I've been on and off Twitter for the past 10 years but over the last four years I've been trying to build an audience. I’ve been doing it all wrong, because I thought that it’s really enough to make an account, write something every now and then, and followers will come. Boy, was I wrong.
About 2 or so years ago, I started spending more time on Twitter. I started to actively participate in the community. Followers were coming but very slowly, about 3-5 followers per week. I tried posting more. I went from 3 to 6 tweets. There was a small difference, but not enough for me. After that I thought if I publish interesting content people will start to follow me, at least that’s what every big account is doing. But there are only so many code snippets you can share before you become repetitive and like everybody else.
That’s when I started writing my blog, one day one article. I started sharing my journey. What was I finding, what problems I had, what victories I’ve achieved and I finally started getting 2-3 followers per day. It was awesome, I crossed 500 followers after 2.5 years of being active on Twitter. My growth continued. I even became a ThredStart user, I started scheduling my tweets and got excited every day.
But then, I got hacked, my account blocked, and I lost everything in literally 20 minutes. I tried to recover it, I tried for weeks, but to no avail. I was sad, honestly devastated. I spent so much time and energy and everything went down the drain. I needed a few months before I decided to make a new account.
New account new opportunity
So, I created an account and immediately contacted all my dear friends from an old account. I needed around 10 days to gather them all, eventually, I had around 30 followers. Then one day I figured, I know what my mistakes were, I am now a seasoned Twitter user, let’s see what I can do. If it doesn’t go as planned, I would literally use Twitter just to browse and communicate with my friends. So I opened the ThreadStart.io account again and I’ve started. My experiment started on the 15th of March. I had 37 followers.
On the 15th of April I had 504 followers, and the day after (at the moment of writing) 534 followers.
Nothing really changed. I am still the same person, I still post the same content. The only difference I am smarter about how I interact with people and with my content. Let’s be honest, eventually, we are all here for numbers. We can have an awesome network, great friends, excellent time, but ultimately we all need numbers. It’s in nature that if you don’t constantly go forward first you stagnate, and then you’re either gone or forgotten.
The first thing I decided to post 3 tweets per day. This was totally arbitrary number, it could as well be 163 or 28. It would honestly make no difference. 3 tweets seemed convenient. It seemed like just the right amount.
First I knew I had to go out to speak to others in order for them to notice me. If I wait for them to come it can be years before they even realize I am there, so I went out. First I found people that have anywhere between 1k and 20k, with few above 20k. Why? It is very important for those people to notice you. If you pick too big accounts like Danny Thompson it’s highly unlikely that they will notice you and give you any meaningful answer, which is exactly what you need. We will go in-depth later. So I followed those accounts and started interacting.
How to properly interact
If you want to grow on Twitter the first thing you need to learn is how to properly interact. You have to keep things in mind to be natural and to grow your numbers. Luckily it’s not that hard.
First don’t interact with something you’re not interested in. You will never see my comment on fashion unless I try to make fun of something. But you’ll see me commenting on anything related to marketing, business, and code. That’s because I love those fields.
The first rule is to always leave meaningful comments. Don’t ever put “100%”, 💯 , “I agree”, “You’re right”, etc without any additional comment. Instead of saying “I agree”, you can say “That’s something I totally relate to and agree with. I’ve had some experience and it has shown me ...” Which one of those comments seems more interesting?
Also when you leave such a short comment, 99% conversation will end there, and you don’t want that. You want it to continue. Why? Humans are pack animals, we all go where the rest of the pack goes, and the pack goes where the leader goes.
That’s why it’s important to comment on 1k to 20k. Because those people have enough followers to be an authority, yet too little to miss every comment you put. When those people start answering you, you’re on the right track. When those people start answering you their followers see and they will answer you. And that is how you gain followers.
When someone comments on your tweet or comment, never leave it that way, always answer (if it’s meaningful). Go to my profile and check my tweets. You’ll see that 99% of comments have been answered, even on the viral tweets. It does take time, but it pays off long term.
If you see that one tweet gains traction, you’ll wanna wait and don’t answer right away. Wait some time, it really depends, but this helps your tweet to stay alive longer. Every time you answer your tweet gets back to the top. This technique helped me a lot. With 4-5 tweets I got 200k-300k impressions.
Also make sure to emphasize the feeling you want to send, by utilizing the power of emojis. If you put just bare text it can be interpreted in the wrong way. And emojis help to lift the overall feeling. E.g. “I wish you the best” and “I wish you the best 🥳🥳🥳🚀🚀”. Which of these two tweets wishes the best more?
Be nice, constantly. Even when you don’t feel like it. Be nice!
As I said for commenting, the same goes for your own tweets. Never tweet something you don’t mean, something you don’t relate to. Pick a field and stick to it. Sometimes it can be 2-3 fields, but be clear about those. If you receive a comment, reply to it.
Try to diversify your tweets. The most common should be standard tweets, then media tweets, then threads. I am not sure of the numbers, still haven’t experimented with the ratio of those tweets, but I believe that one media tweet every day or two is enough, one thread per week, and the rest are regular tweets.
How much time do I need for this
A lot. I like to open Twitter every hour for a few minutes to answer all the comments I have. Sometimes I scroll through Twitter find something interesting, put my comment there, and continue. But the real fight is when I come home. I can spend several hours because I really enjoy being on Twitter and having conversations 😁
As you can see I tweet quite a lot, this is including replies. My current record is 208 tweets for one day.
Now, this is where ThreadStart.io comes in. Thanks to this awesome tool I can schedule my tweets several days in advance. Also, ThreadStart has an option where I can answer all my tweets and comments without ever leaving the tool. That’s awesome because it saves me time and I can stay focused. I don’t spend hours on Twitter after I make a few comments.
Engage with medium-sized accounts first. Any account between 1k to 20k is great, because we have bigger opportunity to be spotted earlier.
Never interact with something you’re not interested in.
Leave meaningful comments, and avoid generic ones.
Try to keep conversation alive for a longer period of time by interacting with someone who interacted with you
Be nice always
Use tweet scheduling tools like threadstart.io
Being successful on Twitter means working a lot and spending a lot of time online, especially in the beginning. Only a handful of people managed to become successful “overnight”. Growing steadily means having a more engaging audience. Growing after having viral tweets often means losing a certain number of followers after a few days. The reason for that is that they liked your viral tweet, but overall they don’t find your content interesting.
Whatever I did I tried to be genuine. I tweeted some tweets on my profile because I wanted when someone visits my profile to see some content on it. Most of the time I spent commenting some meaningful comments on others’ tweets. I would give everything to keep the conversation as long as possible so that more people can come in. Always be nice, even if you don’t feel like it. If you can use some tweet scheduling tool like ThreadStart.io
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. I'm @SikiraAmer and I love tweeting about marketing, business, and code.