Twitter Is the Chaos Realm and Demands Fealty
You can gain followers by tweeting quotes, pictures of puppies, and random memes, yes.
My best tip?
Talk mad crap. But don’t worry. It won’t mandate being hateful or hurting people.
Think of Twitter like professional wrestling. There’s a lot of noise that’s separate from reality.
Smack talk and banter will explode your metrics.
You Don’t Even Have to Nail a Homerun Joke
I’ll give you a simple personal example.
I don’t really delve into politics much. However, my patience is completely sapped with Trump’s tweets. We’re weeks after November 3rd and he’s still refusing to concede an election he’s clearly lost. He’s tweeting all types of conspiracy theories about a stolen election.
Even for The Don, he’s taken a turn off the deep end. Which had me wondering. His Twitter account averages one million new followers a month. Has his descent into madness changed that?
So I replied to one of his tweets yesterday:
It’s now one day later:
As I refreshed this page, the tweet was getting 100 views per second in the first hour. Traffic was spilling over onto my Twitter profile page. Medium links were seeing a surge in clicks.
Part of me died inside because, years ago, I had a spoof account (fake name) that generated 25K followers in two months. It was before my writing career. I tweeted jokes and left wacky comments on posts. I’m kicking myself now because anytime I plugged a link there was an avalanche of traffic to whatever I’d shared.
Why did I delete this account?
Twitter kurfuffles are a fantastic mechanism to build up traffic. It doesn’t require racism, or cursing, or name-calling (that’ll get you banned anyway).
Just be direct. Don’t slander. Think banter. Brands do it all the time.
I’m a Hypocrite
I’ve long preached that one shouldn’t argue on the internet or get emotionally invested. I still stand by that position. Internet arguments are a total waste of time — if your goal is to change minds.
If you’re trying to build a following for business reasons? There are rich fields of green to explore.
Two days ago, I came across a disguised marketing tweet and fell for it, getting triggered:
I was like, “Bro, you’ve got to be kidding me. 42nd??”
Then, like a mouse to a trap, I went to his profile page:
He’s a character. It’s all schtick (a gimmick) and a clever one at that.
Most of his tweets include a typo or some factual inaccuracy that lures people into an argument with him. He responds by bragging about his waterbed that he financed and the 500 DVDs he owns. Or his impeccable record as a youth football coach.
The “wow" and “wtf” effect magnetizes traffic to your home page.
He sells books via a tweet that is pinned to his profile.
It’s all safe as any reasonable person can zoom in and see he’s playing up a character.
So start thinking about the voice you’d like to establish. Or even a character-driven profile you could create.
A Few Premise Driven Twitter Accounts
One of my favorites is SavedYouaClick. You tag them when you see those stupid clickbait articles that make you click 20 times to see what they’re talking about. Tag them and they’ll spoil the tweet.
A premise punctures the chaos of Twitter.
Lastly, Embrace the Degraded Culture of Twitter
It is not a land of literary puritans. There’s little nuance. Binary speak does well. Load it up.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit with people. Make jokes. Have fun. Don’t take it personally. Don’t hurt anyone.
It’s a good exercise in wit. Yes, you’ll get trolled. But you’ll also get followers. Nobody on Twitter takes the place seriously anymore anyway.
The people that do, don’t gain a lot of traction. Just sayin’. Punch with big, loud ideas. Tweeting, “Happy humpday! enjoy your Wednesday!!!” Will get you nowhere.
The key takeaway: provide lots of value to your audience that isn’t a link to your product. Drama isn’t all bad. Just be bold and have an opinion. Or even, better, a joke.