One of the best things about Twitter is that it is a place where conversations happen easily. It’s easy to interact with both strangers and celebrities alike. Twitter is also the perfect place to track emerging trends. Whether a major event is occurring or a politician makes a big announcement, you’ll find out about it on Twitter first. Twitter users will use a specific hashtag and start sharing it with their network, and unavoidably, the hashtag will rank on the Twitter search tab. Big brands like Wendy’s have used Twitter as a platform to host global campaigns, which has proven to drive huge amount of traffic.
Creating a marketing campaign that trends globally on Twitter is a dream for most marketers because it means millions of organic impressions. Very few marketers can claim this feat. Meet Silvia Li Sam, a talented marketing expert based in San Francisco, CA who recently ran a marketing campaign that reached this rare height. Li Sam’s career ranges from building the largest startup platform on Medium to helping startups in Silicon Valley grow large audiences from scratch. Her experience in building ecosystems in the technology and social impact space using Twitter are astounding. We’ve been fortunate to interview Ms. Li Sam, who shared in four steps she used to help her campaign go global.
Pick a short and catchy hashtag
“You want to create a hashtag with less than 15 characters so that it sticks in people’s minds.” You’ve probably heard that headlines for online articles do 80% of the work. This is what gets people’s attention, and ultimately their clicks. Hashtags work the same way. Your hashtag is the first impression that Twitter followers will get from your campaign. Your hashtag should be unique, specific, useful, and should convey a sense of urgency,” says Li Sam. Your hashtags need to quickly communicate the value of what you’re offering.
Find an underground conversation
“Tap into a conversation already happening on Twitter. Find hashtags that are relevant to your hashtag. For example, one of the campaigns I launched was around education. We looked for other hashtags that folks were talking about in our niche. We found out that the majority of teachers and educators were using #edchat to share revolutionary education insights that they had learned in conferences, meetings, and books…. It was also perfect that kids were going back to school, so the hashtag #backtoschool was trending naturally. We took advantage of these hashtags and owned it. We participated in every conversation happening and interacted with users across the world.” shared Li Sam.
As our marketing expert shared, you can take advantage of existing small trends that aren’t as public and bring them into life.
Work with accounts with large followings
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. It might be difficult to reach celebrities who have millions of followers, but there’s more than that. There are micro-influencers and people that really care about the causes you’re trying to push for. “Think ahead and create a list of brand ambassadors and again, they don’t have to be ultra famous. They can be a teacher who has a large following and became a thought leader on social media. Message them ahead of time and let them know what you’re planning to do. Work together and they might be able to refer you to other folks,” shared Li Sam.
In her recent Forbes mention, Li Sam shared an interesting tool – Buzzsumo. “You can use Buzzsumo to look for your competitor’s most popular articles and also any trending articles based on your keyword search. Use the free trial to look up for influencers who share these articles and compile a list of influencers to reach out to.” When you’re working with these influencers make sure that they have good engagement. Engagement matters more than total followers because a smaller influencer with an engaged following will outperform larger influencers with less engagement. You have to be able to measure how many people you are actually reaching.
Find other types of tools and resources to push your campaign
During her work making a TV show about education trend this year, Li Sam utilized multiple tools and resources to generate more buzz. For example, she used Thunderclap, a tool that allows a single message to be mass-shared by a group of supporters at the same time. Through this tool, she drove an additional 14 million reach to her campaign. With Thunderclap, you can create tweets and posts time for a specific day and time.
In addition, Li Sam utilized traditional marketing and digital marketing channels to reach an audience that doesn’t use Twitter as much. For instance, believe it or not, billboards and banner advertisements still reach a large audience. Her billboards were not only drove viewers, but even led to conversations on social networks. People photographed and shared the billboards on social multiple times across all social networks. When people see a catchy billboard, they’ll inevitably want to promote it and have other people see it. Banner ads are an easy way to target a specific audience that has already an interest in your product or mission. The conversions here are more efficient because with one click of the ad, people arrive on your landing page.
Li Sam’s experience and intuition to create viral campaigns provides much value to the digital media industry. Now that you know these four steps, what are you waiting for? Go build your viral campaign and help the world discover your work.
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