Learning the Twitters

Learning the Twitters

(Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash)

As mentioned in some previous posts, I am not someone who understands the Twitters. I'm not exactly sure for how long I've had a Twitter account for, but it's been a good couple of years, and my followers count is still loooow(68 at the time of writing).

I never really got what I was supposed to be doing on Twitter, I just new that if I tweeted stuff or asked questions, nothing happened. No responses, no conversations. Nada. And reading what the people Twitter recommended posted also seemed thoroughly uninteresting. I don't care about sports and politics or U2's latest album sale.

After a while I just assumed it was for celebrities, politicians, brands and marketers. So for many years I checked out and barely used it all.

But, starting to learn about indie hacking and product-making, it slowly dawned on me that it would probably be a good tool to connect with likeminded people, and to grow an audience of potential customers, career-leads. Or just to make good ol' friends.

Ok, that's all good and well, but how the hell are you supposed to use it without spamming, attracting hate-mobs, or simply shouting into the void?

Well, this month, I finally decided to commit to master this obscure art. My new side-project is to "get" the Twitters.

Looking at others

A few weeks ago I actively started reading up on how to use Twitter, and studying different high-follower accounts in my lane of interest.

I think I learned quite a lot with my stalki...observations, but was still kinda perplexed. Some of the accounts I was studying seemed to be following completely opposite approaches, yet have similarly large followings nonetheless.

For instance, some accounts interact with their followers a lot and some rarely do, they just post updates about their own doings. Some are always friendly and upbeat, some are occasionally snotty and dismissive. Some are following lots of other accounts, some barely follow others at all.

Then after some reflection, I think I've ascertained what works for their different approaches, and what they all might have in common.

Let's start with the intersection point - the one thing popular Twitter accounts have in common is that they offer something of unique interest or value.

How exactly they offer value can be quite diverse, but I think most fall between two broad approaches - I shall dub it the value spectrum!

The value spectrum;

  • Do and show cools stuff they found or are working on that inspires their followers (these are perhaps more introverted people)
  • Uplift, motivate, support and encourage their followers(and these would be extroverts, I guess)

Go check out the accounts you follow and see if you can place them in the, ah-hem, Value Spectrum.

Courses

While this realisation certainly helped me move in the right direction, I still felt a little lost. Some of the tweets I made that I feel were pretty rad seemed to fall flat. Or I'd share something that seemed to connect and get some followers, only to lose them again a few days later. What do?

Either by serendipity or my reticular activating system, I came across two Twitterers(what do you call Twitter people? πŸ€”) that offered courses on how they grew their own followings exponentially over a couple of months.

(Interestingly enough, I also consider them to be in roughly separate blocks of the value spectrum)

The first was Daniel Vassallo, with his course Everyone Can Build a Twitter Audience.

Daniel grew his following from a couple of hundred to 40K+ in a little over a year - truly incredible.

I would consider Daniel more in the show-cool-stuff side of the value spectrum, although he does dip into motivation quite a bit too.

I first noticed his course when the awesome @petecodes did a review on the course and said he had pretty good results from it. I was tempted to buy it too, but at $50 my inner miser balked way too much.

I read Petes' review, and those of others, and think I gleamed the gist of it though. I started implementing some of what I think Daniel recommends, and surely enough, I gained about 15 new followers over two weeks. For me, this was quite a bump.

The second course was by Danny Thompson, with his How To Get Followers On Twitter.

Similar to Daniel, Danny grew from a couple of hundred to 30K followers in 90 days!

(Hmmmm, looking at their names, maybe the key to being successful on Twitter is simply being named Daniel πŸ§πŸ€”)

Danny fits squarely in the motivational side of the value spectrum. I don't recall how I came across Danny, but he hangs out on a lot of the developer hashtags, so it was probably a drive-by scrolling event.

Now Danny's course, I DID end up buying. He convinced me with the tried and tested arm-twist of a one-time sale. I got his course for $25 or so, which felt more palatable for a bargain hunter like myself.

He also had the advantage of catching me after I had started investigating Gumroad as a sales tool, and wanted to see how others use it to sell info products. I bought it because I could investigate a Gumroad product and learn about Twitter in one go, for $25.

The course was enlightening, although he didn't really tell me anything particularly new, besides how to use Twitter analytics to measure what works and what doesn't. Still, he did confirm to me which parts of what I knew to double-down and focus on.

The courses compared

It would be interesting to see how the two courses compare. They seem to have conflicting advice on Twitter threads, for instance. I also wonder where the overlap in strategies would be.

But I can't get myself to spend another $50 on another course. I live in the third-world, and $50 works out to quite a lot here. If you're reading this and you've done both, please let me know how they compare.

Current status

So, armed with my own investigations and the gems from Danny's course, I aim to start growing my following over the next couple of months. I'll post some updates here on the blog now and again to illustrate my progress, hopefully it would be a pretty decent showing.

Here's my current stats on 4 August 2020;

As you can see, I've had some decent growth, ratio-wise at least, just doing what I THINK Daniel's recommendations and strategies are.

That or it's just because I've been more active in general. πŸ˜…πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Strategies going forward

So, going forward, I'm going to be roughly doing the following;

Do

  • Share things I find interesting, and that I think others like me would find interesting.
  • Share what I'm working on and what I learned
  • Talk to people when they say something I feel I can contribute too.
  • Help others reach more people by sharing their work and interesting tweets.
  • Follow people who post things that I find really interesting.
  • Post tweet types in the following ratio; 70% giving, 30% asking.
  • Stick mostly to topics related to product development and the digital entrepreneurial community.
  • Post frequently enough (at least once every two days)

Do not

  • Don't post anything negative, sarcastic or personally critical of someone else.
  • Don't engage in discussions about politics, religion or other divisive topics(I have a special hate for politics in particular, but that's for another post)
  • Don't follow people who post too much of anything I find off-putting and make me not want to use Twitter. Β Like those brooding on and on about the above-mentioned divisive topics, for instance.
  • Don't post random things.
  • Don't post too frequently(more than 2 times an hour)

As always, let me know what you think!

And please, follow me on the Twitters! πŸ˜„

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