How I used twitter video to get to No.1 in two Amazon categories in 12 hours

Once upon a time I thought twitter wasn’t for me.

The first time I ever logged in I can remember feeling like a social outcast. Do you remember being at school and all the social cliques? There’d be the beautiful people, the chavs, the goths etc. They all had their own codes for communication and ways of doing things. If you weren’t in with their group you didn’t understand how they did things.

For me, twitter was like a clique that I didn’t belong to. All the hashtags, ‘@’ symbols, links and tiny urls mixed in with the English made me feel like I’d walked into a room where everyone said they spoke English but, actually, they were speaking an English dialect in a heavy accent.

I didn’t understand it and walked away.

However, ambition got the better of me. I kept hearing about how powerful twitter was for business so I came back to have another look. I kept on coming back and my understanding began to increase.

Getting to grips with twitter

It wasn’t until 2015 that I really started to properly get to grips with twitter for business. I learnt about the automated follow tool Manage Flitter and used that for a while to build my following. I started allocating my followers to lists in a methodical way so I could dip in and out of lists to retweet other people’s stuff and start building relationships. I also started using the tool, Edgar, to automate my content sharing on the platform.

All this was going really well. I built my following to over 2000 and was getting consistent traffic to my website.

Then, in February this year (2016), I held a webinar. I wanted to drum up attendees without spending any money. This is where my lists came into play. I targeted one list and systematically went through it tweeting and direct messaging people to tell them about the webinar. I more than doubled my target number of people to sign up for the webinar, built my list significantly and increased my profile on twitter.

Launching my Kindle book

I then decided I wanted to launch a Kindle book to act as a lead magnet. Amazon acts as a search engine and if I could offer something that was easily found in Amazon search I could use that book to build my email list.

I thought I’d use twitter to promote my book in the same way that I’d used it to promote my webinar. Then, something new happened.

I’d just joined Janet Murray’s Soulful PR Facebook Community and found out about her live event in London. I signed up to the event and Janet tweeted me a personalised video greeting thanking me for signing up. It was a wonderful personal touch.

I then heard Chris Marr talking about using video to personalise your communication on twitter on Janet’s podcast.

I had a bit of an ‘Aha!’ moment. I thought, I could use twitter video instead of just tweets or direct messages to contact all the people on my twitter list. I knew it was going to be time consuming but I had a hunch that it would be worth it.

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Personalised twitter videos

My Kindle book, Revision Quickstart Guide: Get Revising and Learn How to Pass Exams in Just 30 Minutes, was free for the first five days. On the Monday morning I set to making personalised twitter videos.

I started by sending them to my most loyal twitter followers – the ones who daily retweeted my blog posts. I’d say something along these lines:

‘Hi {insert name}, it’s Lucy from I just wanted to thank you for being a really loyal twitter follower and retweeting my stuff all the time. I wanted to let you know that my new Kindle book is out this week and it’s free until Friday. I wanted to give you the chance to download it while it’s free.’

In the tweet I’d put the @name of the person I was tweeting and a link to the book.

These tweets were mainly retweeted.

By the Wednesday I got brave and started sending these videos to people who I hadn’t previously had twitter contact with. I chose some people with thousands of followers who are in my field of education and introduced myself to them by twitter video.
The response was very positive. Pretty much all of these people retweeted my video and I had some great responses e.g. ‘Wow! What a wonderful personalised response!’

The outcome

Within the first twelve hours of me starting to promote the book it had reached number 1 in two Amazon categories. By the end of the week it had over 800 downloads and thirteen 5* reviews.

To be fair, I used other strategies to promote the book like emailing my list and sharing it in Facebook groups. However, I’m pretty certain that the twitter video tactic was very important in driving so many downloads.

Other spin-off benefits included having a networking call with someone in my field of work. This could turn into a useful alliance in the future.

Putting the ‘social’ back into media

The reason that I think this strategy worked is because it had the personal touch. On our blogs, twitter, Facebook and email (along with all the others…) we tend to broadcast. However much we try to tap into the language of our ideal customer or write to ‘one person’ it’s hard to make this broadcasting personal.

The point with my videos was that I spoke to each person by name and tailored my message to them and their interests. I was truly social and personal. As one of the recipients of my videos said “You just can’t ignore a video where someone addressed you by name. It would just be rude.”

I realise that there are limitations to this method – it’s time consuming for a start. However, I can see that it’s very powerful in quickly building meaningful relationships with influencers and potential customers and definitely has it’s place in my future marketing strategy.


Social media needs to be social.

Too many of us come to it to promote our businesses with the equivalent of a digital fog-horn wanting to blurt out our business messages to anyone who will listen. What you actually need to do is to be genuine and authentic. Work the digital room in the old-fashioned way, shaking hands with everyone you meet and making a personal connection. You also need to stand out and do something different.

I’d like to thank Chris for giving me the the idea to get behind the camera and use twitter video to promote my book. After years of trial and failure with this campaign I achieved both the personal touch and I did something different with my twitter video campaign. Now I’m looking forward to the next time I get to put it into action and see the magic happen!

Your turn…

  1. Have you tried twitter video?
  2. Can you see how twitter video could help you to make stronger connection?
  3. What benefits have you seen from using twitter video?

Let me know by joining in the comments section below.


Lucy ParsonsLucy Parsons empowers 15-18 year olds to get the top grades in their exams and into the best universities. She’s interested in using social media to spread the word about her work. Her book Revision Quickstart Guide: Get Revising and Learn How to Pass Exams in Just 30 Minutes is available on Amazon. Connect with Lucy on her website or twitter (@LucyCParsons).

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.