10 Jamaican Brands to Follow on twitter

By Laurelle Taylor

I don’t know if it’s because I’m proud to be Jamaican but when I heard the phrase Jamaican Brand “Jamaican” is what automatically jumped out at me. I thought a Jamaican brand had to be unique (quite like everything Jamaican). It probably wouldn’t be too hard to find 10 Jamaican Brands but when you toss Twitter into the mix.

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Twitter is something that I take very seriously (even though my Twitter game is getting kinda weak). There are quite a few things that are integral to having a ‘good twitter account’ and being a ‘good tweeter’. I came up with a list of criteria that any good Jamaican Brand on Twitter should meet.

A Good Jamaican Brand’s Twitter account  should have:

  1. High reach – a lot followers and ReTweets
  2. High levels of interaction with followers – respond frequently to mentions (good or bad)
  3. ONE Brand Identity/Personality- Tweets should come across to followers as if the brand was a single person(as opposed to a robot employee) and that person was the same person tweeting all the time.
  4. Jamaican-ness- a brand can’t really be ‘Jamaican’ and not BE JAMAICAN

So here’s my list of 10 Jamaican Brands to Follow on Twitter.

The Jamaica Gleaner (@JamaicaGleaner) – The Jamaica Gleaner’s account has 73,256 followers who constantly ReTweet  and tweet about their tweets. While they do not ‘reply’ to their mentions they do ReTweet every tweet they’re mentioned in. They post news stories as they occur and cover news that may not have made it to the press or TV which makes their account relevant. While their account lacks personality their level of interaction, reach and frequency far outweighs this and makes them a good Jamaican Brand to follow.

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Appleton Jamaica RUM (@AppletonJamaica) – Appleton has 3,757 followers. This may seem like a small number for this brand but they’ve managed to secure very influential followers like DJ’s and local celebrities who carry a massive following. They ReTweet every tweet they’re mentioned in and promote all of the events they are sponsoring through their page. They also think about the kinds of followers they have along with what’s hot at the time and try to engage followers using hot topics. Appleton Rum is something that has helped to put Jamaica on the map ad is something Jamaicans identify with which makes the a good Jamaican brand to follow.

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Rough Rider Jamaica (@Roughriderja) – Rough Rider is one of Jamaica’s leading condom brands which has a twitter account like no other hosted by their brand rep “Desire”, who is the incredibly sexy version of Flow from Progressive, spreading the joy of sex to all her followers. They have 1,256 dedicated followers who reply  and ReTweet every single tweet. This is probably as a result of the personality of the brand which is very upfront and real about sex and sexuality. They prove that sex sells because their reach is far greater than the 1,256 followers they have. They maintain an unbeatable level of interaction as they give as many direct responses as they do ReTweets. This makes them a great Jamaican Brand to follow for sure.

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The Jamaica Observer (@JamaicaObserver) – The Jamaica Observer has 69,081 followers who ReTweet and read the content they post. While they don’t have a high level of interaction with their followers their high reach and frequency far outweigh this as the information is relevant to time and place. This Jamaican brand is also a good brand to follow.

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The UWI Mona Guild of Students (@UWIMonaGuild) – The University of the West Indies Mona Campus’ Guild Council represents 15,000 students living in Jamaica and is a brand which is the immediate future of the region. Their twitter account has 2,136 (and counting) followers which comprise the councilors and many influential others on and off the campus. This account has a personality that is down-to-earth and young, allowing them to communicate with their followers with ease. They have a very high frequency and reach and can be seen responding and ReTweeting all tweets they are mentioned in. Their new campaign is all about “#iRepMyGuild” and “My Guild, Your Guild, Our Guild” which is in an effort to regain their relevance to their constituents.

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Digicel Jamaica (@Digicel_Jamaica) – Digicel Jamaica’s Twitter page is by far one of the best examples of using Twitter for Public Relations (Not promotion…public relations). They follow 6,749 people and respond to most of the mentions they get from their 56,873 followers who complain, commend or just beg credit daily. They have a distinct personality that is helpful, humorous (we all see them make fun of the competition) and ultimately listen’s to the concerns of their followers. Digicel Jamaica is a Jamaican Brand that is definitely worth following.

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Smirnoff Jamaica (@SmirnoffJamaica) – Smirnoff is a well supported brand in the Jamaican market. On this basis along it would be good to follow them. They tweet multiple times daily to their 3,434 followers. However, they are lacking in the interaction area because they ask questions and don’t response to their followers answers. They maintain and posh and elite persona which keeps their followers following and everyone wanting to be a part. While they may not seem like they are worth following… Jamaicans like Smirnoff so they follow them… which makes them a brand to follow.

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Dr. The Honourable Ambassador Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt)  – Now I’m sure you’re thinking how exactly Usain Bolt comes into this list but if you think about it you will appreciate why. Usain Bolt is a brand both for himself and for Jamaica. He is a global icon that has put Jamaica on the map and is a worldwide name. Whether we love his personality or dislike it, he has one. He interacts with all of his fans/supporters and he is certainly Jamaican in everything he does (from the flashy cars and high rolling to the Black, Green & Gold he carries across the finish line in 9.48 seconds). And I don’t even have to mention his whopping 2,833,549 and counting followers.

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~Fiction Lounge~ (@FictionJamaica) – Fiction Lounge is a club that offers ‘the ultimate nightlife’ experience.   It has a brand identity which is in line with first class treatment and top class experience. They have an active twitter account which has 5,723 followers. They tweet about what’s going on in the club each night and publicize themes for the weekly events such as their iconic Ultra Inclusive Saturdays. They respond and ReTweet tweets they are mentioned in and even go as far as searching for keywords and respond to those tweets.

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As you can see, I only found 9 brands that I felt comfortable recommending (even though I promised 10). These brands to me are the only ones that balance the criteria I outlined and make up for areas they are lacking in. This also shows that many Jamaican brands are not utilizing Twitter the way they should. Twitter is one of the easiest ways to build a personal relationship with clients. If done properly brands can reach a stage where they can ask their followers anything on Twitter and expect most of their followers to respond. The brands I’ve outlined have reach this stage with their Twitter accounts in some way or another. Brands need to realize that the way to get their Twitter account to have impact on followers and use to them is not set in stone but is dependent on the nature of their brand and the personality they want their brand to have. Each brands path to an effective Twitter account should be tailored to suit that specific brand.
So if your brand didn’t make the list stop it just means you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how you can increase your followers, interact more with the existing ones, imprint your brands unique identity in the minds of followers and maintaining relevance by being Jamaican.

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