The largest fossilized mammoth tusk ever found in Washington State was unearthed in a Seattle construction pit recently. Within hours, the fictional owner of the tusk -- the South Lake Union Mammoth -- started a fascinating conversation on Twitter that began with the post below. In six days he/she amassed a dedicated ‘herd’ of over 1,000 followers.
Here’s what a 20,000 year old fossil can teach you about Twitter:
1. Have a sense of humor Put a positive spin on your story, use humor when it is appropriate. The Mammoth said he woke up from a ‘power nap’ missing his tusk and that the Burke Museum is holding it hostage. He isn’t bitter though, he talks affectionately about the good old days and claims to get around town just fine for an old relic.
2. Emphasize your individuality (even if ‘you’ are a brand) Assess your (company) personality, values and interests. What makes your point of view different is what makes you interesting to others. He’s not just any mammoth, he’s a mammoth missing his tusk. He’s not just any Seattleite spouting off opinions, he was here before Amazon.
3. Reach out to people who share your interests. ‘History’ and ‘food’ are broad topics. Be specific when you define your core interests. If you enjoy archaeology and Tom Douglas restaurants then look up that hashtag or followers of that account. Use the Mammoth’s herd mentality and follow people back on Twitter. Keep the conversation going and re-tweet to grow and engage your audience.
A sampling of the strange -- but very Seattle -- mix of accounts that follow @SLU_Mammoth include: the Seattle Mayor’s office, news reporters, craft beer brewers and coffee roasters. Quality matters more than quantity. The Mammoth is winning over his Twitter audience with an authentic voice. Follow his lead to stand out as an original amidst the social media herd.