Today I’m privileged to feature a wonderful social web success story from my friend Imad Naffa. He recently told me about being re-tweeted by Queen Rania of Jordan and how he increased his business by 25 percent in six months through Twitter alone. I hope you enjoy learning from Imad as much as I have:
Imad, first tell us about your famous tweet and how it was picked up by the queen.
I left Jordan to come to the US in 1980. I headed straight to Fresno State in California, and enrolled in the Civil Engineering program. I was 17, so I was old enough to have a lot of memories of growing up in Amman (the capital of Jordan). During those years I met one of Amman’s cultural icons, the “Peanut Man” and I posted my experience on my Blog.
I knew Queen Rania of Jordan was active on social media and had numerous followers. I wrote her via Twitter to let her know of my blog post about the “Peanut Man.” Since the Jordan Times, a local Jordanian Newspaper, wrote about him, I figured the Queen would be interested in the post I added. Sure enough, she re-tweeted my post. In a follow up post, she noted that she met him, was sad of his passing away, and added a picture of her and the Peanut Man in downtown Amman. The picture appears in my blog post (and above).
You told me your tweet went crazy. How did you know it went viral?
Queen Rania has about 1.2 million Twitter followers. Once she re-tweeted my blog post, I noticed dozens of re-tweets of her post. Obviously, her followers picked up on the story and wanted to share with their followers. Most of the people that re-tweeted the Queen’s post were new visitors to my account.
Did the Queen follow you back?
Queen Rania is not following me at this time. We communicated via @messages. I post on technical topics, social media and world affairs. I’m afraid I post too much and will overwhelm the Queen’s account if she was to follow me. She only follows 56 people!
You have a large and loyal following, Imad. How did you build your Twitter audience?
The key for me was that I already had a passion for the Internet and providing resources for building code and construction topics. I’ve developed web sites and software over the last 20 years. Twitter allowed me to broadcast these offerings and I found there was a great need for such information globally.
But I learned that technical information would not do it alone. Once I branched out by posting on other topics I was interested in, there was a great increase in the followers. Once I started providing information on a myriad of topics like the economy, sustainable energy, culture, and social media, my number of followers increased dramatically and rapidly.
How do you use Twitter for your business and how do you assess its effectiveness?
Twitter has allowed me access international professionals in my field that I would not have met otherwise. Now I’m collaborating with engineers and architects in the UK, Africa and the Middle East on topics relating to their building codes and construction projects.
In addition, I am now able to broadcast to a large international audience the many technical offerings that I developed over the years and are a must-have tools for architects, engineers, developers and code enforcement officials. The number of subscribers to my web-based engineering offerings have increased by at least 25 percent in the last six months alone due to Twitter. I can track where the users are coming from, and that’s how I’m able to assess the increase in traffic to my web sites and online offerings.
Imad Naffa is Founder, President and Sr. Engineer, NAFFA International, Fresno, CA. Follow him at @imadnaffa.