It’s not every day that a tweet gets noticed by a major influencer, and then that person retweets it to their followers AND compliments you. Pinch me, I’m dreaming, but all three happened to me, and I’ll break down how and why.
Who is Tim Ferriss?
Tim Ferriss is an investor and author of NYT Bestsellers such as The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, and The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life. He has 1.5 million followers on Twitter (that’s equivalent to the population of Philadelphia).
A quick background to the story: In Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Chef, there’s a recipe called “Sexy-Time Steak” – I’ll let you read for yourself why it’s called that. Anyways – the perfect meal for Valentine’s Day, right? So I decide to head out and fight the swarming throngs of shoppers at Whole Foods to pick up a couple fresh, juicy rib eye steaks. After following the recipe as closely as I could, the suckers came out of the oven looking absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t not “food blog” it, and I thought I would take the opportunity to thank Tim at the same time. The tweet, seen above, can be viewed on Twitter here.
Here’s my insights on why he chose to retweet it, with some lessons on crafting your own successful social media posts that influencers will notice and share:
1. Start with the @ mention. If you bury an @ mention anywhere besides the beginning, it still might get noticed, but it’s not quite as powerful. As a reminder, starting a tweet with an @ mention means that tweet is not directly seen by your followers (unless they happen to follow you AND the person you mention). It’s a more “personal” type of communication, because you are directing it just to that person. That means it’s not about “you” and your followers – it’s about connecting directly with someone. I didn’t care so much if no one else saw the tweet, but I wanted to make sure Tim did.
2. Be specific. Instead of just saying, “Used one of your recipes and it was great!”, I was very specific about which recipe. This shows I cared enough to give specific feedback, that I was intentional about promoting his work in detail.
3. Tap into a trend. Since it was February 14th, “Valentine’s Day” was trending on Twitter. This means that by including those words, my tweet had an overall much higher likelihood of being seen and noticed because of the many people who monitor trends closely. There is such a thing as “trendjacking,” where spammers include hot, trending words in tweets that don’t actually have anything to do with the trend, but just want the traffic. My tweet tapped into the power of the trend, but was totally legit – making “Sexy-Time Steak” on Valentine’s Day makes a lot of sense. Using a trending word/phrase legitimately makes that tweet more attractive to an influencer, who also wants to take advantage of the trend (again, in a legit way).
4. Genuinely compliment / say thanks. My main intention in writing the tweet was to thank Tim for the hundreds of hours he poured into making The 4-Hour Chef, which produced the recipe I used. The steak really was the best steak I’ve ever had, and I’ve eaten some fantastic cuts of meat in top restaurants all over the world. I used two exclamation points because I was so excited about how great it turned out, and I really wanted him to know. Influencers want to know that their work really matters to people on a practical level. His recipe made our night special, and I wanted to show my appreciation with no strings attached.
5. Include the right image. It’s Social media 101 that images increase post engagement astronomically. My tweet about amazing steak would have been pretty dull without a picture of how it turned out. But not all images are worthy of sharing. I took several photos throughout the cooking process, and even took one with my copy of The 4-Hour Chef in the background. Most were just okay, and didn’t have the beautiful simplicity of the one I ended up choosing: the two steaks side-by-side on a bed of fresh rosemary in my new Le Creuset Grill Pan. Unless your image IS the content like on Instagram, keep it simple and establish a pleasant relationship between the post text and the image. Each should support the other without distracting from each other.
6. Don’t try too hard. Because they’ve dealt constantly with an influx of people trying to grab their attention and get powerful (and free) PR, influencers are especially sensitive to desperate social media mentions with ulterior motives. Was there a little part of me that hoped Tim might respond in some way? I’d be lying if there wasn’t. But that wasn’t my intention in doing it. My world would have kept turning if he didn’t respond, because I understand that he is bombarded with mentions constantly. If you set out trying to get free PR from influencers as your main goal, you will be sorely disappointed. If you make it about “you,” they’re not likely to touch it with a ten-foot pole. Make it about them, and your chances greatly improve.
Try using some of the tips above and let me know how it goes. A huge thank you to Tim Ferriss for all the great content he’s produced over the years and his unwavering commitment to helping people become more productive, more educated, and more interesting.[share title=”Share this post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”false” email=”false”]