Phillip Smith

Ignore the social media gurus. Just follow the Walrus magazine on Twitter.

Okay, here's an objective for your organization, or publication, this year:

  • On Feb 23rd at 6:57 AM, the Walrus Magazine -- a general interest magazine about Canada -- joined Twitter and had zero followers.

  • On Feb 24th at 7:23 PM, I wrote a blog post about being impressed by their approach. They had less than 50 followers when I wrote that post citing their witty and fun take on how to "do Twitter."

  • Today, they posted this Tweet "Alright, let's get to 4,000 followers, shall we? RT this and be entered to win a free subscription."
  • Now they have more than 4000 followers. (Translation: more than 4000 real people who want to hear from them: marketing, promotions, contests, and all.)

The person behind the Walrus Twitter account is a someone I know in Toronto; a writer, editor, and a generally witty and smart person, but not a "social media guru" (by profession, at least). This person also has a "regular" -- i.e.: important and traditional -- job at The Walrus. I mention that to emphasize that the "Twittering" is part of the job, not something done on the side.

With some focus, the Walrus has grown its following in just six short months. They have gone from zero to more than 4000 followers. If ever there were a model of how to "do Twitter right" for a magazine, this is it.

If your organization or publication is interested in marketing with smarts not $s, take note. (And fire your "social media guru.")

UPDATE: It was pointed out (on Twitter) that another Canadian magazine -- Best Health Magazine -- has managed to grow their following to more than 7,000 in just ten months. Ain't Canada great?


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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