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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

57 Things I Learned on the Way to 300,000 Followers

In January, my Twitter follower count passed the 300,000 milestone. Every time I pass a milestone, I like to reflect on it, to see what (if anything) I've learned.

Every day I get about 500 new followers (and about 150 unfollows).
I decided to list some of the things I've learned on the path to 300K followers. Here (below) is what I came up with. Take from this list what you will. This is what I've learned. Mostly.
  1. Add value.
  2. Be original.
  3. Be honest.
  4. Be unexpected.
  5. Be spontaneous: automate nothing.
  6. Be who you want to see in your own timeline.
  7. If a story is already going viral, don't be the umpteenth person to retweet it.
  8. Break the preceding rule if the item is stupendously hilarious.
  9. In general: Share high-value, unexpected stuff that hasn't made the rounds.
  10. If irony is core to your personality, use it. It will resonate.
  11. What's your personal code of ethics? How is that reflected, consistently, in your tweets?
  12. You'll make mistakes. Own up to them.
  13. If you have second thoughts about a tweet, delete it as soon as possible.
  14. Thank people. It costs you nothing and builds good will.
  15. You won't be able to please everyone. Don't make doing so a priority.
  16. It’s okay to take a break from Twitter. Your followers won't mind and they'll value your tweets even more when you come back. (Analytics prove this is so.)
  17. Be positive. Negativity is a turn-off (and encourages trolls).
  18. Trollers gonna troll. Don't engage with them.
  19. Tweets are headlines, and headlines, like any other form of high-impact writing, need to be crafted. Write, rewrite, polish, test; repeat.
  20. Only a fraction of followers will become hard-core fans/supporters. Find out who those folks are and interact with them.
  21. Only 2% to 5% of your followers are online at any given time.
  22. A really popular tweet deserves to be repeated a day or two later, but word it differently. You may be surprised to find that the second (or third! or fourth!) version gets more impressions than the original.
  23. People won't kill you if you tweet the same thing twice in 48 hours. Just don't do it 20 times in 20 hours.
  24. Try to determine if your bio is appealing to people. Tweak it. Perfect it.
  25. Use an interesting background photo.
  26. Put links in your profile so people know where else to find you.
  27. Follow high-quality accounts.
  28. Create lists to manage high-quality accounts. Some lists can be private, some public.
  29. Thank people in public for bestowing the #FF hashtag on you.
  30. Bestow the #FF hashtag on others.
  31. Add images to tweets. Text gets boring.
  32. If you never follow any celebrities, none will follow you.
  33. Well-chosen quotations can be immensely popular.
  34. Favorites have no cash value.
  35. Retweets are golden.
  36. Ignore DMs and send none.
  37. Some #hashtags have value. Most do not.
  38. When you mention a company (@Walmart) or a person (@Morgfair), use the Twitter handle. With a person, consider using the person's full name (Morgan Fairchild) *and* the handle (@Morgfair), both, if the name isn't already clear from the handle.
  39. You'll get more followbacks (and Retweets) from people who are avid Twitter addicts than from people who haven't tweeted in a month. Follow Twitterholics.
  40. Never buy followers. That would be, you know, kind of dumb.
  41. Don't follow someone who has ten followers.  Follow Twitterholics.
  42. But don't favor someone who has 20,000 followers over somebody who has 200. The person with 20K followers may have an audience of sock puppets. (Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's follower list is mostly full of dead accounts.)
  43. If a tweet strikes a chord with people, blog about it. Then tweet the blog.
  44. Reward Retweeters by periodically mentioning some of them at the end of your blog.
  45. Your timeline never dies. Some new followers (not many, but some) will read screen after screen of your old tweets.
  46. When your audience is global, there is no "best time of day."
  47. Don't tweet random, low-value fluff unless that reflects who you are.
  48. No one cares what you think about politics.
  49. If somebody else could have said it, let somebody else say it.
  50. It's okay to unfollow people who aren't tweeting, aren't retweeting, aren't providing value in their timelines.
  51. It's okay to block haters.
  52. It's okay to follow people whose politics don't match yours. You never know. Somebody might learn something from somebody.
  53. Eliminate needless words.
  54. If something goes without saying, don't say it.
  55. Provide the link.
  56. An explicit call to action produces better results than just providing a link.
  57. Everything you say and do in life is part of your personal brand. That includes your Twitter timeline.
That's my list of "learnings" from Twitter. What does yours look like?

For more Twitter learnings, see this post I did for authors who use Twitter.  

☙ ❧

I want to thank the following great tweeps for retweeting me yesterday. May you all live long and prosper. (Please follow these guys. They retweet!)


Pssst! Have you added your name to our mailing list? What the heck are you waiting for, a personal invitation from @TheTweetOfGod? Also please visit when you have a chance, and share the link with someone! 


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