I love Twitter. I really do. It’s the only social media where you can quickly organically grow that I’m aware of. It’s also the only one where the content is truly informative, helpful and interesting, assuming you take the time to curate your feed correctly of course.
Most people aren’t good at Twitter, though. They don’t have the right strategy. And I like to think I do. So here is how I do it.
First, let’s talk about the layout.
This is a very underrated concept, but incredibly important. The way your tweet is organized, with or without hashtags, with or without emojis, the length of the sentences… these elements all impact the performance of your tweet.
Generally speaking: the more readable, the better. This means avoid a large block of text. It’s better to have one punchline sentence, then a short paragraph following it to explain it. Or the other way around.
Additionally, avoid hashtags as they look spammy. Avoid links, people are on Twitter to be on Twitter, not to consult other websites. And avoid mentioning more than 1 person, or else it will look like an attention grab. Avoid using more than 1, maximum 2 emojis, more than that makes it look spammy.
I’m using the word avoid on purpose here. You can every now and then use these things, but make sure to do so sparingly and only when really needed.
Threads are fine, but make sure to not make them too information dense. It’s also nice to sometimes start a thread with a funny gif or picture to grab the attention of your audience. Avoid posting more than 3-5 tweets in a thread. People aren’t on Twitter to read an article.
Avoid retweeting, even with comments. People follow you to get your content, not to get other people’s content.
Growing your following
Twitter, like any other social media, is about focus.
Focus. Focus. Focus.
If you are tweeting about whatever crosses your mind, I’m nearly willing to bet my hand you will never grow a large following. Take a look at popular accounts, and you will more than probably see a lot of focus on a specific subject.
So instead of tweeting about design, economics and your life, you want to only tweet about the impact of inflation on the economy, for example. Or different types of circles in design. And your own life is most of the time uninteresting to other people, by the way.
To come back to the subject, you nearly can’t be too focused. So pick a field you are interested in, and start tweeting every single day about it. As your account grows, you will be able to very, very, very slowly start covering new subjects one by one. But again, slowly; it’s all about focus.
I’m personally heavily into crypto and philosophy, but I got most of my following from my crypto-related tweets. Because of that, I tweet once every day about crypto, and on top of that, I tweet once every two days about philosophy.
Once you pick the subject you will be focusing on, create a list of accounts specifically (and only) tweeting about that subject. Between 10 and 20 accounts is good, but the more the better (don’t make it too long though, social media growth is about long-term consistency, not random bursts of energy). The basket of these accounts should reflect the people a person interested in that subject would usually follow. This is very important.
Once your list is established, respond to every tweet these accounts tweet, whatever it is. Always respond in a subject-oriented matter. If the person is tweeting about cats, don’t go answering about dogs. Additionally, never promote your own account. Doing that will ruin your authenticity. Just consistently answer tweets from these accounts, nothing more.
Once you start doing so, you will see a rapid growth in your folowing. If you don’t, you are more than probably doing something wrong. If that’s the case, just review what you are doing in comparison with the above actions points and see what’s wrong.
Your Twitter profile picture is incredibly important. You do not want to change it every now and then. Do you see brands like Apple or Tesla change their logo every month? No you don’t. There is a reason for that, and that also explains why you should avoid as much as possible changing your profile picture.
The same applies to your display name. Do not change it if not absolutely needed.
Your Twitter bio should explain what you tweet about. Like for example “I tweet about subject”. This allows people to quickly scan your account and immediately know what they are getting into. If it’s a personal account, you may also want to add what you do for work to add some credibility.
I personally added “Reading, thinking, writing and coding” because it makes me look smarter than I am, so feel free to experiment with different types of Twitter bios.
You should pin either your most popular tweet, or a tweet most of the people checking out your profile will agree with. It’s all about maximizing the chances of that person following you.