Take this title with a grain of salt.
I hesitated to give this article such a cliche headline, anticipating readers might think I’m some pig-tailed gal who’s kicking it. Don’t think Twitter doesn’t take a minimal amount of effort. Like most things in life, it’s simple, but it’s not easy.
But, there are varying levels of effort one can put in to grow on Twitter. Some people knock it out of the park. They tweet multiple times a day, write threads x3 a week, and hop on Zoom calls with strangers.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of work. With less effort, I’ve managed to grow my following from 0 to ~6K in about eight months.
Growing a profile on Twitter has led to countless serendipitous interactions. I’ve met new pals, gotten scholarships, and landed freelance writing clients.
The power of Twitter is insane.
This is a guide for people who are intrigued by Twitter but aren’t interested in pouring in dozens of hours. Those who are willing to put in some effort, but their end goal isn’t to catapult themselves into the Twitter hall of fame.
I’ve spent about ten months on Twitter, and I’ve learned a few tricks. So, let me save you some time. From one reasonably lazy person to another.
1. Remix a Popular User’s Work
Roll up your sleeves. You’re actually going to have to do some work here.
You’re going to take the content of someone who’s garnered a large following on Twitter and remix it. By “remixing” I mean taking their content and turning it into a new medium.
This is going to look slightly different for everyone. In my case, this is what I did.
If you’re on Twitter, there is a good chance you follow David Perell (191K followers) and Mathew Kobach (115K followers). Last summer they released a workshop on YouTube titled “How to Crush it on Twitter.”
Multiple people wrote threads on it. Some posted their notes. But no one had a stellar resource. We were missing an ultimate guide with all the highlights.
I was the type of girl in High School who’d write these insane, colour-coded study guides. Highlights, stickers, the whole shebang. I took my natural ability to condense difficult information and aimed to create the best resource available.
I spent about 5-6 hours creating the article. I then Tweeted it out, making sure to mention both users. David and Mathew liked it and retweeted it, putting me in front of their massive audiences. To this day, it's the most popular thing I’ve ever tweeted.
As I said, this will look different for everyone. Some examples:
- If you’re good at making videos, turn someone’s tweet into a Youtube video or TikTok.
- If you’re good at animation, turn someone’s tweet into a gif or illustration.
- If you’re a particularly hands-on person, use someone’s content and apply it in real life. Then, write a thread about the experience.
- If you’re a good writer, you can turn a popular twitter user’s podcast or Youtube video into an article.
What’s critical here is you tag these large accounts and aren’t afraid to interact with them. The end goal is to get them to retweet you.
Remember, you’re doing them a favor by remixing their work. It leads to more exposure and you also learn cool things along the way. Win-win if you ask me.
Remix a popular Twitter user’s content and promote it on your profile while mentioning them.
2. Tweet Consistently and Offer Value
Shocker, right? Like, what else don’t you know. Consistency is the name of the game on any social media platform and Twitter is no exception.
Part One: Tweet Consistently
The big players tweet at least 6-10 times a day. Phew. That’s a lot.
These people are content machines. Experts at generating ideas. Make no mistake, you can do it too. It just requires a refined method.
But chances are you aren’t there yet - and I’m not either. In my case, I tweet once a day. It’s the absolute bare minimum.
It’s not much, yet I stand my case why one tweet a day is a good place to start:
- You make it easy. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, recommends you start with a habit easy enough that you don’t need the motivation to do it. With a one-tweet-a-day minimum, it becomes easy to incorporate consistent tweeting into your routine.
- It builds up over time. Tweeting once a day looks unimpressive. But a year flies by and you’ve now got 365 tweets. Out of those 365, some are bound to attract attention. It adds up.
- The first tweet opens the floodgates. This is my favorite paradox. You’ll try to come up with something to tweet and it feels like you’re squeezing water out of a rock. You’ll finally post and then something weird happens. You open a faucet. Ideas come rushing out and you’ll end tweeting more than once most days.
Part Two: Offer Value
You might be thinking, “How vague. What does that even mean?”
You’re right. “Value” is awfully vague. So, I’ll lend you a favour here. I’ve tweeted consistently for about 200 days now. I know a thing or two about what performs well, and what doesn’t. The best tweets contain these elements:
1. They’re lists. Lists makes people feel like they’re getting the good stuff right away without having to read through blocks of text. Oh, and use bullet points. It’s cleaner. On a Mac, it’s Option + 8. For Windows, Alt + 7.
P.S - Numbered lists work well too, if you have a methodology you’d like to tweet out.
2. They ask the audience a question at the end. When you ask someone to get involved, they’re more inclined to respond.
P.S - Ignore the dashes! This was before I learned how to format with bullet points.
3. They make your heart skip a beat. If you’re thinking, “Man, that’s personal. Don’t know if I want to share that.” Consider sharing it, as people relate to transparency.
4. They have some interesting numbers. For some reason, people love seeing numbers. Perhaps it makes them feel grounded and make sense of an otherwise abstract world.
With this newfound information, have it and remember: Twitter is one big experiment!
Some days, your tweets will do quite well. Other days, they flop. It’s important you don’t take it personally either way.
I like to think of it as getting in the mindset of a scientist. If the experiment (tweet) didn’t do well, I’ll just adjust my hypothesis (tweeting style) and try again next time. But like a scientist, I don’t get offended when something falls flat. Why?
Because scientists cannot control the predetermined landscape of the world. Creators cannot command the reaction from their peers. Both aren’t personal.
Tweet once a day, everyday. Tweets that perform well tend to be a list, ask a question, are personal, and include numbers.
3. Talk to People
You can be a half-lazy Twitter user and see some growth, but you can’t be shy.
If you’d like to get somewhere on the platform, it’s in your best interest to network. I know “networking” makes most people shudder, but hear me out.
Followers are great and all, but it’s not what Twitter is about. It’s about the wonderful people you connect with who have the potential to alter the trajectory of your life.
You don’t have to DM a bunch of strangers and propose to “hop on a quick call.” Networking on Twitter can look like:
- Quote tweeting someone’s post with a thoughtful response.
- Commenting on someone’s tweet with a compliment, question, or insightful remark.
- Capitalising on the momentum by direct messaging people who’ve just followed you.
I promise it’s not much work. Add it to the “tweet once a day” rule. You tweet, but you also contribute to the conversation once a day.
Once you begin to reach out, your anonymous-looking account seems friendlier. People are drawn to other people, so develop a friendly disposition and look to make friends.
Either quote tweet, comment, or DM a person once a day on Twitter.
This guide merely scratches the surface.
But, it’s a starting point. If you’re one of those people who’d like to grow on Twitter, but sees ambitious pieces of advice (tweet 6-10 times a day, set up weekly Zoom calls, x3 threads a week) and gets discouraged, this guide is for you.
You can still reap the benefits of Twitter without fully committing. What’s important is you show up and put in your reps, one day at a time. After some time you’ll notice how your miniature efforts will begin to snowball into something impressive.
As Marie Forleo says;
"You can scare yourself into stuckness by assuming you have to make radical life changes in order to make progress. You don't. Real change is practically invisible as it's happening.”
You don't have to up haul your entire social media strategy to see results. Put in a bit of effort every day. By emphasising consistency, you'll soon see the compounding effects of your efforts.
And hey, I’m always here if you need me. DM me at @alicellemee if you ever need help with anything!
Alice is a freelance content writer and copywriter for consumer tech companies, executive coaches, and entrepreneurs. Author of weekly newsletter Internetly.