This past weekend, University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware suffered a devastating injury to his leg during a March Madness game against Duke University. Although the horrific injury has put Ware’s basketball career on hold indefinitely, Ware’s social media career has flourished in the days since his injury. Ware has both inspired and caught the attention of thousands of Twitter followers, which has allowed him to quickly rise to fame in the Twittersphere.
The story of Ware’s injury became a legendary March Madness moment, which was reflected when Ware’s name began trending on Twitter worldwide through the hashtag #prayforware. Numerous fans, players and celebrities alike have sent well wishing tweets to Ware, including Lil Wayne and LeBron James.
Ware’s personal tweets showcase his unwavering positive attitude, optimism and constant support of his teammates, which have translated into a significant spike in Twitter followers. Rising by the minute, Ware currently has more than 156,000 followers – a stat that increased by tens of thousands of new followers in the days following his injury.
Aside from blowing up on Twitter, Ware has also taken the Facebook world by storm. According to Facebook, Ware has become the most talked about player on the social networking site. Mentions of Ware on Facebook have increased an impressive 196,000 percent during March Madness.
Ware’s story demonstrates that posting content with a positive tone and a forward-looking attitude is a powerful and effective method to increase one’s Twitter followers. Additionally, users who promote optimistic and useful information are more likely to receive a larger number of followers than users who post funny, critical or self-involved content onto their Twitter feed.
The grace and humility that Kevin Ware demonstrated both on the court and on his social media feed reveals that the simple concepts of maintaining a positive attitude and showing gratitude towards others are invaluable lessons in a myriad of social and professional settings, including Twitter and Facebook. So for brands and users alike who are looking for a boost in their Twitter followers, try a little optimism and kindness. And remember: you’ll attract more Twitter followers with honey than with vinegar.
— Emily Berkowitz, Spring 2013 Intern