A 'novel' experience for Facebook Messenger
There are simple tricks that can magnify your social strategy such as following the right influencers, doing the right research and capturing the imagination of your audience with a fresh perspective on a well-trodden subject or news story.
For example, social media — especially Twitter — allows for the public to engage with news stories, and they comment, spoof and parody the news, sometimes adding an extra layer to the story.
In 2013, a new word, “Fatberg,” was presented to the U.K. Tier 1 media-consuming public. Lunchtime readers of MailOnline were greeted with a headline reading, “Fatberg the size of a jumbo jet strikes central London,” while The Telegraph opted for the more classically influenced, “The Kingston ‘fatberg’ and our morbid fascination with the underworld,” which drew on ancient fears of what lurks beneath London.
Such headlines prompted a number of questions including, “What is a Fatberg?” and “Is there enough space for a jumbo jet underground?” Others asked, “Is it alive?” and “Where on Earth is Kingston?”
Media helps Fatberg reach land
Thanks to widespread news coverage, the world’s largest Fatberg was revealed as the “biggest-ever lump of food fat under the streets of Kingston in Surrey.”
As morbid fascination with the ball of fat grew, the Twittersphere propelled the story with CCTV footage and grisly photos providing more than enough shareable content to put your followers off their lunch.
Watching the events unfold, it occurred to me that nobody had yet created a Twitter parody account for the humungous lump of lard. Everyone has their favourite funny parody twitter accounts, whether it’s a satirical portrayal of The Queen or poking fun at the London transport system — both, by their very nature, appeal to large swaths of procrastinating tweeters.
Set the trap: Launching my Twitter parody account
I quickly set up an account and had a 30-second think about what a gelatinous ball of chip fat would say if it had a social media platform.
It personified the gelatinous lump, engaged directly with Twitter users and, disconcertingly, implied the Fatberg was still in existence, which ran contrary to reports of men with high-powered hoses blasting it to pieces.
I then thought about how to increase followers and generate news coverage. The first step was to follow all media houses that had tweeted about the story. In order to add some mystique, I didn’t tweet them directly, but opted to favourite tweets instead so as to retain an enigmatic air. Having followed all journalists and influencers (including a Channel 4 weatherman) who had covered the news, I then searched #fatberg and favourited a number of tweets by Twitter users who appeared to have significant followers.
Within minutes, ITV News had clocked the page and added it to their rolling blog, which had also been shared on Twitter.
Of course, creating a parody account probably won’t help your business. But the tricks provided here are powerful and can help any social media strategy. By attracting the attention of influencers and building an audience around trends, you can take social campaigns over the top and help develop an audience eager to see what fun things pop up next — just like a Fatberg.