I’m no Twitter expert. 16k isn’t really a massive number. But I just wanted to share what I did in my first 12 months trying to build a following.
Here’s what I think I did right:
1. Give away insane value
Whatever your industry, SEO, PPC, Social, FBA etc, think of valuable information you can give away regularly. I realised that SEO Twitter were going crazy about “Niche Websites” and low competition niches.
I tweeted something one day with some keywords in Ahrefs and it got way more interest than many other of my tweets. I decided to do it more often and it worked to get me more followers.
As well as this I created a WordPress plugin called Query Hunter. Initially created as a little experiment for my own niche sites I quickly realised it could be useful for lots of people. Especially since SEO Twitter were going crazy about niche sites.
I could have sold this tool but I decided to give it away (in return for an email address) using Gumroad. Because it was free, it got shared. People were sharing and tagging me in as the creator. This gained me a lot of followers.
If you have a low follower count, and your goal is to raise it, consider giving away insane value. Whether its information, tools, ideas. You can sell something at a later date.
2. Meet people IRL
Going out into the real world helps your digital following too. Make an effort to meet people, go to events/conferences and don’t hide behind the keyboard.
You magically get more recommendations and credibility.
For example, I met up with 4 other entrepreneurs in Barcelona, regularly going for Steak, beers. We end up retweeting, liking each-others tweets, their followers follow me, my followers follow them. It has a network effect that ripples harder than pure digital.
I also went to an SEO/affiliate conference called Affiliate Gathering, meeting a lot of SEO Twitter in real life, including Niche Site Lady, who ended up sharing Query Hunter. I suspect if I hadn’t of met her irl, she would have gave my DM less attention.
3. Don’t tweet platitudes. Have a personality.
I think it helps to simply be yourself on Twitter. Tweet random stuff about your thoughts. Your dislikes, your annoyances, cool restaurants you’ve been too etc. You don’t have to always talk shop.
Also don’t tweet platitudes. You know, stuff like “follow your passion, money will follow”. Not true btw.
The more unique your tweets, the more curiosity. There’s stuff you know that loads of people don’t. Little habits, life hacks.
4. Retweet & comment giveaways
You’ve all seen this annoying “‘like & comment’ and I’ll DM you a copy”. Well it kinda works. Don’t overdo this, but for 0-10000 followers it’s a nice growth hack to grow your followers faster
HypeFury has an option to set this up.
Essentially you’ll want to use the value you create from step 1, and ask people to like, comment, retweet to get the value. This gives you lots of exposure.
Be warned, a lot of Twitter hate this stuff. I’d recommend actually giving away some value in your tweet, but having people do the action (like, comment etc) to get the FULL value (spreadsheet, report etc).
5. Tweet every day & see what sticks
I urge you to tweet every day. I think I missed one or two days in the year. Forcing yourself to tweet everyday grows your idea muscle, gives you more confidence, and also gives you more data to see what your audience are responding to.
Audience responding to data and charts? Double down on that.
Audience responding to pics of food? Double down on that.
Be careful in doubling down that you are not growing the wrong kind of audience. This can be counter productive. You’re probably growing your audience for a reason, sell a product, get clients, email list, etc. You want to build the right kind of audience.
For example, I doubled down on niche site tweets, but the audience I actually wanted to grow was SEO agency owners. I managed to pivot a little, and the niche site audience does help get me some reach, but I managed to realise that my ‘likes’ were a false prophet.
Better to get less likes and follows from the right people.
That’s a wrap!
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Joe Davies is the cofounder of FATJOE. He also created the popular WP plugin Query Hunter.