How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting

This past week, Apple has conducted a master class in how to take over Twitter—and they did it without a single organic tweet.

If you visit @Apple on Twitter, you’ll notice that despite over 2.2 million followers, the company has not tweeted even once.

And yet during the #AppleEvent, when the company unveiled their new line of products, including the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4, not only were people’s timelines packed with updates from journalists and thought leaders dishing and delving into the devices, but the company spent what some call “a significant amount” on ads.

Why would a company that doesn’t deign to tweet from its own account spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid posts?

Well, they’re trillion-dollar Apple—they can do whatever they want. But there’s more to it than that.

Here’s how Apple dominated Twitter for the #AppleEvent

Digiday had a rundown of the prices Apple likely paid for all their advertising on Sept. 12, including:

  • A promoted trend: $200,000/day
  • A custom “like for reminder” build: $250,000 for several days
  • Promoted tweets in 12+ languages (ranging from $0.50 to $8)
  • A “hashflag” (custom Twitter emoji) and a livestream of the event (likely free)

And indeed, no matter where you went on Twitter on Sept. 12, you couldn’t avoid the #AppleEvent hashtag and hashflag. The feed was flooded with tweets about what Apple was unveiling, which was the product of both Apple’s paid efforts and tweets from writers and journalists (more on that in a second).

Apple wasn’t running any ads on Facebook. Why is that? Isn’t Facebook the biggest social media platform, with the most reach? How could Apple avoid it on Apple Event day?

Twitter is where conversations start

Perhaps the biggest draw of Twitter is that it’s built to get conversations started. Journalists, early adopters, and other people who make a living covering and have a passion for Apple products know that Twitter is better for breaking news than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other major platform.

Apple recognizes this. By meeting users on Twitter—supplying them with a livestream (that’s where this writer watched the event), creating a rare “like for reminder” tweet that helped users remember when the event would take place, and tweeting in languages used all around the world—Apple was actively encouraging and helping those users to have more informed and productive conversations about their products.

For whatever reason, tweeting doesn’t fit Apple’s brand. Tweets from other people do, however. So by pouring money into the platform at the right moment, Apple found a way to boost those tweets, to make them more visible and engaging. Again, that’s without sending a single tweet from their own account.

While Apple has plenty of money, they’re not in the business of wasting it. This was a showcase in how to pick your spots on social media and use each platform—even platforms you don’t engage in yourself—to maximize value.

Images via Apple

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Followers

Big follower numbers on social media look impressive. To achieve that goal, many people turn to fake followers, which are imprecisely referred to as bots.

If you’re growing frustrated with a client who only cares about followers and likes, you may be tempted to pay for fake followers. After all, even if you actively fight against bots and report them, there’s no way to remove every fake account that follows you. Why not take advantage of this inherent flaw for your advantage?

Actively courting fake followers may give you a hollow short-term gain, but it’s one that means nothing to those who know not to rely on an easily manipulated metric.

Theoretically, having tons of followers means that people are interested in your brand and having a massive following will make your following grow event bigger by giving your page more exposure.

In reality, that may have been the case at one point, but it hasn’t been the case for a long time. It’s been said a million times, but it’s worth repeating: organic reach is almost non-existent, especially for those who don’t already follow your brand. Additionally, the fact that followers can be bought isn’t a secret.

Consumers are getting savvier. While it may make sense for Wendy’s to have over 2.7 million Twitter followers and over 8.5 million likes on Facebook, it would be suspicious for a small mom-and-pop restaurant to get anywhere near those numbers under almost all circumstances.

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t invest in fake followers.

1. Your followers are a reflection on your content quality.

Many social media users will go through your followers to see who you attract and make sure your account is legitimate. If you aren’t one to follow many accounts, this may be the starting point for your followers find other businesses and people who provide similar or complementary content to what you provide.

Those who are interested in your brand and go through your followers will become suspicious if you have too many accounts that look sketchy or are obviously bots set up for the sole purpose of sharing other people’s content.

While you may gamble on the fact that not many people care about your followers, word gets around on the internet and you will be watched.

2. Buying fake followers will get you banned.

Is temporary success worth the risk of permanent expulsion from your chosen social media platforms?

Purchasing fake followers is the digital media equivalent of an athlete taking steroids. You may get caught in hindsight, but when your shady practices catch up with you there will be significant blowback.

As of May 2018, Facebook had closed 583 million fake profiles. In July 2018, The Washington Post reported Twitter had suspended 70 million suspected fakes. It’s only a matter of time before the social media platforms more aggressively pursue those who have an unusually large number of fake followers.

Citing the fact that this practice is widespread or that “everyone else is doing it” will only make things worse. It didn’t work with your mother, it doesn’t work when someone breaks the law, and it won’t win you any fans.

3. Followers/Likes matter less than they used to.

We all love the validation that seeing a new follower gives, but the harsh reality is that a simple follow means nothing. Engagement is what we need to focus on. It’s more important to have 100 engaged followers than 500,000 that you purchased from a click farm.

4. It dilutes the accuracy of your analytics.

If you bought a million followers, but only 1,000 are legitimate and respond to your posts, you have an engagement rate of 0.1 percent. That’s significantly less impressive and shows the pointlessness in bragging about following size.

In contrast, a company that has 1,000 followers and has 200 engaged users has an engagement rate of 20 percent. While these numbers would be extremely low for an international or national brand, they are actually pretty good numbers for a local business.

5. It’s a waste of money.

You’re better of spending potential bot money elsewhere. Sure, there are websites that lure you with promises of thousands of followers for a small fee. However, are you willing to use a perfectly good 20 dollars for an imaginary temporary victory?

There’s no good reason to buy fake followers. You may get a dopamine rush from your increasing follower count, but fake followers are nothing more than buying an award to show off because you didn’t want to take the time or effort to earn it yourself. It may take a while for people to catch on, but once they find out you will lose all credibility and end up digging yourself out of a hole of your own making.


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Best & Worst times to post on Social Media – #SocialMedia #Infographic

Here are the best and worst times to post on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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How The Top Social Media Platforms Have Changed And What It Means For Marketers

If you’ve been in social media marketing for several years, you will have experienced first hand how the top platforms change time and again. Whereas some old favorites still remain popular, others that were once widely-used are nowhere near the top of the list and yet others still have gained a huge number of active users in just the last couple years.

Staying up to date with these changes is critical if you are to ensure that your marketing stays relevant. With that said, let’s look at the stop using the platform this year. However, there is no risk that Facebook will cede its top position — it is far ahead of any other platform and is still increasing in popularity with older generations.


YouTube is another familiar face. The fact that it is in second place with 1.5 billion active monthly users just emphasizes how much people like video content. Plus, YouTube has something Facebook lacks: a huge popularity among young people. In fact, it is the top platform for the 18-to-24 demographic. YouTube does have some catching up to do in one area, though — only 45 percent of users say that they access the platform on a daily basis.


Close to tying with YouTube, WhatsApp also has around 1.5 billion monthly active users. Originally, it became popular because it took texting to another level. For instance, there are no limits on how many words you can send, you can send multimedia content, and you can send a message to multiple contacts at once. Now, WhatsApp maintains its user base by continuing to add new features.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is another messaging platform in the top five. (That also makes two messaging platforms owned by Facebook.) It’s monthly active users are steadily growing. This is good news for marketers, as Facebook Messenger offers a great opportunity to reach users with chatbots.


Unless a large portion of your audience is in China, you likely know very little about WeChat. Although it is by far the most popular social platform in China, it has few users outside the country.

WeChat began as a messaging app, but it now has a huge number of capabilities. For instance, users can make payments, play games, share their location, request cabs, and even book doctor appointments. In other words, it is like multiple apps within a single app.

With WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat all appearing in the top five, it is clear that dark social has a major role to play. This becomes even more apparent when you consider that dark social now accounts for 84 percent of all social shares. Furthermore, dark social is not limited to just these platforms: you also have Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat.


Coming in a sixth place (and growing consistently since its launch), Instagram definitely deserves a mention. As a marketer, Instagram is a platform you need to take notice of. For one thing, 60 percent of micro-influencers surveyed said that Instagram is the most effective platform for engagement. For another, it is more likely to fit into your social media strategy than the platforms that ranked third and fifth.

There are several reasons why Instagram is becoming so popular. The first is due to the expansion of mobile usage — Instagram is an excellent platform for viewing, editing, and uploading posts on mobile. The second reason is its visual content. As you can see with Facebook and YouTube, users love visuals. Instagram goes a step further than these other platforms by barely featuring any words.

Why is Instagram not higher in the list? For all its benefits, it does have some disadvantages. For instance, there is no chance to get deep into a topic. Posts are single images without much in the way of explanation. There is also limited opportunity for users to have a discussion and share opinions; plus, there are no links for users to find out more.

Snapchat Is Rising

Another platform not in the top five but still important is Snapchat. It only ranks 17, but it is gaining traction — mainly because of usage among Generation Z. The same age group is losing interest in Facebook. Remember the 2 million users who are leaving Facebook I mentioned above? Well, 1.9 million in the same age group will likely be joining Snapchat.

Why is Snapchat so popular among younger users? Although other platforms have successfully captured the value of creating stories, only Snapchat offers content that has a lifespan of a few seconds. This allows users to share experiences in the moment rather than creating lasting content — which is something that other platforms already offer.

What Happened to Twitter?

Not long ago, Twitter was consistently reaching the top five. In its heyday, it was in second place, right after Facebook. Now, it has dropped all the way down to twelfth position.

You may remember that it wasn’t long ago when everyone was predicting the end of Twitter (due to a combination of poor earnings and a lack of direction). Since then, it has made some significant improvements. In fact, in the first quarter of this year, the platform added six million users, beating all expectations. Better still, its active user base has grown by 10 percent year over year (this is what really matters). For businesses whose target audience is within this group of users, Twitter is still a very valuable platform.

Should You Be Using Pinterest?

Pinterest is right near the bottom, ranking 19 out of 20. This begs the question: should you even care about this platform? Remember, it does still have 200 million active monthly users, which is far from nothing.

If you do want to consider including Pinterest in your social media strategy, it may be worthwhile to think about this platform differently. What do I mean by this? Well, it no longer has likes and counting of re-pins. Instead, it has become more about collecting pins that appear in suggestions (generated by the Pinterest algorithm). This means that Pinterest can provide marketers with a great opportunity to put content in front of users who will likely be interested in their offerings.

You should also keep in mind that the platform is a top spot for ads: it generated close to $500 million in revenue last year.

Paying attention to which are the top social media platforms will help ensure that you are directing your marketing efforts to the right places. To keep up with the trends — or, even better, anticipate them, it is important to remember that these numbers are always shifting. In addition, always bear in mind that your specific audience may prefer different platforms to the population as a whole. Knowing what your customers like, and what they may like in the future, is the most valuable of all.

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5 Reasons to Use Twitter to Leverage Your Social Listening Campaign

You might think Facebook is the end-all-be-all in brand monitoring. But with tools offered by several companies, there are more reasons now than ever why you shouldn’t skimp on Twitter to understand what your market is saying.

One of the most important aspects of business, inside and outside of social media, is your brand’s reputation. If you can’t maintain an upstanding reputation, then the whole house of cards will fall.

True, there will always be haters. There will also always be brand ambassadors, if you know what you’re doing and are offering a great product or service. This is where social media listening comes in – monitoring what people are saying, good or bad, about your brand. You can do this through various marketing automation tools, or you can hire actual people to sift through the tons of human data flowing over onto Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and any other social platform out there.

Just remember – never limit your social listening to just Facebook. Yes, given the stats, it might be tempting to do that . But while Facebook boasts ~2,167,000,000 users, there are a total of ~3,595,000,000 on the next several most popular platforms (popular in the U.S.) combined. And given the recent issues regarding Facebook algorithms facilitating not only consumer advertising but certain political agendas, many agree that it’s wise to diversify your social listening across various platforms to truly hear what is in the best interests of you and your clients, current and potential.

With tools out there like Narrow to grow your Twitter network, we explore why Twitter is a great alternative to Facebook to hone in on social listening.

It’s easy to engage consumers on Twitter

Facebook provides only a portion of consumer social data that is available for businesses to qualify potential leads, and it also has barriers and restrictions on consumer posts that limit the ability of automated engagement. Twitter, however, has none of these barriers, and a tool that Narrow offers even allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single dashboard.

“It’s very important to stay consistent with your frequency of posts and touch your clients as many times as possible to stay in the public eye,” says social media marketing and SEO expert Chris Labbate, who uses Narrow amongst other automation tools for Twitter listening. “You can use the tool for audience research or build your profile with the user insights analytics data. But the best part is the ease of automation – it’s one of the great ‘Set it and forget it!’ type social media tools”.

Twitter is better for a business-to-business audience.

This year, Facebook prioritised friends and family posts over business page posts, which has made it difficult for brands to reach people on Facebook via organic news feeds, but Twitter attracts a high-value business-to-business audience.

Shelby Rogers, content marketing strategist at, says that Twitter allows for some of the most accurate input from social media listening.

“Twitter serves as an excellent platform for businesses to get as close to real-time response to their company as possible,” she says. “And Twitter engagements are often considerably shorter than those on Facebook. While social media marketers might have to pay closer attention to Twitter due to the fast nature of the feed, it’ll give them a better understanding of real feedback related to the product and also a faster recovery time.”

Twitter automation is about much more than saving time.

It’s true, automation tools are essential time savers when your workload becomes overwhelming. But a companies like Narrow and SentiOne are also invaluable when it comes to audience research, finding out where your brand is being mentioned and starting meaningful real-time conversations with potential clients and customers.

“Studies prove if you post your link or information once a day on twitter, it will get lost in the shuffle and even though you get some traffic, you will not get nearly as much traffic you would if you post that same content – modified just a bit each time – three to four times throughout the day,” says social media influencer and marketing strategist Laura Rike, who has used Twitter to grow her following to over 11.6k.

Good old-fashioned Twitter hasn’t changed much – and that’s a good thing for automated listening.

Founded in 2006, Twitter remains the most “old-fashioned” (in a good way) out of all the social media platforms, as it doesn’t have any fancy news feed algorithms, the tagging works perfectly every time, and a built-in analytics service provides all the data you might need in a downloadable format. But using outside automation tools within this already-great platform is definitely worth trying, because over the past 12 years, Twitter has become a very busy place. Automation tools allow you to see a big leap in your follower count and analyze specific hashtags –  something that Twitter itself doesn’t offer.

Twitter makes it OK to talk to strangers

Rick Springfield once warned a 1980s listening audience – “Don’t talk to strangers.” But the listening audience of today has to find ways to talk to – and hear – as many strangers as possible in order to survive and thrive in business. Twitter has stayed open to all sorts of uninhibited communication and listening, and automation tools like SentiOne allow you to directly listen to and monitor literally billions of discussions on thousands of web sources – places where people might be talking about you the most. With the use of targeted keywords, hashtags and locations, Narrow allows you to quickly identify your target audience on Twitter and attract relevant users to your profile.

Still Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

Remember, social listening automation, whether on Twitter, Facebook or other platforms, is great. And though you might want to listen to Rick Springfield more than your own audience, there’s still nothing like walking up to a stranger and saying hello – yourself.

“Too much automation can mean limited social media listening, and this is also a mistake,” says Gabby Green, social media manager for Jive Communications. “By sacrificing the human side of social engagement, you also sacrifice the trust of your audience and customers, as you can’t interact with them on a personal level. So while automation is essential, you still need to allow room for listening and a genuine human touch.”

Without the restrictions of Facebook, Twitter is too important to ignore to listen to your audience, especially in this day and age of so many different ways to automate. But don’t forget to inject your own personality with your own voice amongst the machines doing all the work for us.

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