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How Growth Hacking Drives Twitter Followers via Twitterjacking

Brands are growth hacking their Twitter followers via popular and highly engaging tweets that come from other brands or people i.e.  “Twitterjacking”. A great example of Twitterjacking was during the #GRAMMYS, where other brands latched on to one tweet and harnessed it to take advantage of massive interaction. Twitterjacking, and Hashtag Hijacking, can be a bad thing and sometimes even controversial. Brands must be very careful or risk making themselves look bad. At the #SuperBowl #AdBowl we witnessed every brand pulling out all the stops, some giving away cold hard cash! Using events to grab customer attention and Twitter momentum will continue to be a focus and is one of the more sophisticated ways to drive engagement. In the age of data, brands are using engagement science and applying visual intelligence around content types to continue to reap higher content marketing rewards. As the competitive landscape expands, more brands will push the boundaries to stand out in a crowded space.

CreativeCommonsHats 637x475 How Growth Hacking Drives Twitter Followers via Twitterjacking

Photographed by David Adam Kess / Creative Commons

In a previous post we addressed the importance of Visual Content Marketing and how brands can leverage this movement. The swell of brands acting like publishers by creating killer content and using sophisticated content engineering tactics to garner our engagement is at an all time high. That’s how they get attention and mind-share.  Here we address brands using twitterjacking in a more collaborative way to drive engagement.

The GRAMMY’s demonstrated real-time “Collaborative” marketing. The Pharrell hat tweet created a large viral spread that many twitterjacked quickly, creating more than  76K+ retweets. Brands latched on quickly, creating greater spread, which enabled all of them to  benefit from this collaborative marketing strategy. Brands came in full force with their social command centers. Any brand can leverage media momentum around hashtags, because you have an engaged captive audience. Most people don’t see the majority of content, due to the overwhelming volume. This requires  brands to be where the action is, regardless of the size. The real question is the effectiveness of opportunistic engagement and follower quality. There is no question that brands were able to capture this “flash in the pan” moment to grow their twitter followers.

Using twitter and hashtag campaigns to give away real dollars can be a double-edged sword. Take the Esurance growth hack sweepstakes, for example. Esurance claimed they “saved” $1.5 million, by buying a TV ad after the superbowl, and was passing that savings on to one lucky winner, who tweeted #EsuranceSave30. What a noble cause. The data flowed in and buzz started about how great this campaign was working, as reported by Ad Age. However, it didn’t account for the effectiveness of the new tweets and followers.

It is easy to see why so many brands want to leverage engagement momentum from live events. You have an online captive audience following a specific hashtag. Redbull’s tweet was one of the few brand tweets with both relevance AND substance.

Even Quaker Oats jumped on the band wagon, taking advantage of other brands’ real-time marketing.  We will see more of these types of social marketing tactics in the future.

Here, we address six tactics to help you growth hack your Twitter flowers, while leveraging content momentum.

 

Growth Hacking Twitter to Maximize Your Reach

1. Hashtags

Form a hashtag strategy around events. Whatever niche you’re in, find every event that has a hashtag targeting your audience composition – or create one. Your industry has other brands in them, find out what they are doing, what is working for them, and leverage those themes to your advantage.

2. Retweeting & Favoriting

Favoriting and retweeting is a great way to get noticed. Everyone likes to be retweeted and it is a  great strategy with people active on the hashtag. If you retweet another post, be sure to include them in an @ reply like  “via @chasemcmichael”. They see you acknowledged them, which means you have a higher chance of them following you.

3. Photos & CC

Include photos and CC those active in the hashtag. CC (old world Carbon Copy: to copy someone, still used in twitter today) is another great strategy to get more people collectively engaged on one tweet.  This will increase the probability of retweets or favorites on your post. A recent study by HubSpot claims their A/B test found a 55 percent increase in leads when images were added. This suggests having a strong image post strategy is a must-have.

4. Monitor Engagement

Monitor what’s getting engagement. The above example, where other brands pounced on one tweet and spun it, is a great example. REMEMBER, most people don’t see the tweets going out on hashtags. Your target customer is a person and they are doing a lot  at one time, so don’t think they are glued to your channel or hashtag. Sending out similar tweets is controversial, however these examples prove that it works. Many studies show that re-posting similar tweets will increase higher engagement.

5. Be at the “Top” of Search

Note: there are tons of bots doing auto favorite and retweet on just about every hashtag you can think of. The popular hashtags have bots running 24/7. Event #GrowthHacking is being engaged on. Harness the machine to your advantage. Include a secondary hashtag like #contentmarketing, etc. and you will see your tweet get placed in the top vs. being stuck in the sea of All, where everyone else has tweets  showing up. Being at the top makes it easier for people to discover your tweet.

6. Hashtag Relevance

Make your hashtag relevant to the content your posting. Create a following by having a plan. Without this there is really no way to measure how effective the reach is and the true number of people being responsive to your message. Use link tracking like bit.ly and customize the link. This way your shortened link can be part of the messaging.

When you are  twitterjacking, do it with style. Several of the examples above show many brands received large engagement with a better spin than the original tweet. Don’t be scared to use ideas you see working. But, to make sure you attract quality followers, make sure you match your content to your audience. Twitterjacking works best when you have clear goals and targeting, rather than running a random contest. In short – contribute meaningful content to draw in an engaged audience.

Now, I would like to hear what you have to say! What techniques have you tried and what do you see working in your own growth hacking strategies?

ChaseHeadShot How Growth Hacking Drives Twitter Followers via Twitterjacking
Chase is the CEO and Co-Founder of InfiniGraph. InfiniGraph provides brands with intelligence Content Hubs, engagement performance analysis and large scale competitive insights. Chase has lead teams at 2 startups, Oracle, Sprint PCS, Chase Manhattan, and Hearst Corp. He also received the Fast Tech 50 award, Marketing Sherpa Viral Hall of Fame and two time winner 2012-13 OnMedia 100 for InfiniGraph. Follow Chase on Twitter: @chasemcmichael
ChaseHeadShot How Growth Hacking Drives Twitter Followers via Twitterjacking

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2 thoughts on “How Growth Hacking Drives Twitter Followers via Twitterjacking

  1. Interesting piece Chase. I didn’t realise this was such a commonly used tool – I have only ever used it as a joke but it appears that it could be quite beneficial.

  2. You know what else? Twitter Analytics is EXCELLENT for tracking this kind of stuff… Let me explain a bit, when I started using Twitter Analytics I quickly saw what was providing me with results, sure you can track mentions, re-tweets etc from Twitter itself, but with Analytics you get to see precisely what’s giving you additional reach and how much.

    Your Article is backed up by that from my experience, if you’re looking to gain more reach and get more followers you have to be following the tips you’ve provided all the time. A tweet where you’re not engaging directly with your own followers should always be targeted toward hashtags, you should also make sure from a growth perspective that you always include via @username

    It’s all common sense stuff, but we all too often forget to do it and some times the data really validates it and reminds you what’s working and what isn’t.