Growth September 15, 2020

Lessons Learned Growing to 6000 Twitter Followers Over the Summer

Brandon Zhang @brandonthezhang

I am not going to tell you to engage, to comment, to post quality content. Everyone says that.

This is just some of my personal observation on my journey. Definitely by no means a twitter expert.

Raw Statistics:

June:
New Followers: 619
Tweets: 837
Impressions: 607k

July:
New Followers: 1273 (+654)
Tweets: 1055 (+218)
Impressions: 1.36M

August:
New Followers: 2885 (+1612)
Tweets: 1240 (+185)
Impressions: 2.05M

1. The Hedonic Treadmill

Success comes in waves. You get a shoutout, a RT, a big account follows you.

You get a dopamine hit from the 200 followers. The next day you get 2. It's ok to feel bad.

Don't. Stay consistent, and you will get another big break.

2. The Lighthouse

This idea was inspired by Matthew Kobach

Keep tweeting about interesting ideas that come to your head. People will tell you your niche for you.

They tag you in related posts, comments, discussions. You become the lighthouse for that niche. You become the perceived expert or authority in the field. Once you dominate an area, you achieve organic growth.

3. Conversational Energy

Conversations are not distractions.

By talking to the people that inspire you, you should be leaving each conversation inspired.

Talk to them about ideas, projects to improve yourself. Use Twitter to make connections that give you valuable inputs on ideas, advice on your next move, and high-quality content.

Open your DM's, do not answer every one, but by virtue of having an open inbox, the opportunity will go your way as serendipity moves to you.

4. Idea Generation

Everything is a remix. There are opportunity for ideas everywhere.

What is a tweet you found on VC twitter that you could apply to your niche? What is a lesson from a boot-strapped case study that you found interesting?

What recent article can you remix? Look to create your own content by connecting ideas from different fields.

5. Tweet from Abundance

Never stare at a blank page. Always be taking notes of your ideas and thoughts, build an information capture system.

Have a collection of your random thoughts that you can share into the world.

Main source of growth:

  1. Over 500 followers came from being tagged numerous times in a James Clear tweet, where he asked who are some people that should be followed that are under 10k followers. Although this was a big inflection point for me, I was only tagged because I have been tweeting consistently before then.

  2. Since college has now started, I am using Hypefury to automate 10 tweets a day. This is a system I am testing and if the results do not show, and if my voice becomes to feel too automated I will switch the system up.

  3. Working with Jack Butcher for Visualize Value, I had Jack on my podcast and then decided to email him about a potential working agreement over the summer. We decided to extend it going forward into the school year and working with him has presented a couple of RTs that has led growth.

  4. Write threads. But tell a story with them. This is an area I want to get better at. Capturing peoples attention over 40+ tweets to give them the equivalent value of an article.

Main goal growing forward is to network using Twitter to meet cool people to invite on the podcast and learn about their models, businesses, and beliefs. If you want to reach out please do find me.

https://twitter.com/brandonthezhang

  1. 3

    In August I reached 200 followers on Twitter, not a big number but for me is huge!

    I want to take it serious and started to push my Twitter account doing some experiments to find out what it works and what not for me.

    Actions I have taken (and fails):

    • Unfollowing accounts that have no sense for my purpose, only caused noise in feed.
    • Find interesting people to follow and learn from them.
    • Bookmark everything that may be useful.
    • Starting replying to big (+10k followers) and small (-1k followers) accounts, but only If I have something to add. No replying for nothing.
    • I get some answers from big accounts and that gives me visibility.
    • I wrote a mini thread and had some engagement.
    • I tried to post some tweets with images but didn't engaged, still I have to find out what works on this.
    • I post a tweet with the # for Apple Event 2020, lots of likes, but not engagement.

    I'm planning a thread on Twitter about my little journey and showing my stats.

    Very excited to see the results, maybe I get 0 engagement but I learned a lot and it inspires me to continue!

  2. 2

    Great results Brandon! Nice tips for Indiehackers.

    Creators are in the best position to grow their twitter account. It's a natural form of credibility.

    Show people the growth (and struggles) you go through.

    Gaining a following will just be a consequence of the value you bring to Twitter.

    For others: everyone starts at 0 followers. Don't tweet 10x a day on your own timeline. You're literally talking to a wall. Find an audience by following and engaging with other accounts in your niche. You will get noticed. You will get followers.

    And yes, use Hypefury to automate your Twitter experience, of course ;-)

  3. 1

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown! As someone who has never really used Twitter and has zero understanding of the platform I gotta say... 1,240 tweets in one month?! You're posting 2.5 tweets every hour? That sounds like a) A full time job and b) A nightmare.

    Am I wrong? Do you enjoy using Twitter?

    1. 1

      A lot of the tweets are also replies just saying Thank you or responding to simple questions

      1. 1

        Makes sense - thanks. I'll be honest, that number scared me a bit!

  4. 1

    This is great! I Will apply these, see what works out for me, and give you feedback

  5. 1

    This has to be the most practical advice. I can resonate here with a lot of points.

  6. 1

    Great advice, looking to kickstart my twitter account soon (never used it before)

  7. 1

    Thanks, your advice stands out.

  8. 1

    Keep tweeting about interesting ideas that come to your head. People will tell you your niche for you.

    I don't get this.

    zero

    but let's try it. 200 Tweets/month :)

    Welcome btw.

    1. 2

      Thanks for the welcome. The community really is very warm.

      The idea behind that is that once you tweet clearly about a defined area (let's say specifically subscription entertainment SaaS products), people will start to see you as the "subscription entertainment SaaS" guy and will start to loop you in on all the conversations.

      1. 1

        So it should be in or around a niche, right. It's not like any random but great idea. This self containment is kinda bothers me, I'm not sure if I stick to a persona or free as hell and share whatever I find interesting. I've read many many people struggling with their first a few followers so I don't know if I start broader and get specific in time, or be on the same topic from first tweet.

        1. 1

          Totally understand, I also do not have one singular niche that I always post in. That is generally for people who really know what they want to specialize in. There is definitely still room of Twitter for people who want to share general and polymathic thoughts to grow.

  9. 1

    Great tips and insights. Watching Brandon execute this playbook out in the public has been amazing!

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