I see a lot of threads on here about how to grow your Twitter following or build an audience on the platform.
For the last 2 months, I've been running some experiments.
&& have I some data to share!
First of all: I am not an expert at Twitter. Despite building a fairly reputable name and brand for my company over the last 4 years, I've largely ignored my own brand (whoops) and just tweeted for shits and giggles. Until the start of 2020, I think I had under 1,000 total followers.
Got serious about this sometime around September and decided to invest some time in trying to grow my reach.
I'm far from rock-star status, of course, but I have managed to grow my following from ~1,100 to 1,700 in the last 2 months.
Here's what I learned.
My hypothesis was that there were 2 ways to grow your Twitter audience:
So, I tested both.
I'm using the word "viral" in quotes because I think it's a bit of a stupid term. And, of course, going viral is extremely relative.
I mostly tweet about startups, marketing, SEO, etc. So the universe is pretty large. My level of "virality" is small, but pretty large for someone like me without a huge existing audience.
Long story short: I shared 2 pieces of content in the last 2 months as native Twitter threads that received a significant amount of engagement and impressions relative to my normal reach.
Each of these was a tweet thread, so subsequent tweets also gained lots of impressions as well.
All told, the month of November led to a HUGE surge in both tweet impressions and profile views:
126k total tweet impressions. About 10k profile views.
And it netted me 280 new followers, which is a nice gain!
However, it's horribly inefficient from a conversion rate standpoint.
10k profile views / 126k impressions = 8% CTR
280 followers / 10k profile views = 3% conversion rate
That's a pretty bad funnel.
But here's the fun thing...
I accidentally ran a semi-controlled experiment that tested the efficiency of this method against using other platforms to drive followers back to Twitter. Because, in October, I didn't have any "viral" tweets, but instead gained followers by driving traffic from a popular Reddit thread back to my profile.
In October, I posted a thread on Reddit about value pricing. (I also posted a version here!)
I don't have the exact stats on the traffic or impressions that this kind of content receives because it's Reddit. But, the only link/CTA in the post was asking people to follow me on Twitter.
And here's what happened:
As you can see, I only had a fraction of the tweet impressions and profile views that occurred in November. And I didn't quite gain as many followers.
But, the efficiency is MUCH better.
194 followers / 1.2k profile views = 18% conversion rate
That's a 6x increase!
(Note: I'm leaving out the CTR calculation since most of the profile views would have landed directly on my profile after coming from Reddit.)
TL;DR - If you want to grow your Twitter audience 6x faster, share content on other platforms & include a CTA to Twitter. Stop trying to "go viral" or get people to RT you. It's a hail mary and terribly inefficient.
Which, I guess leads me to only one final thing: