According to popular myth English people are eccentric. I’m English myself and may be prone to eccentricity from time to time.
But this eccentricity can add to a warm and entertaining social media presence.
I’m just back from a trip to London so I thought I’d share some of the eccentric Twitter accounts I found there and look at how they relate to small business marketing.
Watch below to hear about eccentric London on Twitter
The Oval Underground Station
My airbnb was near the Oval tube station. The Oval is known for its cricket ground, the heart of a very English sport.
But it wasn’t the cricket that caught my eye. As I stepped off the train and into the station I found a bookshelf full of random second-hand books. This wasn’t a bookshop but a place where I could pick up a book for reading or leave one for others to enjoy.
But that wasn’t it, next to the bookshelf was a notice board. Instead of displaying service announcements or rules there was a thought of the day.
If a tube station could have a personality this one did. I imagined the thought that went into this by the staff and wondered if they took pride in the quirkiness of their station.
There’s a Twitter account too. @Oval_station shares the daily thoughts and is hugely popular. They also share community news and information.
They have around 12k followers but it’s not the followers that are remarkable it’s the interaction. Posts get up to 200 retweets and lots of comments.
What’s interesting is the station doesn’t get into conversations directly with people but people get into conversations with each other in the Twitter stream. It’s got real community spirit. This happens because the Oval retweet comments from others sparking the conversation
As small businesses we should be sharing content that will make our audience want to respond. We need to be entertaining and we need to embrace the local community.
We should, like the Oval, look for opportunities to spark conversations amongst our followers.
Big Ben Clock
I’m cheating a bit here. @Big_Ben_Clock is not a new discovery for me. I’ve been following them for years. This is definitely eccentric. On the hour every hour Big Ben Clock tweets the bongs. Yes, that’s right at 1pm it tweets ‘BONG’ at 2pm ‘BONG BONG’ and so on.
That’s all it does, all day, every day. That’s all it’s ever done. But people seem to like it. Each tweet gets between 20 & 40 retweets and some people even respond.
Why do I follow? It amuses me that someone, somewhere came up with this idea. It’s also a handy reminder that I’ve been looking at Twitter for too long.
I always say Twitter is about interaction and conversation but it doesn’t have to be. Humour goes a long way and people will remember you for it and be delighted to tell people about you.
I joked that Clapham Common tube station knew I, a cat lover, was coming. For two weeks the stations advertising had been taken over by posters of cats. I went there specifically to photograph the event. I wasn’t the only one at the station that day. I was delighted and so were others, you can view photos from visitors by following the #catsnotads tag on Twitter and Instagram.
The easiest way to get people to create content for or about your business is give them something worth sharing. You don’t need to go to the expense of buying ad space. Do you have a photogenic spot in your business? A quirky prop or something that will delight your visitors? Encourage people to share a photo and give them a hashtag to use when they do.
Over to you
Do you follow any eccentric or quirky Twitter accounts? Which ones make you smile? Let me know in the comments below.