Hate him or love him the man is smart, hard working and he’s using the internet cleverly to influence the Zimbabwe’s most populous age group – the so called “born frees”.
Here are 5 things to learn about Professor Jonathan Moyo‘s winning Twitter strategy:
1. Show the Behind the Scenes Work!
Keyword, “Work”. The one thing Moyo’s friends and foes agree on is that the man is a hard worker. With this going for him, he’s using the internet to change a common perception about his party’s politicians: that they sit around doing nothing, only to get up to make new promises come election campaign season.
More sights from interactive meeting with staff at Midlands State University in Gweru from 10am to 5pm Thursday! pic.twitter.com/9ncmOs4Pn4
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) October 8, 2015
2. It’s not about you! Listen and Engage
Unlike most politicians & brands on social media, Jonathan Moyo listen & engages. He replies, retweets and comments. He knows that while his opinions are important, there’s nothing that influences a person more than listening to them. He also uses the opportunity to learn what and how ordinary people think about stuff going on around them. It’s a classic application of Mao’s wisdom: “Learn from the masses, and then teach them.”
— Kelvin Mupungu (@mtkelvin) October 3, 2015
3. Call a spade a spade and Own your opinions
The born free generation have a short span of attention and won’t read long elaborate ideologies. Cut to the chase and say what you think. Own your opinions, that way the audience either strongly agree or disagree – and both reactions are good for engagement and influence. Try to please everyone and your talk is too shallow for anyone to bother. Some politicians have been known to delete their tweets after posting them and facing a backlash from the #twimbos. Once he’s tweeted, Moyo owns his opinions and doesn’t run for cover when it goes south.
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) September 28, 2015
4. A spade even when calling a comrade out
Moyo has demonstrated on many occasions that even his comrades and himself have made and continue to make mistakes. That way he shows his audience a different image of his party; that they are not always right but are well intentioned.
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) June 19, 2015
5. To Do It Well, Commit Time
Jonathan Moyo joined Twitter on 9 February 2015, and in the short time has already tweeted close to 9,000 times and has over 26,000 followers. The professor tweets the most during the weekends and around 9PM, time that the half hearted are either asleep, or enjoying a time of pleasure.
6. Wit & humour are always helpful – well, when the audience gets it!
The tweet below was retweeted some 112 times and favourited 117 times!
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) July 7, 2015
7. Be Human
Moyo’s tweets are national/international politics and national development. As should be, but he still tweets about football (he’s an Arsenal fan!) and other things. Such tweets get lots of engagement too because his followers are identify with a fellow fan. At those moments, he’s not a Zanu-PF politician, or minister, he’s just human.
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) September 19, 2015
Note: While his brilliant at Twitter, sadly the professor doesn’t score as many points on the Facebook side of social media, and as a politician, this is a big mistake he’s making. There’s a reason the 16 – 35 age group is called the Facebook Generation, and there’s a also reason why Strive Masiyiwa has 1 million Facebook followers but just 50,000 on Twitter.