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29 Comments

At what point did your follower number skyrocket?

For context I'm at 99 followers, and I naturally assume that:

More followers = More likes / retweets = More engagement = More followers.

I personally am trying to grow an audience so I can launch products easier, having a big following helps that.

  1. 5

    After years of being at a few hundred, I shot up to 2k after launching usehooks.com. Follower growth has slowed down since.. but at 4k now. I wouldn’t worry too much about follower count though. All it takes is one influential follower to retweet your stuff, so focus more on who’s following you than total number.

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      Nice! I always see you around so I understand why your numbers have shot up.

  2. 3

    Your tweet quality matters more than anything. Great tweets will tend to spread (i.e. get retweeted), and average tweets won't. Having a high follower count helps, but it's mostly just a way to ensure your great tweets get exposed to lots of people, so they have a higher chance of spreading.

    While you're low on followers, spend more time engaging with others. Have conversations. When you respond to popular tweets, your tweets get more visibility. If your tweets are good, people will visit your profile and consider following. The @IndieHackers Twitter account provides lots of opportunity to engage.

    Looking at your timeline, my other recommendation would be to consider you readers more. What's valuable to them? It seems like you're prioritizing tweets that are easy for you to make, but imo you should instead think more about what readers want to see as they're scrolling through their timelines.

    Yes, this will require putting more time and effort into each tweet. But the competition here is easier than you'd think. Few people on Twitter are putting in that time and effort.

    1. 2

      I have mixed feelings about good content quality.

      Most of the tweets on Twitter are about success/motivation/quotes etc.

      I was actively tweeting in 2020 at some periods. I tweeted different kinds of content:

      • Complex threads with interesting information (e.g. explaining UI stuff)
      • Jokes
      • Random tweets about my life
      • etc

      It turned out that I had 2 viral tweets:

      1. First is joke
      2. Second is a reference to IH post about "Heck it's not easy" (meaning it's not easy to build a profitable product)

      It's pretty demotivation when you carefully work on content and nobody retweets it. And I don't think that the problem is that the tweet is not interesting.

      I think people just tend to scroll their feeds and the most important is to catch their eye.

      So the most efficient is:

      1. Make a good post
      2. Package it in a catchy way. Emojies, Controversial headings etc.

      ALSO

      I got much more spikes of followers when I posted something outside of twitter with the link to my twitter. This works for sure. E.g. post something on HN or IH.

      1. 2

        A friend of mine grew their account from 20k in July to 65k today. They've been dedicating 1-2 full days per week to Twitter, every week, for 5 months. I've been in contact and I'm 100% certain that tweet format and quality matter more than anything. It's not about emojis or controversy or catching people's eyes in any other way. It's about making tweets that people want to retweet.

        The best thing to do is to invest the time into researching how the fastest-growing accounts are doing it, then reverse engineer their tweets.

        1. 1

          I can imagine who you're talking about. There's definitely a well planned strategy behind his growth! Maybe you could invite him again on the podcast to talk about that.

    2. 1

      This was crazy good advice. Only four days and I've already had so much happen.

    3. 1

      How do you customize for a follower base as they have a fair mix of interests? Will it not dilute one's messaging if they are focusing on a specific type of content?

  3. 3

    More followers doesn't necessarily imply more engagement. I have almost 2.9K followers and most of my tweets get very little or no engagement, likely not much more than yours.

    1. 1

      Yeah I have definitely suspected that. Do you have statistics on engagement? I suspect it's < 5%. Your impressions must be large though... that's also appealing for me.

      1. 2

        Here's some data to give you an idea. My tweets get an average of 3-400 impressions, with engagement around 3-5%.

        This means that if, say, I tweet a link, 5-10 users may click it at best. The same goes for calls to action.

        1. 1

          What's your Twitter? I've found that you need to give value first, so tweet threads and stuff like that. Don't post links and CTAs because people will see through it.

        2. 1

          I suspect strategic use of hashtags could increase engagement and impressions significantly.

          1. 1

            In my experience hashtags don't seem to make much of a difference.

        3. 1

          Hey thanks for replying, good data point

          1. 2

            You're welcome.

            Over the past few months I've been trying to tweet more. I'm noticing a slight correlation between the effort I put into the content and the engagement I. get

  4. 2

    Discussion in this thread is super useful. Thanks everyone!

    My 2 cents: I've around 115 impressions/tweet for 126 tweets in past 4 weeks. But I've just 40ish followers. Looks like I've good average for the kind of followers I have.

    Also, my tweets get around 50 impressions and replies get 150+ impressions. So my direct reach is pretty low.

    My engagement rate is 2% which again looks okay with a low follower base.

  5. 2

    I recently went on a rant about App Store rejection with a true personal story and the tweet got retweeted by DHH which generated 262 likes and probably 30 new followers.

    As you can see I'm very new to Twitter. In fact, the tweet mentioned above is only my second tweet. Call it beginner's luck. I didn't plan it, it just came straight from the heart.

    1. 1

      #growthack, saying something targeted at apple that you suspect dhh will retweet.

      Funny you're commenting here though saw your thread and it definitely angered me as well.

  6. 2

    Working on the climb right now myself. At 480 from 450 at the beginning of the year.

    1. link to your Twitter account from your projects. This is the main source of followers for me at first, I put a CTA in the footer next to a description of who I am.

    2. being active helps quite a bit, respond to other's tweets, as the more activity, the more chances you have to be seen... hope it is obvious, but don't spam or harass people.

    3. after you interact with people, that's a great time to follow them, and possibly get that reciprocal follow. Especially if you just provided value.

    1. 1

      Damn! That's quite the jump already. Linking is definitely a good idea, will have to do a btter job there. I am definitely going to start engaging more, will aim for 10 replies a day and see how that goes.

      1. 2

        One of my goals of 2021 is to build my following to 1000. I've been pretty active over the last 2 or 3 weeks. Posting 1 thing a day (little interest) but commenting on others posts really helped with interaction. Good luck!

        1. 1

          Good luck and noted!

  7. 2

    When someone with over 100k followers on twitter started following me and I made a post about it.Then the next day I made a post that did really well, over 1k likes and 100k impressions

  8. 1

    My tweet number 1,060 was the one that skyrocketed my growth (from 250 to 800 followers). I had to tweet over 1k times to get there though.

    My advice, be patient, stick to a niche and try to make authentic connections early on.

    If you want to check the tweet, this is it

  9. 1

    Twitter is a hard place to gain followers. I think people who created accounts in the early days grew quickly. I've been active on twitter for 5+ years and have not passed 1,500 (32 away). I post and try try to engage with others but for the most part its hard to get followers.
    Want to help get me to 1,500 :) I post about my extension development and blog post.

    Follow me @Tim_Leland

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