The Sesame Street Twitter Strategy

We should all be authentically Elmo.

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It’s 7 am, I just downed an energy drink, and I need to pack. 3 conferences in 3 different cities in 2 weeks might’ve been a little ambitious. I’m off to Nashville today to chat with Teachable’s top course creators, but when I come back, I’m getting a little me time. Metal show on Friday (Periphery rips), then I thinkkk I’m hitting this 3×3 basketball tournament in NYC (because I’m physically incapable of turning down hoops invites).

But hey, let’s talk about Elmo.

Sesame Street’s new Twitter Strategy

218 million views. On a tweet. A text-only tweet. Because our dear Elmo talked to us like an ol’ pal we hadn’t chatted with in awhile. The viralty earned national news coverage, getting love from NPR, CNN, WaPo, The New York Times, and pretty much everyone.

What’s even better? It’s entirely the result of Sesame Street’s new Twitter strategy & maybe the best proof-of-concept a brand could ever ask for.

Making the muppets more people-y

Is the Muppet Economy a thing? It must be. We talk about the Creator Economy all the time—how people on social would rather follow people, why we chomp & slurp Creator-originated brands like Feastables & Prime. It only makes sense for Sesame Street to build more awareness by making their characters into Creators.

Elmo, Big Bird, & Cookie Monster have always had their own Twitter accounts, but their personalities have developed more now—they have modern tastes, opinions on real-life happenings (the PG ones, anyway), and tweet more like people, less like brand accounts. Like Oscar, here:

Our furry friends came to life through three shifts in social tactics.

Tactic #1: Of course they’d get into trends!

Humanizing each Muppet isn’t just about sounding more human. Each character is unique! They need their own tone, their own interests, their own tastes—full blown personalities that come to life with every tweet.

Remember in April 2023 when Elon made us start paying for Blue Checkmarks on Twitter? Right before the change, Elmo tweeted to make sure we knew he’s still our Elmo.

193,000 likes! My take: Elmo’s glass is always half full in a way we wish we were. When we see his sweeter reactions to sour moments, we can’t help but be appreciative of the perspective.

Once Sesame Street established Elmo’s voice, tone, and human interests, they can just ask themselves What Would Elmo Do? (something we should all ask ourselves every day, tbh).

For instance, the red guy’s taste for pop music is cannon now—he’s tweeted about Billie Eillish, Beyonce, and of course, Taylor Swift.

Tactic #2: chatting with us humans

The value of Community Management is an often debated topic in the social world. Content & paid tend to be the only ways to scale your audience, but CM work squarely fits that whole “do things that don’t scale” thinking.

Sesame Street decided to double down on it. From their Shorty Awards entry: “we greatly increased the rate at which the Muppets responded to everyday users, creating deep, memorable interactions with fans.”

It makes sense. Who wouldn’t want to hear from their favorite fictional characters? It’s the modern autograph. Fans will instantly retweet that special moment! In <280 character replies, the show’s able to fully lock down lifetime fans who’ll happily tell their kids how to get to Sesame Street.

Tactic #3: Muppet-to-Muppet chats

I’m the worst at texting. I just checked my phone—I have 731 unread messages right now. But because I’m as terminally online as anyone, when I see my buddy’s tweeting about something I wanna chat about, I just reply to them on Twitter… only to find they texted me about the same thing days ago.

The Great Twitterization of the Muppets now has the characters doing the same thing, even razzing each other a bit!

Remember those Oscar & Elmo tweets I shared a few words ago? Look how Cookie Monster and Big Bird got in on the fun.

It’s so, so good. Cookie Monster’s annoyance. Big Bird’s innocence. The way the social copywriting absolutely nails how our childhood favorites speak is why our love deepens with every tweet.


The proof’s in the pudding. Sesame Street’s numbers are wayyy up thanks to their new chattiness.

  • 242 million total reach

  • 5.4 million engagements (+9% year over year)

  • 47 earned media articles about the strategy

  • A finalist in copywriting & Twitter presence at The Shorty Awards

I’d really love to see them win that copywriting award. The category has some great contenders (I love the World Of Warcraft entry, too), but this is the type of creative tone that actually creates results entry that deserves recognition.

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Some Personal News

I think it’s quite important we all final personal creative pursuits outside of our creative jobs (a topic I’m writing about in an upcoming newsletter).

I started making silly little basketball videos last year about my adult comeback. My hook? “I’m a 35-year-old washed-up ex-college player just trying to get it back.” Just little movies for fun, with no strategy or ambition behind them—a little art project. Thennn it went viral. Now I have 70,000 followers watching a loppy 6’5” dude chase 25-year-old dunkers around the court.

So I made it a thing: @HowToHoopForever. I wanna help adult athletes stay in the game, build teams they love to play on, and… well, hoop forever.

I just launched my new series about Building The Perfect Rec League Team, and I’m looking for sponsors in the nutrition, wellness, athletics, travel, and hospitality areas to help pay for my teammates to play for free! If you’re interested, I’m at [email protected]—have a look at the intro video below.