How This Brand Went From Non Existent Engagement To Millions Of Views

Alexander Novicov
5 min readMar 7, 2024
Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

Imagine having 26 odd likes on your Instagram account and zero comments. You are an app that wants to promote food, and in particular pizza. Nobody is engaging, nobody is interested in more pizza pictures. We are tired of pizza pictures. Sick of them.

How many more pizza pictures can we handle? I mean I’ve never understood why so many accounts with hashtag #FoodPorn were growing so fast.

It’s the same in nearly every industry. How many pizza pictures can you have? How many hotels can share the same or similar pictures with nice views of the sea? I mean yeah, they are nice and beautiful, but you don’t really connect emotionally and it gets boring regardless if you get *likes*!

Another example is adventure companies. Have a look at most trail events organizers’ social media accounts — spectacular views about the race and videos about the destination but zero personality and zero creativity. If you didn’t see that they are a race organizer, you would think they are a tourism board promoting their country.

Here’s an important lesson we can learn from Slice’s Instagram account. For years they were struggling to gain traction to their social media account. Their posts were getting 20–30 odd likes, they were posting food pictures and saying how delicious the food is. Until they decided to change their strategy and hire a full time influencer to increase their impressions and views on social media.

They didn’t just hire a pretty face and tell the influencer what to say and promote the account, no, they told the influencer that she had the creative freedom to create interesting and valuable content for the audience they are trying to attract.

The key here is that they gave the influencers creative freedom and the second thing is they said they want to create content for the audience they are trying to achieve.

A lot of brands don’t give the creative team the creative freedom to do their job. They are too obsessed with the product and how to say things and what not to say and what not.

Once Slice started working with a full time influencer Ricky and after four months they gained 1.8 million impressions / views.

Before and After — slice

The key was letting Ricky do her job. It wasn’t just “I tried this pizza and so should you” it was a detailed in depth analysis of what she liked and what she disliked.

Then they created an episode series (see below) called “Take Me To Your Slice”.

It was a smart move. Because like any series it keeps the audience engaged and wanting more.

Their content doesn’t have a lot of consumer insight or creativity but it does the job for the time being.

Started a new series on Instagram

The thing is, if you are a brand, you are a brand. It’s much harder to gain engagement from people because there is no face. Personal brands usually grow faster on social media because there is a face. Especially if you are Elon Musk walking into Twitter with a sink and tweeting whatever comes to mind while you are on the toilet.

The question becomes how can brands grow on social media if they don’t have Elon Musk?

The answer is simple: add a face to your brand. Look at brands like Gymshark. Ben Francis, the CEO of the company, did a simple four minute video explaining their recent financial results that were published in Company House — they made £709 million and had their biggest year.

The video is simple without huge production, it feels like he used one camera and a lavalier mic explaining the numbers.

But what can we do if you don’t want to be in front of the camera and you are camera shy? What happens if you don’t want to be the face of your company?

Well, it always helps when the CEO is speaking and appearing, but let’s say that you know that you are shy and you don’t want to be in front of the camera. You can do two things:

  1. Find somebody who has a passion for the industry you are in and explain to them why you are passionate about the industry and what change you are trying to achieve.
  2. You can do some videos yourself as well, maybe behind the scenes where you don’t need to speak or look directly at the camera.

The most important thing is that you need to think of how you can find the right talent and create content that is really interesting. It doesn’t have to be the highest quality in terms of production but it needs to have a great story and it needs to be interesting.

Production values help but people will not engage if the story is not good. There are way too many videos out there that have beautiful shots but the story is missing.

The last part is that you can work on your tone of voice and differentiate your brand with just words. It’s possible. Have a look at how innnocent communicated their new blue drink.

Most brands sound the same, bland and boring. “New flavor, new can, new fruits” — nothing interesting, nothing to see.

When you read innocent’s post it feels like a funny person with humor wrote that. It feels more human. It feels friendly. That’s the goal, to make our content feel like it’s human.

Differentiate With Tone Of Voice

The reason that garlic bread from Slice initially got 26 odd likes — it didn’t have any emotion. It was just a post about garlic bread — nobody cares. It’s 2014 and people’s expectations are high.

Every week I send a Thoughtful Thursday letter with ideas and insights on how we can live a more meaningful and purposeful life. You can sign up for free here.



Alexander Novicov

I wake up every day striving to become the best version of myself. I’m a human, an author, ultra runner, skydiver, speaker and CEO at Way Boutique Agency.