2 words that blew up my Twitter feed with sincere engagements 

 January 3, 2014

By  Pascal Depuhl

I just used two words that blew up my Twitter feed, having over 20% engagement with my followers, were we connected personally, with great positivity (is that a word?) and sincerity. Let me tell you what the are.

Before I do, we first need to define success in social media: Social Media success is not the amount of impressions, it’s not the number of followers, it’s not the likes, favorites, shares or retweets. It is, however, the quality of those engagements.

I’d rather get my content in front of that one decision maker, who ends up hiring me, than in front of 25,000 people that think it’s cute, clever or commendable. Case in point I met one of my biggest clients on Facebook through direct contact, good content and a mutual friend, that neither of us knew we had.

If your view of social media is so tunnel-visioned that all you care about are the number of fans or retweets or views your garnering, you’re missing the whole point.

(p. 132 The Thank You Economy. Gary Vaynerchuck)

So what made all those people engage with me on Twitter? Was it some fancy new app that allowed me to reach all of them? Some hidden metric allowing me to tap into special insights? A special tie in to Twitters API letting me get some super secret sauce? Nope. It was much simpler than that. Let me tell you how this whole thing started …

My Social Media Fight Club Manual for ’14

As most of us do, I take some time around New Years to evaluate, to see how I can improve, to lay our a road map for the coming year. As part of that rethinking, I came across Gary Vaynerchuck’s books on Social Media, reading “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” in a day and “The Thank You Economy” over Christmas. These books will serve as a roadmap for my social media strategy in 2014. Gary (@GaryVee) – who is one of the true experts in Social Media – does an excellent job at getting down to the basics and bringing it home with a ton of great case studies. In “The Thank You Economy” he reminds us, what we all (should) know: especially in social media our customer should always come first. Social Media is much more like the corner store from 100 years ago, where the store owner knew his customers and their relationship was paramount to him. A lot of Big companies seem to have forgotten this, even though social media makes personal contact with individual customers simple. That’s not to say, it’s easy – doing social media right, is hard work.

OK. Back to my Twitter campaign: What were the two words that made this campaign successful? It was not the same as a Facebook campaign I ran a week before, although the boosted Facebook post reached almost 25,000 people and  about 200 people interacted with that post (that’s a 0.85% engagement at about ¢23 a pop). Even though it was a photograph made for Facebook (native content), piggybacked on a well known authors book title, and a jab, tying into my photography business – not selling my service, I would be surprised, if it is successful. It cost a few bucks, but didn’t take much time, other than coming up with the concept and the execution.

In contrast my Twitter campaign was simpler and cheaper (free), but took a time. I went through each one of my twitter followers [@photosbydepuhl = 363 and @moviesbydepuhl = 384; about 750 people in total] over the course of a few days and wrote each of them (except those that were not active or hadn’t been active in years) a personal tweet, wishing them a Happy New Year and said “Thank You” for being my follower. That’s it. Those are the two words: Thank you. What was the result? Surprising!150 engagements and counting (that’s a 20% engagement or 235% better than the Facebook campaign.) Twitter Analytics for Thank You campaign.




Can you see when I ran the campaign? “Ok“, you say, “but you didn’t you just say that the number of followers doesn’t matter? It’s quality not quantity, right?” Yup. Let me show you an example of the quality of connection I got out of this:

Thank You twitter campaign reply
Thank You twitter campaign reply

Wait not one person has ever said Thank You to Marty for following them? Not one? Noone of the 600+ people  he follows have ever expressed their gratitude? [BTW This statistic also includes me at least up to my tweet a few days ago.] Sorry, @martyinco, I should have said ‘Thank You’ earlier.

Let me ask you this. Which campaign has a higher level of engagement? Do you think any one of the 25,000 people that saw my Facebook post have the kind of connection that Marty and I started on December 31st? Two simple words: Thank You. Why do we often assume – I mean even the name follower or fan, …  points to this – that we are the important part in this social media equation and our followers should be happy for all the awesome content we create? Our followers, friends, fans … should be those people that are important, valuable to us. They are the people that learn from us, admire our work, like what we have to say and that may one day either hire us or recommend us to someone they know.

So how are you going to run your next social media campaign? Is it going to herald how awesome you or your product or service is? Is it gonna be some slick piece, that you’ll purchase exposure for? Or is it going to engage your people, that have taken the time to listen to what you have to say? Should you be willing to spend some of your time and sweat and let your followers know, that they are appreciated?

Just say “Thank You” and let me know how far those two words take you in the comments below.

  • […] It all started when I read Gary Vaynerchucks (@garyvee) book over last year’s Christmas Holidays which includes “The Thank You Economy” and sat down and wrote each of them a personal tweet, thanking them for following me on Twitter and wishing them a happy New Year (you can read about this experiment a little more on the “2 words that blew up my Twitter feed“). […]

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Pascal Depuhl

    Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.