A few months ago, we decided to jump on Twitter with the obvious intention of promoting our videos. Just as we didn’t know what we were doing when we started filming, we didn’t know what we were getting into with our For Zombies Twitter account.
Our first and formidable challenge is one faced by every starting Twitter user: gaining followers. Rather than spreading ourselves thin, we started with focusing on accounts that share the same interest in zombies and followed them. You have to be engaging before people start paying attention to you. Comedy certainly helps especially when pushing a web series about a couple of stupid, bumbling zombies.
On Twitter, you quickly learn that no one is going to click on your links just because you ask them to. We would post links when we published something new to our YouTube channel, but we wouldn’t post repeatedly for fear of driving followers away. Perhaps it’s naïve, but that’s been our concern. That is, until we came up with a good tagline:
“For every ten subscribers to our YouTube channel the horde pledges to eat a Kardashian. http://bit.ly/forzombies”
“For every twenty subscribers to our YouTube channel the horde pledges to eat a cast member of the Jersey Shore. http://bit.ly/forzombies”
Both of these teasers seem to resonate and strike an appropriate balance between sarcasm, social commentary and self-promotion. They tend to be retweeted and we’ve even gotten a couple of subscribers shortly following these posts. We don’t overdo it with these and set an arbitrary limit of one such tweet every two days.
You might also note that those tweets contain links shortened by http://bit.ly. That’s no accident. In addition to shortening links, it allows for customization and produces reports on how many times the link was clicked and where it originated. Other link shorteners have come along since tinyurl.com and bit.ly, but bit.ly continues to deliver and doesn’t lock you into another service or application.
In an effort to come up with ongoing material with more substance than a link to our videos, we created a fictitious horde and recount their antics. We’ve had them involved in bioengineering experiments with attempts to create the first airborne egg-laying zombie horde. In an effort to catch people off guard, they infected marmots with the zombie virus and set them loose. Most recently, we have been focusing on Zombie Fred whose brain was partially eaten just before reanimation. He’s having trouble adjusting to his undead existence. During a windy day, he had trouble remaining upright. The horde pitched in and fashioned a zombie-sized kite and sent Zombie Fred aloft as various hijinks ensued.
We’ve also made unexpected contacts and have had some surprisingly outlandish and humorous conversations. Recently, on Friday January 13th, we hit 666 followers and see it as a good omen. We don’t know where our future Twitter endeavors will take us, but we plan on finding out. We’re in it for the long haul. Zombies are nothing if not tenacious.