Up until a week ago, the most popular tweet in history was one by Justin Bieber (who I still think looks like a girl 98.459% of the time). With that, said “RIP Avalanna; i love you”, regarding a fan of his that passed away.
Now I’m not trying to understate the sadness of anyone dying, but to be honest I’m tired of seeing everything Bieber posts getting so much exposure. Sure he’s a popstar, but all of it simply because he has 25 bajillion screaming fans under the age of 9; not much he says actually has much substance, most of the time.
However now, the tables have turned.
After his narrow victory over opponent Mitt Romney in the US presidential election yesterday, President Obama posted one simple tweet, along with a picture of him hugging his wife Michelle.
“Four more years.”
That’s it. That’s all his tweet said. Simple, poignant, elegant. And short of throwing Romney a middle-fingered salute, the most concise statement he could have made to announce his campaign victory on the micro-blogging platform.
As it stands right now, the tweet has over 815,000 retweets, nearly 300,000 favourites and it’s estimated has been viewed more than 12 million times. All of this within 24 hours to a few days post-tweet, and I’ll bet you a massive serving of the best Singaporean chilli crab these figures will continue to climb significantly.
But what makes this the most popular tweet ever?
Of course, most of this comes down to the fact this US election has been one of the most covered media events in history, as well as the massive use of social media today. But for me, that’s not all of it.
When you look at it more than just on face value, this simple tweet and the image behind it conjure up poetic imagery, massive sensitivity and a bottomless pit filled with hope and vision for the future. Those three words and that idyllic picture contain more emotion than a Twilight film.
Actually wait, that’s not a very good metaphor. A cat sneezing contains more emotion than a Twilight film.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that it conveys so much more than simply a comment or declaration of Presidential victory. In three words and one picture, it contains everything that Hollywood tries to make people feel in a two-hour sob story, or what an artist like Adele does in an album. It hits your right in the feels.
This concept – this exact philosophy of generating emotion — is what I try to convey to my corporate clients constantly.
While you’ll probably never hope to achieve Obama’s level of popularity on Twitter, or any other social network, chances are you want to be doing better than you are. And the best way to make people talk, retweet, reply, favourite or anything else on a social network is by instilling emotion, regardless of the delivery.
If you can make somebody feel hope, joy, anger, fear, frustration, fury, confusion, jealousy, or any other feeling like this and do it in a simple way without really having to try, then people will react to it. They will comment, they will share and they will give their opinion.
Using emotion in anything you do in social media works and it works better than almost anything else. If you need proof of this, all you have to do is look at the way life insurance companies have been selling their services for decades. They use the sorrow of losing a family member, the fear of not having money if they died and the joy of knowing your family is safe — as long as you buy one of their policies, that is.
In short, emotion not only gets people talking, but emotion sells.
Emotion worked to make Obama’s tweet the most popular in history, all in less than 24 hours. And if used right, it can help your social media promotions as well.
Four more years. So what do you think? Leave us a comment below.