The Monkey, the Bear and the Little Blue Bird

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Looking for an example of how Twitter can spread news stories faster than traditional media? Take a gander at some news items featuring some of our furry friends.

Crystal, the capuchin monkey and scene-stealing star of Night at the Museum and The Hangover 2, created a stir over the holiday weekend on a flight from Los Angeles to New Jersey. While there’s no word on whether Crystal pulled a “Depardieu” while on the plane, the primate diva did pose for pictures with fans, who then tweeted about their brush with animal greatness. Soon the big wire services ran the story along with the Twitter photos in question. Even the Los Angeles Times picked up the celebrity sighting and ran it online.

In Alberta, Canada, however, it was a bear cub that was garnering tweets. A 150-pound cub strolled through a residential neighborhood there, creating a Twitter tornado in the area among locals who had seen the bear or who wanted to know its current location. After several hours, police found the bear, tranquilized him and set him free back in the wild.

While wacky animal stories like these have populated the media forever, Twitter has put them on the forefront. Tweeting has become a viable and legitimate way for humans to spread information. Moreover, light and entertaining stories like those about our animal allies are the kind of thing Twitter users eat up with a spoon. So as Twitter marketers, we can tap into this love of lighter news stories. While we shouldn’t go crazy with the fluff, inserting fun and much-talked-about news stories (as long as they’re relevant to our business and audience) can be extremely valuable. Odd news stories garner major clicks and retweets, so thoughtfully adding one or two of those in a round of tweets could expand our audience while providing a break from business heavy content.

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