The latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, is a golden goose. Everything in its path has turned to gold, including Twitter parody accounts. Emo Kylo Ren, @KyloR3n, is officially now its own blockbuster. Founded on December 21, 2015, the account has grow to over 666K+ followers on Twitter. That's an incredible amount of growth in just 179 tweets and 20 days.
How did this happen?
Emo Kylo Ren took a page from the Edward Snowden Twitter playbook. Snowden strategically only follows one account, @NSAgov. Emo Kylo Ren follows two: @HotTopic and @DarthVader. Strategic following shows focus and in this case, devotion.
On launch, Emo Kylo Ren targeted Hot Topic twice, but his Tweets went unanswered:
Emo Kylo continued to target Hot Topic a dozen times and began to receive responses via quote Tweets (these have greater reach than a standard reply on Twitter), which would promote Emo Kylo's Twitter handle to their 497K followers.
Since then, news outlets from USA Today to People Magazine have fanned the flames and it's only getting hotter for Emo Kylo. This parody account could not have surfaced without the help of Hot Topic, a playful brand which frequently retweets T-shirts purchased from their customers when they aren't mixing it up with the dark side.
If there has ever been a top Hot Topic fan, it's Emo Kylo Ren. It only took a week for the parody account to attain over 400K followers and achieve parity with Hot Topic on Twitter.
@HotTopic still has not exceeded half a million followers and they've had a Twitter account for nearly eight years (2,700+ days). Emo Kylo accomplished this in less than a month.
The social media community managers at Hot Topic have engaged a few times with the parody account, but if I were them I would take it up a notch and ride the Star Wars wave. It's probably better for Emo Kylo if the brand doesn't take itself too seriously, but Emo Kylo Ren's social currency just eclipsed their own and there's opportunity to be had.
It's too bad that Emo Kylo was only joking when he asked Hot Topic for a job, because they could really use his social media skills.