Six Ways to be Famous on Twitter


OgilvyMatherI’ve been thinking a lot about influence, lately.

As part of my old job at The Starr Conspiracy and my new project (InfluenceHR), I talk to software executives who have all sorts of questions about brand advocacy and an evolution in B2B marketing.

But lots of smart people (and companies) still ask me how to be liked and followed on Twitter.

I think you have to be young, blonde and have boobs. If you can do two out of three, you will be okay.

But that advice is impractical for anyone who wants to use Twitter as marketing channel. Or if you’re a guy. Or if you just want to be loved.

When people (or brands) tell me that they want more followers, I think they are telling me that they want to measure loyalty, improve brand recognition and increase their social capital. And in that regard, I like to follow the advice of David Ogilvy.

Here are my co-opted thoughts on being popular and gaining more Twitter followers without paying for it.

  1. Make your writing vigorous and direct. No one has time for your equivocation or bullshit. They want your best and they want it now.
  2. Be specific. Unclear tweets about brands, events or situations are for pussies. Leave the vague, emotional stuff for Facebook.
  3. Be honest. There are two problems when you lie about your intentions to sell stuff: Your followers won’t respect your heavy-handed attempts to move the market and you have no idea how to make shit viral. So just stop.
  4. Be inclusive behind the scenes. The DM function on Twitter is your best way to thank people and create goodwill without barfing on your feed.
  5. Be you, only better. If I wanted to be depressed, I would get off Twitter and talk to my family.
  6. Get smaller to get bigger. Do not try to be an expert on everything. If you are knowledgeable about a specific subject, tweet about it. Listen, you haven’t begun to dominate your market segment. Write for the people in your industry.  Broader recognition will follow.

Also, one way to be famous on Twitter is to accomplish something in real life.

Crazy, I know.

Be first to market with a new product or idea. Be a successful businessperson. Be the voice of a really great brand. Or just stop worrying about being famous. No one wants to watch you have a depressing, unrequited love affair with yourself.

Trust me on that one.

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