Robin Hood Society — How to Capitalize on Your 15 minutes of Internet Fame
Be prepared. You never know when you might get mistaken for the big story of the day and unexpectedly go viral.
There you are an organization toiling away in relative obscurity when a big story breaks about another organization with a similar name. Suddenly your Twitter account is blowing up. Are you prepared to handle it?
This is where the World Wide Robin Hood Society found itself this week after the Robin Hood App catapulted into notoriety for its role in the GameStop/Redditt story. For more about Robin Hood’s role check out Steve LeVine’s How Robinhood Went From Hero to Villain in 48 Hours.
Many people turned to @robinhood on Twitter to air their strong feelings. The only problem is the @robinhood account is run by the Robin Hood Society not the Robin Hood App whose handle is @robinhoodapp.
What happens next is a master class in how to handle sudden unexpected attention and harness it to grow your brand awareness and reach. There are many lessons about what to do when you find yourself in the spotlight and how to position yourself to be ready to catch a wave and ride it for all its worth.
Own the name
The Robin Hood Society was well-positioned because it owned the @robinhood handle. Never underestimate the value of the right name at the right time.
Strike the right tone
The Robin Hood Twitter account began the day on Thursday, Feb. 28 with under 400 followers. By Friday morning they had over 40,000.
Their first tweet after realizing what was happening set the tone for all the tweets that followed. “Lovely to have all these new followers .. can we just check that you know that you’re following The World Wide Robin Hood Society in Nottingham and not the Robin Hood App .. if so .. a big welcome from Sherwood”
There is not a hint of anger, frustration, or being overwhelmed. Even more importantly those who made a mistake are welcomed and not ridiculed in any way.
The wording of the tweet is also subtly and charmingly British in a way that is catnip to Americans.
Stay in character and on-brand
The next direct tweet maintains the same upbeat tone. People are redirected gently in a way likely to cause a smile rather than frustration.
In all subsequent tweets and replies, the account remains in character and on brand.
Tie in to the big story while promoting your own agenda
According to their website, “The World Wide Robin Hood Society is an internet-based organisation that globally promotes the Robin Hood legend and its associations with Nottingham and Sherwood Forest.” The viral story in this case with its elements of pitting the rich again the common person ties directly to the original Robin Hood story.
Engage with your followers
While the follower count continued to shoot up, Robin Hood kept responding to the various comments.
Are you ready if attention turns to you?
For the World Wide Robin Hood Society, this was the perfect scenario. A major news story and a mistaken name drove people to their twitter account. They responded so perfectly to this initial surge that their follower base skyrocketed.
It is hard to predict when and where internet lightning will strike for any individual, company, or organization. But there are steps you can take to be prepared.
- Own the name: Sometimes you are too late to nab the perfect name, but do the best you can to stake your claim in all social media venues.
- Strike the right tone: Give some thought to your social media persona. How does it fit your brand?
- Stay in character and on-brand: Live into the role.
- Tie into the big story while promoting your own agenda: How can you bring things back to the goals and aims of your organization?
- Engage with your followers: If you want to keep the buzz going you’ll need to invest some time into replying when people interact with you.
How far will this attention take the Robin Hood Society? Hard to say but the initial results look good!