29 tips to grow on social media

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18 months ago I had 700 followers on Twitter.

Today I have over 120k across my social channels.

While there was no silver bullet to achieving this, I did learn a ton that you can replicate for yourself.

Here is a list of 29 tips to grow a small account.

1) Quantity leads to quality

Tweet an obscene amount when you start. You will never know what great content actually looks like until you make enough bad content to find out.

2) Engage with "Notch Above" accounts

Don't flock to Naval's tweets. Find someone a step ahead of you (e.g. if you're at 500, target an account with 2,000.) They just did what your next step is. Build that relationship.

3) Analyze formats and patterns

Content is king, but format is queen. Find different styles to format your posts and unique ways of saying things. Notice the patterns that successful accounts follow.

4) Study the writing of great accounts

Compile a list of accounts you personally like. What is it about their writing that sticks with you? What frameworks do they use for writing? Twitter is all about interesting writing.

Use these tools to search for the best content by certain accounts, identify good topics to post about, etc. If you master advanced search, you can reverse engineer your content strategy.

6) Document your learnings

You don't have to be an expert on something to post about it. Sharing your learnings along the way is powerful. Document the processes you're making for your work & what you're learning.

7) Play games with your online friends

This comes in many forms. Offer free work to your audience, do an AMA, give away knowledge, etc. Always be offering value.

8) Double down on the content you like creating

Don't go after the topic with the most potential. Pick the one you could talk about for hours on end. You'll stick with it, and consistency beats potential every time.

9) Install Twemex to see everyone's best content instantly

This tool lets you see any user's top content instantly, and do some search wizardry. You can also sort by "Recent Hits" for ideas.

10) Find viral content from other industries

Marketer? Look at what "Design Twitter" is talking about. Find posts that take off and figure out why. Use the patterns in formatting, writing, and sentiment in your own content.

11) Don't post links

Twitter doesn't want you helping people leave their site. Don't post too many links (or any.) You can always put links in a reply or DM them to people.

12) Build or learn in public

Sharing what you're going through and giving actionable step-by-steps is highly valuable. You'll get followers by following this consistently.

13) Start a product and grow alongside it

The biggest hack in this list. Build a product. Share the process of building it, designing it, promoting it, etc. Get people excited about a common solution.

14) Find your format and go all in

After you've posted for several months at an obscene rate, you'll start noticing patterns. You'll see what works, what doesn't. Once you find what quality content is for you, do way more of it.

15) Optimize for retweets, not likes

While retweets aren't a goal for being on Twitter, you should optimize your writing for them. Likes don't move the needle. Retweets are what cause virality. Make posts shareable & relatable.

16) Find a group of 5 supportive friend accounts

Making friends is the best way to grow because it makes it more enjoyable. Don't do this alone. Find people at a similar stage and have common goals. Push each other to do more.

17) Don't ask for anything from anyone

Stop asking people to do you favors. In the beginning, you have no leverage. Later, you should rarely use it. This is a community you're building, not a group you should manipulate.

18) Give away free stuff all the time

This can be products, services, knowledge, advice, humor, or smiles. Give give give at every turn. If you consistently give without expectation, your audience will adore you.

19) Focus 80% on the hook, 20% on the rest

Tweeting is writing. Writing is captivating attention from line to line. The first line matters most. Rework the first lines of your posts multiple times. Keep them engaging and bold.

20) Zoggle when others zig

If you're looking at what other people are doing, you're already far behind. Blaze your own trail forward. Do things that may seem weird to others in your content strategy.

21) Pick the right metrics to measure

Don't go into this blindly. Building an audience? Cool. Answer me this: why? And what metrics determine your success after 1 month? 6 months? 3 years? Follows, likes, and retweets are not good goals.

22) DM 10 new people every day

The name of the growth game is relationships. Do things that don't scale, and over time your growth will scale. Pick 10 random people to message that day, and just start a convo. No CTA, no ask.

23) DM all new followers with a unique message

This is possible early on, so take advantage of it. When you see new followers come in, DM them right away. Intro yourself and ask what content you can create for them.

24) Grow your swipe file religiously

Collect snippets of text, imagery, video, etc. in a Notion doc. Dump all new items in, organize them second. Bonus points if you share this publicly. Revisit your swipes on a weekly cadence.

25) Make your bio about them

Most bios are all like "I'm Brian and I founded 3800 startups and blah blah..." NOOOOO. Do this instead: "Dog enthusiast & serial entrepreneur. Follow me and I'll give you a free startup idea."

26) Use your location slot creatively

Locations are cool. What you're building is cooler. Set a pre-cursor to your link CTA by using the location field.

27) Give context with your profile banner

Don't make it hard for me to know what you do and why I should follow you. Your banner is a chance to visualize the value you'll bring to me. Capitalize on it. Who does this well?

28) Follow "Topics" and post content that fits in these buckets

Lemme hear you say "Underrated!" Click "Topics" in the sidebar and identify 3-5 of them to use as core keywords for your content. Then post using the keywords.

29) Make it a no-brainer to follow you

Finally, give away so much valuable info and free stuff that people would be out of their minds NOT to follow you. Make the choice for them by being THAT account.

That's all, folks!

Hope that was helpful for y'all.

I certainly wish I had a simple guide like this when I was starting out.

Have a great week!