There are many popular brands “crushing it” on Twitter – and the seven listed below are not necessarily the largest of the Twitter brands, but rather recognizable and have at least a million followers.
So the question is – how do “corporate” brands get such a high following? A lot of it has to do with creatively engaging its followers as well as picking up on top trends and issues and running with it. Time Magazine reports how Arby’s (with 238,000 followers) did just that: “During the 2014 Grammy’s, one of the most popular topics of conversation on Twitter was Pharrell’s hat. Somebody on Arby’s social media team saw an opportunity to cleverly respond to this minor pop culture moment…” and tweeted “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs,” resulting in 83,000 retweets. That same article in Time also reported how Orbitz got more followers by setting up a “playful” duel with Priceline.com.
While many companies strategically brainstorm to tweet out creative posts and involve their followers, some of the brands listed below don’t try very hard at all and instead merely post their most recent activities and programming – and the followers still follow:
- Starbucks – 8.5 million followers – From Greek yogurt recipes to a design your own coffee cup – Starbucks manages to keep its followers loyal with Tweets that do involve their followers to respond and participate. The key is that Starbucks gets its caffeinated audience very involved by asking them to post creative coffee recipes, for instance. Starbucks also leverages holidays such as Mother’s Day for Twitter fodder. All and all, Starbucks mostly posts tweets that are “Starbucks” related – since the brand is perceived to be somewhat hip and cool they have no trouble promoting themselves on any of their social media platforms.
- National Geographic– 9.5 million followers – National Geographic is brand known for its great photography and television documentaries – whether it is telling a compelling story about glaciers in its magazine or producing terrific programs centering on animals, bugs and even humans. But how can National Geographic crush it with a Twitter account? They continue to post their amazing photos along with links to compelling articles from their magazines. They are a more serious Twitter account – they don’t hold silly contests but they do demand that all content be inspiring and thought-provoking. Once in a while they teaser their followers with questions like “Which is the biggest Dinosaur” or “how does a leaf can split hydrogen from oxygen…”
- NBA– 15.4 million followers – It may be no surprise that the National Basketball Association has garnered so many followers given the popularity of the sport – but what is amazing is that they have so many splinter NBA sites for specific subjects, it’s interesting that the main Twitter account generates so many fans. What does the NBA tweet? All basketball all the time from schedules to scores to player interviews.
- Blackberry– 4.5 million followers – These days you might expect Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android to be more popular than Blackberry on Twitter. But while some smartphone brands are overtaking Blackberry in sales, Blackberry was truly one of the first of the smartphones to set the course for entire generation of 24/7 connectivity. Blackberry is still part of the popular lexicon and does a good job keeping its many Twitter followers apprised with product announcements and reviews. Once in a while Blackberry will even tweet out interviews with popular athletes and celebrities – and somehow these interviews relate back to the Blackberry product.
- Oreo– 670,000 followers – The little cookie with the creamy filling has been a social media darling across many different social media platforms, including Twitter for the past few years now. While everyone might want to eat Oreos – following them on Twitter or Facebook may seem like a stretch. However, Time magazine offers an example of why Oreo is so popular on Twitter: “It…was the tweet heard ‘round the world during the 2013 Super Bowl. The brand managed to effectively — and superquickly — poke fun at the power outage that delayed the game for 35 minutes (and tweeted) “you can still dunk in the dark.” Over the past few years, clever images and posts has made Oreo truly a brand that has been crushing the competition on Twitter and elsewhere.
- Intel– 4.2 million followers – Using pop culture references such as the recent Godzilla movie and lots of tweets that start with “Did you know…” have earned the Pentium processor company a large Twitter following. While one might expect all the Intel tweets to appeal to a very techie crowd, in fact Intel leverages recent events and movies to attract a wide range of followers. For example, a recent post referenced Intel’s participation in a fashion show. However, at the heart of Intel is a technical crowd so interviews with technical personnel and reviews of latest products and partners are also part of Intel’s repartee.
- Louis Vuitton– 4.4 million followers – Louis Vuitton does an admirable job making this upscale brand mainstream enough to entice a million+ followers. The tweets all center around the Vuitton line-up with plenty of links to photos and videos of recent fashion shows. There is very little effort to get feedback from its followers – Luis Vuitton merely posts its fashionista tweets and the followers come and re-tweet.