I'm not going to pretend I've cracked the Twitter game. Far from it.
But, I've taken notice of people who seem to have it figured out. These are lessons from those people, not me.
Here are some practical ways people are growing on Twitter.
Dagobert Renouf shares the lessons he has learned (plus memes)
If you haven't noticed, Dagobert Renouf is trending in the Startups topic almost daily now. Here is what I've observed from his growing success on Twitter so far:
He never talks about his product. Ironic, isn't it? Yet, talking about the product makes people less likely to be curious. Nobody likes to be sold to. His product, Logology, is a perfect fit for founders and startups, yet you’ll never hear him so much as whisper a word about it.
Tweets about his journey: the mistakes he's made, the expectations he had, and the hard lessons he learned. Vulnerability and openness are key themes to his tweets.
Creates memes about common startup truths. If it's funny and you totally agree with it. It's hard not to "like" it.
Uses the term "startup" in his tweets. This gets the tweets shown in the Startups topic.
Replies often. I see him in all of my tweets (just about) and always liking and responding thoughtfully to others (because his likes and comments also appear in my feed. Thanks for spamming my feed, man. Joking.
Only talks about startups (for the most part, as far as I can tell). I think it's key to tweet about a topic so you become known for that thing. Right now, I think of this guy as the startup meme king ;)
Retweets his own tweets (for additional exposure)
Andrea Bosoni’s Insightful Tweets
Andrea Bosoni is growing by sharing practical advice and insights. Here are a few observations about Andrea's Tweets:
Tweets once per day, proving that you don't need to be super active to grow on Twitter. He saves his best thoughts for his one daily tweet.
Never links to his product. From what I gather, linking is seen as a penalty on most platforms because it encourages people to leave.
Andrea has a way of talking about his product (Zero to Marketing Newsletter) in the context of marketing tips, without ever linking to the domain.
Bonus: if his tweet generates decent traction, he'll talk about the tweet (because this also fits into his marketing persona).
Stays within his lane, always on topic. You will never find Andrea talking about anything not related to marketing. He is THE marketing guy and that's all you'll ever think of him if you see his tweets.
Blake Emal’s Distilled Knowledge
This guy is a Twitter maestro!
Here is what I can gather from Blake's tweets, I only hope I don't make an idiot of myself by missing half of the things he does really well...
Distills ideas and knowledge into insightful tweets. With Blake, it's all about delivering value. I dare you to visit his profile and tell me you didn't learn something!
Tweets about growing on Twitter. Who doesn't want to know how to grow on Twitter? Since Blake is a CMO, this falls right into his turf. Plus, he has social cred to back it up.
Retweets his own tweets (I presume to hit multiple time zones for exposure). I see a bunch of people griping about retweeting yourself, or becoming a "thread boy", but none of those people produce anything of value. Blake's tweets are pure value, the exact opposite.
Never talks about copy.ai except when he retweets something from someone on the team.
Here are commonalities between these 3 people when it comes to growing on Twitter:
- Never talk about their products
- Tweet daily
- Tweet thoughtful things
- Deliver some sort of value (for the most part, their accounts are not about them).
Additional Twitter Growth Observations
Of course, there are hundreds of other creators who also offer a wealth of insights into Twitter growth. Here are some of the observations I’ve made over time:
Respect people’s time and only share the most value-packed tweets possible like Lim
Engage with people in DMs like Mustafa
Mustafa Khundmiri engages with people in DMs when he finds interesting people to talk to. This helps create stronger connections and naturally pulls people to engage with our tweets.
If you want to expedite this process, instead of engaging with every one of your followers in DMs, you could use tools like ilo Analytics to see which of your followers are more likely to aid in your Twitter growth.
I have recently started doing this a bit more strategically by checking which of my followers have the most engagement on their timeline and reaching out to make connections with those people. You can see that my personal growth has been increasing steadily, but more so recently.
Of course, my goal is not purely engagement, I also enjoy the friendships that form over time.
Share your own Twitter journey like Aadit
It may seem strange to talk about growing on Twitter while you're still learning, but here I am doing just that. Approach the topic as a learner. Someone will find it valuable!
Aadit Sheth regularly shares his growth on Twitter and provides valuable tips on how you can replicate his success:
Be genuine like Damon
Damon Chen exploded seemingly overnight on Twitter. His signature trademark? Just being Damon. He tweets about his journey from a full-time developer to a solo founder. He also regularly shares how he values his testimonial.to customer relationships and elevates users above all.
Curate information like Csaba
Even if you have zero thoughts or you’re a total beginner at everything, you can always find and curate information. With so much content out there daily, curators are super valuable and always worth a follow.
Csaba Kissi is a master curator. His tweets are focused on developers and regularly get thousands of likes:
Build Twitter tools and share transparently like Tony
Tony Dinh not only speaks the truth to connect to his audience of developers, but he also builds tools to help people grow on Twitter. While his account does not follow any fixed format (you’ll often see him talk about his product DevUtils), he has a genuinely good human vibe about him that’s easy to connect to.
What I like about Tony’s tweets is that they are not all technical in nature, so even non-devs can relate.
Engage with your audience by asking questions like Dan
I doubt Dan does this with any intent, but asking questions to advance your own knowledge kills three birds with one stone:
- You learn something
- People who follow you also get to learn that thing
- Generates engagement, which pushes up the tweet into people’s timelines and relevant topics (if you wanted to be strategic about it)
I think the key is to ask questions that benefit others (e.g. What is the best ____?)
One rule to rule them all
If I had to conclude this by identifying one rule of Twitter everyone must follow it would be to engage and stay on topic (ok, that’s two rules).
Personally, I am still making the mistake of veering off-topic. I’m not sure if anyone really knows me as the “ ___ guy”. What bucket do you add Gene to?
While I generally tweet around the topic of startups (I sell products like SaaS Blocks and Swipe.page, which help startup founders), I still have a hard time staying in my lane. If you can overcome this challenge and create an identity for yourself, I think you’ll have a much easier time growing on Twitter.
Gene is a growth designer who makes products for SaaS founders. He shares his journey, tips, and insights regularly at gene.design.