August 25, 2013
The twitter account OU Crushes prompts Bobcats to share their love interests with followers, while OU Confessions invites Bobcats to share confessions of any nature. These confessions may range from heartfelt to down right disturbing. The unpredictable nature of the twitter account may be one of the many reasons why this account has become so popular.
OU Confessions was started by an OU sophomore who said she was looking to break her post-spring break boredom by trying something new. Two OU juniors and one senior said they experienced a different sort of inspiration before creating the account, OU Crushes. At the time, they all had crushes on fellow students in their classes, and they decided to create the account after they found themselves too shy to admit their own affections. All four of these students have opted to remain anonymous creators of these accounts.
Both OU Crushes and OU Confessions operate similarly. Users can make anonymous submissions of 140 characters or less through links on the accounts’ homepages. The administrators of the accounts can then select submissions and post them to their Twitter feed. At no point are the administrators of either account made aware of the submitters’ identities.
Although these tweets may be seen as offensive or unprofessional, we may be able to learn a thing or two from the creators of these accounts. One lesson that may be taken away from their success is, how to “gain and retain followers.”
Gain and Retain
The anonymous creators of these two twitter accounts have not only been successful at starting these accounts, but they have conquered the art of maintaining them.
OU Crushes managed to gain 6,300 followers in only three weeks time. About five months later, OU Crushes now has a total of 7,552 followers, coming in second place to OU Confessions, which now has 10,585 followers.
Both of these accounts used some of the same tactics to gain and retain their followers, starting with persistence.
1. Persistence is Key Both of these accounts have gained followers rapidly, and continue to keep those followers because they are constantly posting new tweets. OU Crushes and OU Confessions now average at least five tweets a day, and when they originated they posted at least 10 tweets with a 24-hour span.
The creators made sure that it would be impossible to forget about the existence of either of these accounts. It is time consuming to maintain anonymous accounts, but they have never failed to keep up with their followers’ expectations.
2. Relating to Your Audience In order to keep followers, you have to post material that keeps your followers interested. OU Confessions and OU Crushes are known for posting unpredictable content, which often includes x-rated material. These accounts were created for Ohio University students, so the tweets they post are geared towards an audience of Bobcats. In order to keep followers interested, these accounts have to sort through tweets sent into them, and choose the material they want to repost on their Twitter feed.
They do a great job of sorting, because they often repost tweets that include information that only OU students, or alumni can relate to. They mention the names of buildings on campus, uptown bars, and sororities or fraternities for example. They also keep their audience interested by crossing boundaries that no one has crossed before. There aren’t many twitter accounts that are bold enough to somehow associate themselves with Ohio University, yet post content that would be considered x-rated.
3. Think Outside the Box Everything originates from an idea. The creators of these accounts implemented an idea that had never been attempted at Ohio University, and they ended up with great success. When working in a professional setting, it may be easy to lose sight of your creativity and innovativeness, but these accounts may teach you how important it is to implement your ideas.
-Tori Carras is a organizational communication major with specializations in strategic communications and marketing. Follow her at @tcarras2.