How many Twitter followers do you have? Not enough, that’s how many.
You’re funny. You’re insightful. You’re erudite. You’re irresistible. So why isn’t the world listening?
Unless you’re content for your lovingly-crafted tweets to be seen by 50 people – max – it’s time to make a stand. It’s time to do something so foolhardy that the whole world turns in unison, gasps and then hits the Follow button.
Get out of your comfort zone and prepare for your Twitter mentions to blow up. These guys did and now they’re Twitter famous. Which is a bit like normal famous, except you’ve no money and you’re compelled to spend all day on Twitter ‘building your brand’. Still, this is what you asked for…right?
Five ways to go viral on Twitter
1. Pull a Luke Harding
Luke Harding is the legend who went for a night out in Oldham and woke up in Paris. Lad culture usually equates to stealing traffic cones and belting out drinking songs. This, however: this is something special.
“It all started off just going for a pint after work with one of my mates, one thing lead to another and we decide we are going to go out to Tokyo’s [Tokes] in Oldham,” he recounted.
“By this time we are well and truly plastered. I found my passport which I’d been using for ID and was looking at this flight app on my phone and it was saying something like “cheap flights to Paris”.
And the best bit: “The taxi driver asked me about where I was going and what I was going to do in Paris but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him I was a drunken idiot who spontaneously booked a trip to Paris, so I sold him some story that I was a junior doctor going to a convention.”
Prior to his Parisian escapade, Harding appears to have had form for getting into situations, tweeting:
He went on to explain: “100% the photographer swung for me coz I kept putting my socks on her head…kept putting my socks over the photographers lense! I broke back in though didn’t i! Climb over the fence and through the fire exit! Never felt so low breaking into tokes.”
Harding may have flown home from Paris but he’s yet to come down to earth, with a barrage of offers requesting his presence at parties and club nights across the country – including the now-infamous Tokes, where he’ll never have to dip into his pocket again. In just a week, the YOLO-embodying Northerner has bagged 6,000 Twitter followers and ensured that he will forever be known as a laaaaaaaad.
Thanks to the heroics of @LukeHarding1994, a quiet pint that turns into a three-day bender will now be known as a Luke Harding.
— Ed Uncovered (@whisperednothin) November 19, 2013
In early autumn, something strange started happening on the streets of Brooklyn. A mysterious entity known as the Weed Fairy began leaving buds of soor all across the district. “These are tough times. Take this weed” read the notice attached to the small nuggets of happiness.
Media coverage and Twitter fame ensued, as is to be expected when there’s a weed fairy in town. The elusive altruist (Twitter bio: “Keeping your spirits high”) now has 3,000 followers and stoners all over Brooklyn checking under the pillow each morning, just in case.
3. Submit to Hunter Moore
When all else fails in your quest for Twitter attention, there is one last resort – Hunter Moore. The revenge porn king and official holder of The Best Job in the World can make anyone internet famous – provided your definition of fame is having your tits and ass all over Twitter.
It's blow job season.
— Cause We're Wasted (@CauseWereWasted) November 21, 2013
If you’re down to camwhore, an RT from Hunna can send your follow count through the roof. For guys it’s a little harder: to get Hunter’s attention you’re gonna have to eat your own cum or Vine yourself pissing through the window of the McDonald’s drive-thru.
— tangerine girl (@fallen_lucy) November 21, 2013
4. Go Full Tsaernev
At the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s pressure cooker bomb blew up. And then so did his Twitter. We’re not citing the Djokar as an example to follow any more than we’re condoning his (alleged) crimes. As a social media case study, however, it shows that the quickest way to gain notoriety in this world is by doing something heinous. Follow him if you must but don’t expect an RT from Jahar any time soon.
I'm a stress free kind of guy
— Jahar (@J_tsar) April 17, 2013
5. Go to war with a celeb
Starting a Twitter spat with a celeb is a great way of getting noticed. Goad your quarry hard enough and you might even get them to rage quit the internet. Just ask last year’s X-Factor winner James Arthur who found himself dragged into a war of words with battle rapper Micky Worthless. Two diss tracks later and James Arthur was choking on his own homophobic apologies, leaving Micky Worthless to merrily mop up Twitter followers and issue a few final taunts.
MICKY, PLEASE STOP MAKING YOUR MUSIC
— Micky Worthless (@mickyworthless) November 19, 2013
IT IS NOT VERY GOOD
— Micky Worthless (@mickyworthless) November 19, 2013
After taking a panning from Matt Lucas and Frankie Boyle among others, Arthur was eventually forced to commit digital suicide. That’s right, he quit Twitter, leaving his management team to tweet out bland platitudes to the talentless derp’s two million followers.
It's hard not to be childish sometimes when society is such a playground right now. #LOVE JA HQ
— James Arthur (@JamesArthur23) November 20, 2013
Winning, 140 chars at a time
To summarise then, if you’re looking to supercharge your follow count, you’ve got six options:
1. Wake up abroad
2. Dispense drugs
3. Get naked
4. Become a terrorist
5. Torment a celeb
And the sixth one? Why, the sixth option is to tweet engaging content, be witty, interact with other users and generate debate, but let’s face it, that sounds like way too much effort.
Shock tactics it is then.
@JamesArthur23 I feel sorry for them too, because they'll have to watch you in panto next year
— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) November 16, 2013