ecosystem of Supabase.

Retweet everything about your product and community

If your users, customers, contributors, writers, developers, or anyone else talks good things about you, retweet. Obvious but important.

They retweet:

  • Users: people share small and big successes in their usage of Supabase
User retweet from Supabase
  • Swaggers: People tweet about the swag they got.
Swag retweet from Supabase
  • DevRels and Dev Advocates: folks are creating tutorials, articles, and other dev education content.
Dev Advocate retweet from Supabase
  • Community contributors: Supabase is open-source so people contribute to their GitHub repo.
GitHub PR form contributor retweet from Supabase
  • Other companies who talk about them
Third-company content about Supabase retweet

Ok now, Supabase does a lot of live events for their community and they have nice tactics in place to get the most engagement/air time out of that.

Build up excitement for events and promote after

They create tweets and get a lot of engagement before, during, and after the live events.

That goes for hackathons, live coding sessions, youtube live, everything.

They:

  • share things that are “coming soon
Announcement of a feature coming soon from Supabase
  • remind about events (almost during)
Reminder about the event from Supabase
  • they sent summaries of the events (after)
Summary of an event from Supabase


Summary of a hackathon from Supabase

This makes those events important and exciting. If Supabase is excited then the community gets excited.

BTW, Launch week is an interesting tactic in and of itself.
Group releases in one week and because of that make this week an event.
It could have just been a regular sprint or whatever but if you batch things like that it feels special.
And people resonate with special.

A few more things

Some additional findings and tactics I found interesting.

They do:

  • Mix different types of content: Their content is a mix of product announcements, memes, blog and videos promotion, events communication, and live sessions. It didn’t get monotone even after reading 3 months of content in a few hours.
  • Ask for things: for GitHub stars, to join your discord, to apply for a job
Ask for help from the community tweet from Supabase

They don’t do:

  • Threads: super popular on Twitter yet they don’t do those
  • Promotion copy of the article: let the thumbnail do the talking
  • Talk about wider industry topics: they focus on what unique you are bringing to this
  • High volume: They don’t do a ton of tweeting. It was actually interesting how little they tweeted.

What is next?

Now go revamp your Twitter!

If you need a how-to, here is how I see it:

  • Figure out which devs you are talking to exactly. Who is your ideal user? What do they relate to?
  • Create content that relates to your ideal user (duh). Ideally, find that ideal user in your company and put that person in charge of your social media. Srsly, if you could get Supabase results for your company it could have 10x the impact of implementing a feature or something. But more realistically get that ideal user to review the stuff you are creating.
  • Make your tweets more visual, more attention-grabbing in the Twitter feed. Doesn’t matter if it is a product announcement, a blog promotion, or whatever. You can make it pop.
  • Create a mix of entertainment, product info, product education, and promotion.
  • Have some fraction of content that connects emotionally. Devs like memes. So that is probably a good place to start. But if your brand guidelines say “no memes” you can probably still do snarky jokes or funny graphics.
  • Retweet whatever positive, whoever is saying about your brand.
  • Create a build-up for events. And make things more eventful, special, and worth waiting for.

Now, go crash that Twitter!