To get some words of wisdom on creating and maintaining a social media following, we interviewed self-professed Tweetologist Nathan Stobezki, who maintains 250,000 followers at the handle @Fashionweeknyc with no ties to Lincoln Center, IMG, or Mercedes-Benz. The followers are engaged as well; his tweets have on average 20 to 50 retweets. (The graph above from L2’s Intelligence Report: Social Platforms shows brands struggling with engagement rates as their Twitter community size grows.) He first set up his account in 2009 and started tweeting about what he saw at the shows. He later expanded to food holidays (he posts for national cheesecake, donut, margarita and chocolate cake day), television, and affirmations and found his followers responded well.
Back in 2010, he created a bit of a mystery around his identity. People were wondering who he was, and speculating if he was the official account for New York Fashion Week. He revealed that he did not work for any fashion brand and that he was a consultant for Jennifer Black & Associates, a position he still holds. For recording the shows, he has two phones he calls Victoria and Emma. One takes better photos, one records better video. He has opted to receive text messages about the twitter activity of 250 accounts, which adds up to 2,000 text messages a day. He recently attended Fashion Week Swim, and works with Michael Kors, Badgley Mischka, Sony, Netflix, CBS, and NBC to publicize their shows. (He would not disclose which ones pay him.)
He thinks only a few brands are doing Twitter right: Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, and Benefit Cosmetics. He likes that Michael Kors gives his style advice on broader matter than his brand (like sneakers). “Michael lends his voice a couple of times a month. He tweets what he’s thinking, store openings, different experiences, beyond just the handbags,” Stobezki said.
What about the brands who aren’t doing social the right way? (Or brands that have forgotten to be “human” on Twitter vs. “robots,” according to Stobezki.) He has some tips:
– Focus on relevancy of content. Stobezki encourages brands to talk about events that others are talking about. For example, being a fashion brand shouldn’t stop an account from talking about the earthquake in Japan.
– Create relevant and meaningful content. Don’t post for the sake of content.
– Focus on creating on sharing experiences rather than links.
– Employee advocacy is important. In the future, people who work for brands will be more powerful than the corporate account.