The best way to get more Twitter followers
Imagine having a tool that can automatically detect JPA and Hibernate performance issues. Hypersistence Optimizer is that tool!
In this article, I’m going to share some tips that will help you get more Twitter followers by delivering high-quality content and increasing your audience engagement.
Why even get more Twitter followers?
I’m a teacher at heart. Whether I’m writing articles, a book, record video courses, or do training, I like to create content that can help others get a better understanding of certain topics. But, you cannot be a teacher without having students. So, spending time crafting high-quality content that’s also easy to understand is useless if you cannot deliver it to the right audience.
Thanks to the Internet, we can now share our content with millions of people, and Twitter is a great way to close the gap between persons sharing a common interest.
But before I start, I want to clear up that getting more Twitter followers is not merely a goal that you should seek, but a means by which you can achieve the goal of connecting to your audience.
My Twitter journey
It was 2013, and I was having this crazy idea of starting a blog. After publishing some articles, I saw there is traffic coming from Twitter, a social media platform I had never tried before. So, on the 23rd of December 2013, I created a Twitter account and wrote my first tweet to Lukas Eder and Petri Kainulainen.
Right from the start, I connected my blog with Twitter so that whenever I published an article, it would be published on Twitter as well. Since I didn’t know anything about Twitter, I decided to hang out a little bit on it and see how it’s like. To my surprise, I realized that this platform was actually pretty awesome.
Fast forward 7 years later, my Twitter audience grew to 25,000 followers, which is definitely beyond my wildest expectations.
As you’ll see, this article is not going to teach you how to get thousands of followers overnight. Instead, it will provide a list of tips you can use to build a vibrant community of people that share the same interests.
Create awesome content and start sharing it. The more you share your knowledge, the more people will want to learn from you.
Before discovering Twitter, my social network was limited to my hometown, where the IT community was only emerging, therefore lacking some role models whose success stories could inspire others as well.
But on Twitter, it was a totally different story. I was now a few clicks away from meeting so many people who not only were the best in their niche, but knew how to create and deliver great content, no matter if it was an article, a video, or a conference talk.
Following people on Twitter allows you to learn a lot of stuff. For instance, in my case, I wanted to learn more about the database and distributed systems, SQL, data processing, as well as how you can run your own tech-based business. On Twitter, I managed to find the right persons I could learn from. This was so much better as all the great content was now filtered by people who had way more experience than me in this field.
From Lukas Eder, I learned the importance of answering StackOverflow questions, write high-quality articles, and speak at conferences. The way he runs Data Geekery, the company behind jOOQ, is a wonderful lesson of tech entrepreneurship.
From Adam Bien, I learned that you should publish your own books and focus on what you really love, even if it’s not the hype technology du jour.
From Eugen Paraschiv, I learned to focus on products rather than consulting due to the compound interest effect. It was Eugen’s success with his video courses that motivated me to create my own video courses.
As Farrah Gray said, you should build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. So, from Jay Kreps and Neha Narkhede, I learned that you should take the leap of faith and follow your dreams. As ex-LinkedIn employees who worked on Kafka, Jay and Neha started their own company, Confluent, which, 6 years later, has a valuation of 6.5 billion.
And that’s not all. So many more persons have inspired me all this time. If you take the time to analyze your role models, you will learn many tricks that will help you as well. After you succeed, you should share your story with others, and this cycle can continue.
If you want to become an expert in a given technology, you have to start writing about it. You'll learn way more than just reading documentation.— Vlad Mihalcea (@vlad_mihalcea) October 17, 2020
Follow your role models, learn from them, and pay it forward!
Minding the gap
Besides meeting great professionals, I love how you can easily get in contact with large companies. What other social media platform allows you to get that level of interaction?
Hi Vlad, thanks for reaching out! Both answers are correct.— Microsoft SQL Server (@SQLServer) March 6, 2017
This is exactly what you need to do. Twitter is all about interaction. If you want to grow your audience, you need to participate in conversations. Reply to interesting tweets, add your own view, answer questions. This is a great opportunity to teach and learn.
Get involved! Answer questions and help people with their problems.
Celebrate your achievements
Yes, you read that correctly. I’m so grateful that my role models have been sharing their achievements with us. It was their success stories that allowed me to find the motivation to carry on and invest time and resources to grow my own business.
In 2015, Eugen Paraschiv published a review where he explained that he made 50k in pre-sales for his first video course bout Spring. Without Eugen, there’s no way that I would have started recording my video courses.
In 2018, Brent Ozar explained how he sold 500k in his Black Friday campaign. Half a million dollars in a single month! This is beyond amazing. It was actually Brent’s SQL ConstantCare that inspired me to create Hypersistence Optimizer.
Most often, sharing your achievements is frowned upon. However, without all these people sharing their stories, I wouldn’t have started my own business or know how to run it effectively.
To motivate others, and even yourself, you should celebrate your achievements. Whenever I want to write an anniversary post, I can just go back to Twitter and run a query to see what milestones I have reached since my last anniversary.
You can write a software book and make over 100k $— Vlad Mihalcea (@vlad_mihalcea) July 12, 2020
Here's what worked for me:
1. I started a blog first. This allows you to practice your writing and build an audience.
Success can be contagious. Celebrate every new milestone you reach to inspire others as well.
Share your struggles
It takes a lot of effort to create high-quality content, and without motivation, it’s very easy to just give up. After my first 3 months of blogging, I got only 8,000 page views for over 20 articles. At that point, I was wondering whether I should abandon writing and move on to something else. But I didn’t quit. Instead, I decided to write high-quality articles, as I knew that quality is the best form of advertising.
Sharing your struggles is great because it shows that, ultimately, we are all in the same boat and face similar problems. It takes time to build something that really matters, and there’s no reason to hide your struggles. Just be real!
If I hadn't failed a job interview at Amazon in 2015, I wouldn't have started my own business, focused on helping others get the most out of their DBs.— Vlad Mihalcea (@vlad_mihalcea) September 3, 2020
Failing an interview is harsh, but it's not an end of the world. It can also be a turning point in your career.
Without a struggle, there is no progress. If it’s worth it, then it won’t be easy!
Don’t underestimate the importance of fun. Scrolling on social media only to get depressed is definitely not what many of us are looking forward to doing. Life is already too tough and hits us with all kinds of challenges, so if you can help someone raise a smile, then it’s worth doing it.
I use Tab-Driven Development. The more difficult the task, the more browser tabs I open.— Vlad Mihalcea (@vlad_mihalcea) August 19, 2020
The funnier, the better. Some of the best conference talks I’ve attended were also the funniest ones. The same applies to tweets.
Over the years, I’ve written over 400 articles, but not every person that follows me on Twitter got the chance to read them. So, I’m using Buffer to share some of my older articles that are still relevant and worth reading.
Or, if you don’t want to use Buffer, you can also schedule tweets using TweetDeck.
We all praise authenticity, and for this reason, you should avoid using bots or sending auto-replies or auto-following messages. Your audience deserves more than a cold-heart message that might not be relevant to their question.
Scheduling tweets can allow you to repost evergreen content so that more people can benefit from it.
Make it easy for people to follow you
If people appreciate your work, then you should make it very easy for them to follow you on your favorite social media platforms. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to have social media buttons at the beginning and the end of your articles.
When I started my blog, I used a social media button WordPress plugin, but I soon realized that it was slowing down my website because it generated way too much network calls. Therefore, I opted for a plain-HTML alternative that runs very efficiently and is as effective as a more complex plugin.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media buttons. They work like a charm!
If you enjoyed this article, I bet you are going to love my upcoming Online Workshops.
- Transactions and Concurrency Control Patterns (3 hours) on the 10th of February
- High-Performance Java Persistence (16 hours) starting on the 1st of March in collaboration with Bouvet
Social media networks are awesome. If you are a blogger, vlogger, trainer, or teacher, then you’d surely love to reach the largest possible audience. Knowing how to get more Twitter followers can help you reach your audience and make your content worth it.
Every one of us has interesting stories and unique experiences we could all learn from. So, please start sharing your story as, together, we can all build a much better community of professionals.