Growth September 25, 2020

#008 - How My Tweet Reached 40,000 People and Hit the Top of Reddit (3-min)

Ryland King @rylandking

I tried for 3 years.

Yesterday (finally) one of my Tweets went viral.

#1 post of r/webdev all day
850+ upvotes
400+ likes
150+ followers on Twitter
100+ retweets

Ryland's Tweet analytics

Here's why I think it was successful.

1. I Told a Story

Humans are wired for stories.

It's how our ancestors communicated for years.

Beyond that, this was a personal story with photos showing me doing it.

Like this one:

Social proof on tweet

2. I Tagged People

If I would have just shared the story,

it wouldn't have worked.

What I also did was tag all the people who (unknowingly) helped me throughout my journey/story.

Like here, and here, and here.

Tagging people in tweet

Let's be real.

It doesn't happen every time.

Take Pieter Levels' retweet...

He liked it right away, but he didn't retweet it.

The next day I quote tweeted that the story hit the top of Reddit's r/webdev (550k members).

Quote tweeting my tweet

and like 36 hours after the initial tweet, he retweeted it!

Pieter Level's retweeting Ryland King's tweet

(And he DM'd me,

which I'm abashedly so stoked about.

Dude's a legend.)

3. I Promoted It on Other Platforms

I promoted it on Reddit, Twitter,, and obviously here on Indie Hackers.

And on each, I didn't just share the link

I spent 30-60 minutes customizing it for each platform.

I wanted it to blend right in.

Rewriting the article for Reddit's style

Without doing this, none of the virality happens.

4. I Summarized Useful Links & Tips

The tweet was long

and I felt like there were so many good links in it.

So I summarized the links to all the tutorials as well as my 5 top takeaways from the whole experience.

Like this:

People love summaries on bottom of articles

5. I Made a Crazy Specific Retweet Ask

I could have just said, "Please retweet if you liked it!"

Instead, I told them to retweet the exact first tweet in the thread

Here's exactly what I said:

Directly asking for a retweet

I stole this ask from @harrydry thread style.

Actually, tbh, I learned all of this from this Harry's Marketing Examples' article.

6. I Showed Up Every Day for 50+ Days Before This Happened

The biggest difference today vs last year?

I'm showing up every day.

Show up every day where your people are

I'm giving myself more opportunities for success.

Big moments like this don't happen every day.

Not even most days.

But because I'm continually showing up, they happen.

  1. 2

    Well done Ryland! Congratulations.

    1. 1

      Thanks, Josh! Appreciate you taking a moment to read it.

  2. 2

    Great tips and thanks for sharing!

    1. 2

      Right on. Thanks, Josh! Appreciate you taking the time to read it and share your quick I thoughts.

  3. 2

    Lots of info!! Well written!!

    1. 2

      Cheers, @upenv! Appreciate you taking a moment to read it

  4. 2

    Big moments like this don't happen every day. But because I'm continually showing up, they happen.

    If this is the takeaway, yeah it's not going to happen everyday.

    Gratz btw.

      1. 3

        Don't get me wrong, I've read another break-down success story on twitter growth (searched but failed to find). He had some points as you do, you have two in common, show up everyday, mention big bois.

        Many people showing up everyday, I doubt it's the key.

        Whenever you offer someone a social approval, it's more likely to get an engagement. (It's easy to improve the chances by following their posting times, if he's silent for a while, he needs to share something. If you present such a tweet in a silver spoon, then you nailed.)

        That's all what I say, show up everyday but poke the popular guys in your niche with mutual beneficiary tweets. Not like "oh I love your product, retweet, like, bla bla" but "I couldn't achieved this without @bruh's latest book." 💥

        1. 1

          Totally. I don't think there is any one trick to it.

          I just wanted to outline what I think is working for me. :-)

  5. 1

    Where is your tweet ?

    1. 2

      Hey Aarvy, Here's the link to the tweet. Cheers

      1. 2

        That's a great thread. Followed you man. Can you advise me on the same line? I am a programmer and just started learning how to market my software product.

        Its been 4 months I m posting on twitter but hardy get 20 impressions.

        here i am

        1. 1
          1. Don’t give up. You can do it. Keep showing up every day.

          2. But show up every with a little more knowledge of how Twitter works. Read Alex Llull and Daniel Vasallo’s work on growing an audience.

          Here’s a summary of Daniel’s Anyone Can Grow a Twitter course:

          It’s well worth it.

          1. 2

            Hi, I was following Randal Kanna for long. I guess she is the one main reason people buying daniel's course. The exact same came to my mind. I was thinking to buy it but was a little skeptical. Thanks

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