Justin Timberlake has been a pop superstar for longer than many of his fans have been alive. From his first appearance on Star Search, to the Mickey Mouse Club, and on to NSYNC and his solo career, it’s no secret how he also has one of the best Twitter accounts: He’s successful at everything he does.
There are tactics which he uses to make his account so successful, and you can learn from and imitate them. You may never bring sexy back, but you can bring more followers to your account using his tactics.
How did Justin Timberlake succeed on Twitter?
Given his success in one of the most famous boy bands of all time, his solo music career, his movie career, and hilarious appearances on TV, you know exactly why Justin does so well on Twitter; he is one of the most successful pop personalities, and people automatically want to learn about him on Twitter.
There are a number of Twitter marketing tactics which we are going to look at, but first what he does best is what anyone can do:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 26, 2018
You can simply be personal. Creating a live video right in the spur of the moment is the way to connect with your followers immediately. Twitter is all about making personal connections, and there is no easier way to make a personal connection than to show yourself real and in the moment.
Scrolling through Justin’s timeline will show you the progression of what exactly he is working on. His accountant doesn’t jump from project to project. He can do 5 to 8 tweets in a row all about one specific single, album, or live show which he is focusing all of his attention on. Here’s an example:
The screenshot sbove shows three out of eight tweets in a row all about his collaboration with Chris Stapleton. What makes this work is that he keeps on showing new and different content related to the project. He’s not showing the same content over and over again, he’s showing new and different content with each tweet to build anticipation and curiosity.
Every Twitter account needs to have this sort of focus from time to time. You need those special moments in the life of your Twitter account so that you develop some sort of identity, something that your followers will remember you for.
@Many mentions of the other accounts
Justin is not afraid to tag his many friends in the pop world in order to get more retweets. Once someone he tags sees that they are getting @mentioned by Justin Timberlake they’re very likely to retweet them to their own large Twitter following. Even if he is not directly retweeted the followers of that account will still get notifications through Twitter’s algorithm. His current pinned Tweet is an excellent example of this:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 25, 2018
Above you are seeing him tagging his collaborator, Chris Stapleton. @Blogotheque is the team which filmed him, and @arturoperezjr is the video’s director.
This is not an isolated incident, he does it very often with a wide variety of accounts. He will mention companies:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 14, 2018
He will tweet about fellow musicians and their accomplishments:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) December 20, 2017
And we all know that he is ready to mention his friend Jimmy Fallon at any moment:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 9, 2017
And thank the TV gods for that. While you may not be connected to some of the biggest personalities in the pop world, you do have peers in your industry or genre which you can connect to. Or even just your friends. Just remember that Twitter is one big chat room where you can talk to pretty much anyone at any moment. The first step to start that conversation is to call their @name.
Taking advantage of trends and holidays
Justin doesn’t jump in on traditional Twitter trends, but he does tweet about trends that are directly related to the music industry:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 28, 2018
He is also a big fan of tweeting about holidays:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 15, 2018
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) October 31, 2017
When your costume is that good, you have to tweet about it. You will very seldom see Justin taking part in an ordinary trending hashtag on Twitter. He wisely focuses on big moments in his industry, and in the big moments globally. Your Twitter account should have this focus as well as you find the hashtags which are most relevant to you.
Creating his own unique hashtags
Justin has many projects on the go, and he creates unique hashtags for each one so that his fans have an easier time keeping track of them. The most recent examples include:
- #Filthy – another single
- #MOTWTour – the tour for his Man of the Woods album
He does this time and again for new singles, new albums, new collaborations, and new tours.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 8, 2018
While you may not be releasing an album that is surely going to go platinum, you can create your own unique hashtags to create your own unique stories. That is the true purpose of hashtags; to tell stories which are ongoing and connect them.
Retweeting famous accounts
No Twitter account is ever going to tweet entirely original content 100% of the time. Retweets are a major part of Twitter. Justin likes to retweet accounts which mention him, and which are popular. Here are a few examples which he has retweeted from his account:
"I always want to write music. I always want to make movies. I always want to go on tour. I don't know how long my body will let me do it." – @jtimberlake https://t.co/URmOxfJJGn pic.twitter.com/cEp8glSwgb
— Beats 1 (@Beats1) January 18, 2018
— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) January 18, 2018
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 30, 2017
You might not be getting mentioned buy some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, but you will be mentioned by someone at some point. When these opportunities come along you need to retweet them. Use a Twitter monitoring tool to do this easily. These tools will allow you to find instances where people are mentioning your name, but not using your @username.
What are Justin’s best tweet stats?
Justin is currently the 10th most popular Twitter account in the world, one position behind Cristiano Ronaldo. His current number of over 65 million Twitter followers is impressive no matter how you cut it, but he is definitely behind the number one leader Katy Perry at over 105 million. Let’s look at what else he has done on Twitter:
- Joined Twitter: He sent his first tweet on April 14, 2009, and since then has sent over 3800 tweets. That works out to about 36 tweets/month. This is much lower than Rihanna’s 104 tweets/month, but works out to a little over one tweet/day, which is about average for anyone on Twitter.
- Number of followers: Justin currently has over 65 million followers. The next closest musician is Lady Gaga with just over 76 million followers. He is the second most popular solo male performer behind Justin Bieber’s 105 million followers.
- Popular hashtags: I mentioned above that Justin likes to create his own hashtags, and some of them can really take off. After all of the work that he puts in to popularize his album with focused hashtags, his most retweeted hashtag of all time is… A joke about a meme he’s in!
Everybody… It is ACTUALLY GONNA BE MAY!#canyoumemeyourself
Probably not, right?
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) April 29, 2016
- Play along: The tweet above is him taking an infamous meme and just running with it. When it comes to Twitter, it’s best to lean into the jokes rather than try to fight them.
- First tweet: Justin started his Twitter account with a bit of an underwhelming message. It wasn’t even about Justin, it was about his record label. He asked a question and no one replied right away. This goes to show that even the biggest pop star’s need to do a little bit of Twitter marketing before they tweet.
Tennman Records released its first single today, Esmee Denters' "Outta Here". http://tinyurl.com/cs55pa. What do you think?
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) April 14, 2009
The overall feeling that you get from Justin’s account is that these messages do, for the most part, feel personal. While I’m sure he has a team working for him, I also don’t doubt that some of these tweets and videos actually come right from his fingers. A personal touch is needed on every Twitter account that is truly successful.
Justin Timberlake’s most popular tweets
Like many pop stars, Justin’s popularity peaks when he comments on global tragedies. Two of his most popular tweets concern the Manchester bombing, as well as commentary on the death of Chester Bennington:
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrific act in Manchester. We need to do better. We need to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) May 23, 2017
RIP to Chester Bennington and my sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and the Linkin Park family. Truly unique, humble frontman.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) July 21, 2017
His next two most popular tweets are a little bit more lighthearted. The first one is him commenting on Kanye talking about him on an awards show. The second one is him announcing that he is officially the Super Bowl 52 halftime performer:
Kanye is so cute, y'all.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 31, 2015
These four tweets perfectly show what Twitter is really about. The first two show someone reacting in real-time. That’s always going to be important, no matter what type of account you have. The second two tweets are about using Twitter for communication and fun. Make sure that your own Twitter account uses a mix like this.
If you don’t believe me that Twitter is supposed to be fun, here is his most retweeted tweet of all time. Yes, it is that infamous meme once again:
Hey guys… it's May.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) May 1, 2017
If you’re not up on it the meme plays on a misheard lyric.
Best Twitter accounts: Justin’s Twitter tactics
Justin uses his Twitter account as both a music marketing tool, and a personal communication tool with his fans. Here are the ways that he does this:
- He creates personal live videos.
- @Mentioning other accounts opens him up to other audiences.
- By using industry appropriate trends, and participating in holidays.
- He creates unique hashtags for his projects.
- By sharing both the happy and sad occasions in his life.
While Justin enjoys a great deal of success on Twitter thanks to a successful career in pop music, his Twitter marketing still has many strengths which anyone can learn from. Look past the pop hits, the successful movies, and the friends on TV, and you will see a well organized Twitter marketing account.