Learning the Twitters - week 2

Learning the Twitters - week 2

(Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash & edited by Rik Nieu)

Last week I wrote about how my new 'side project' would be to get to grips with how to use Twitter. It's been about week since I've been using Twitter regularly and have started to really enjoy the community feel of it. This is not something I've really experienced on the platform before.

I've also started to put a lot of what I learned in the course by Danny Thompson  into practice, and it seems to be working. 🤷‍♂️😄

Tweets breed exposure - Pete's review

My tweet about my starting this whole exercise also attracted the attention of Pete from No CS Degree, due to the fact that I mentioned him.

Having a rather large following himself, he made me an offer - as an experiment, he'd do a video analysis/review of my Twitter profile for a small amount. I accepted.

Pete reviewing Rik's profile

He did quite a thorough review and gave me some excellent, actionable advice. If you want him to review your profile too, go ahead and DM him!

Besides making some recommendations on how to improve my profile header, his top 5 suggestions were;

  • Don't overuse hashtags. Most large accounts don't use them, and it looks spammy.
  • Follow more people and talk to them!
  • Do comments over likes and retweets! Twitter is about connecting!
  • Tweet about what you're working on.
  • Don't mention more than one person per tweet, it can become impersonal.

But hashtags, though

All of it sounded great and made sense. But shortly after I started wondering about the hashtags suggestion. 🧐

It certainly can look 'spammy', and from a large account's point of view it looks desperate. But here's the thing - I had less than 100 followers. I was desperate!

My feeling was that since so few people were following me, the only option I had to be noticed - beyond interacting with larger accounts and hoping for some trickle-down Twitter love - was to use hashtags with memes and motivational posts. Without overdoing it, of course.

I decided it was best to test this theory for myself to see what difference it would make, and besides, it would likely make for some more interesting reading for you too, dear reader.

I figured I'd do an A/B test where I went a full week posting stuff with hashtags and such, and then a week with almost no hashtags. I'd then compare the amount of engagements and new followers after the two weeks and make a call from there.

IndieHackers thread

I got quite a few last-minute followers a day before this post because of a IndieHackers thread where a couple of users shared their Twitter handles. I got about 18 followers just from that event alone!

I met and chatted with some really cool people who gave me ace advice on a new side project I'm brewing up(coming soon!). If I hadn't connected with them, it might have taken me ages to get vital information that would be instrumental in the success of my next project. Suddenly, Twitter was like gold to me.

Checking again now while writing this, I see that the thread has expanded a bit since I last checked it out. I'll be going back and following some more IH people after posting this, why not?

I'm not sure if most of the follows from that thread will stick around, but I'll take it for now.

Results week 1 - Hashtag week

Screen capture of Rik Nieu's twitter profile metrics
@riknieu - 4 Aug to 11 Aug

So this is the end of hashtag week, let's see what happened.

My followers increased from 68 to 116 since my last post. Even thought that's less than the hourly churn for even slightly larger accounts, for me it was a 70% increase. I'll take it!

I tweeted a whole lot more and increased my impressions from 29K to 81K. My profile visits went from 405 to 1031, a 150% increase!

I think the large delta between the increase in profile visits and increase in followers is due to my profile not really being that targeted yet. I'm still figuring out what exactly I want to do, but I'm pretty sure that when I do niche down, it'll improve a bit.

Next up - less hashtags, more sharing

The next week or so will be the hashtag-less leg of my experiment. It would be interesting to see what the difference in outcomes are.

I suppose the comparison might be slightly inaccurate because, obviously, the more followers you have, the more exposure you have, and thus the higher the rate in increase of followers, but my profile is likely still small enough that it doesn't matter that much. I'll just compare at the ratios and pretend it's all par. 😅

I also want to try and share what I'm working on more(like this post!). This is going to be a bit challenging because my day-job is currently consuming pretty much all my time, and I can't really share much about what I'm doing there. This doesn't leave my much time for my own stuff but I'll try and make a plan.

Thanks for reading, and as always, let me know what you think on Twitter. Also, sign up below👇 to be the first to know when I post new blog post here!

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