Wednesday, May 20, 2009

4 Reasons @Ogilvy Got 10k Twitter Followers

@ogilvy just reached 10,000 followers. Here's how:

Like many digital marketing people I have numerous sources for information on the market place and often struggle to both keep upto date with the news but also separate the trusted posts from the rubbish. 

So I started to follow all Ogilvy bloggers.  This gave a great point of view from all disciplines, all countries and all levels within the company. Importantly I knew they fundamentally thought like me and their posts always came with some Ogilvy attitude.

But soon they started to take over my Google home page so I decided to amalgamate all the feeds into a single RSS using something else I had been playing around with; Yahoo Pipes. I spat this into various different vehicles including social widgets and netvibes apps. 

Around the same time I was also looking at Twitter and I opened the @ogilvy account to secure the name and thought nothing more of it.  After a while more and more people followed so I decided to auto update by passing the Ogilvy blog RSS through twitterfeed. I also started selectively posting directly about Ogilvy job openings, reports and work...and after the occasional beer, a rant or two. Ahem.

My follwers steadily increased but I never followed back, unsure of what I would say or what it would imply. One follower was pretty vocal about the fact I never did, complaining that it was hardly marketing best practise, so at the 5th time of him mentioning it I decided to follow everyone of the thousand or so followers I had.  That was a fun RSI inducing 2 hours.

I am glad I did, the great insights, examples and points of views that everyone tweets has been nothing short of eye opening. 

People have contacted me about jobs, journalists about stories, headhunters about people they could place, people who just wanted to chat or have a point of view.  Some people complain about the frequency of posts (it is on a refresh every half hour so they often come in batches) others about the automated nature, some comment on the fact that the posts are not optimised for twitter and a bunch of other stuff. But generally the feedback is all positive.  

Central office have been in touch about taking over the feed but I think that wouldn't be true to the followers who seem to like the content as it is and the 5%  block rate seems to bear this out. I am pretty sure @ogilvy would have had a huge number of followers no matter what anyone did but here are my top tips:

1. Be interesting
Ogilvy bloggers search out the latest interesting communications work out there and always normally have a point of about it or how our audiences or the industry is changing. It always has an ogilvy attitude and this is not neutered by any corporate speak or just standard press releases

2. Be authentic
@ogilvy reflects to views of the people within Ogilvy not necessarily corporate Ogilvy - it is a fine but important line. We are a company of people.

3. Engage
Follow back and for every @ogilvy or DM I have endevoured to reply to honestly, even the negative stuff.

4. David
Search twitter for Ogilvy and you will see numerous quotes flying around. His nuggets of wisdome are made for this medium and reading them everyday is a great reminder of why he would have loved the marketing evironment today. His global reputation and the agency he built is the real reason people gravitate to @ogilvy.

Thanks all.



Rohit said...

Great recap, Giles ... and smart strategy as usual. Glad to be on the same team. I'm definitely tweeting this!

benoitoctave said...


Stefan said...

or maybe seeing as they have an equal amount of followers and followings, they just used a service like Twollo, to add and follow and request followers using automated keyword searching....

thats more likely.

10,000 natural followers is not a lot for an entity as famous as Ogilvy.

Andrew said...

Before you all run around patting each other on the back and having an ogilvy pride orgy, having 10 000 followers is not a difficult task in twitter terms but kudos to you for tooting your horn about it.

Giles Rhys Jones said...

@stefan - all the following was done by my hand - various tweets over the past year reflect that.

@andrew@stefan - agree 10k is not a huge number when compared to tweet celebs but compared to the majority of communications agencies and many brands, it is not too bad.

overall it is an illustration of our strategy and the application of the advice we would give our clients and anyone else out there. more of a case study than (too much of a) back patting exercise.

thanks for your comments

Anonymous said...

What an awesome story and thanks for sharing!

twitter train

Hazel said...

Giles, the number of twitter followers certainly reflects how effective the promotion of a certain company truly is. Several (Toronto) web design and development firms favor the utilization of social media icons to increase the visibility of their brand. Since twitter is a famous social media icon, its global scope can be an advantage to marketers.

Our company recognize such trends, that's why we incorporated twitter and other social media icons in our (Toronto) web development campaign.

Interesting post. Thanks!

mike said...

Marvelous blog for 10k followers and I love the way to describe follow, create and Engage. Here's another link to sort out your followers by href="">twitter app