May 19, 2015

From 5000 to 100000 Followers on Twitter – What I learned

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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5000 to 100000 Twitter Followers - What I Learned

Hello everyone!

Well, the time has come…. and I am happy to be able to write this follow up post to my 0 to 5,000 Followers on Twitter post from about a year ago. I have seen tons of growth and am happy to write this post and share what I learned along the way. First I want to thank everyone who follows me on social media and supports me because you guys are truly amazing! I am going to keep the same format as the first post and we are going to cover Tips, Tools, Surprises, and Peeps. So let’s dig in and see what I learned breaking through to 6 digit growth.


Tips from the Beard - Ross Quintana


Momentum – Activity breeds activity. It is amazing how momentum can start to build and the impact of momentum on your social profiles. Don’t poke around at a platform and then be satisfied with a few hundred or thousand followers. If you think about your audience, share great content consistently, and engage in a real way continuously while reaching out to new people on a daily basis you will build momentum. You will reach a point when half of the results are the result of years of work while the other half is what you are actively doing. Right now my account gets about 300 to 500 new organic followers a day even if I don’t do anything. I can then double that by being active. That is the power of momentum.

Twitter Chats – Real Time Topical Engagement. If you you haven’t participated in Twitter chats you should give it a try. They are a little intimidating and the format is actually more awkward than using Twitter itself for many (if that were possible). There are a couple tools that help you follow along and engage. TweetChat is a great one and I like that they show who is mentioning you and highlight the questions. Nurph is an up and comer and should be the premium Twitter chat tool if they pull it all together in my opinion and open it up to non-hosted chats. You basically follow a hashtag and all talk about one subject or a series of questions that the host provides. Anyone can join and sometimes there is a live video that people watch and then chat about in the Twitter chat in real time in relation to the video.  Some good ones are #sBizHour (Mon 1pm PT 4pm ET) with “the man” Brian Fanzo #BufferChat (Wed 9am PT 12pm ET) with the Buffer Team,  #InfluencerChat (Tuesday 5pm PT 8Pm ET) with the awesome Rebekah Radice, and #ViralChat (Thur 6pm PT 9pm ET) with PostPlanner. Check them out, you can even just listen if you want at first.

Visual Content – It didn’t take me long to know that visual content was going to be key in all platforms. Many of the platforms now offer links, text, images, and video. People may think of Twitter as a link and text sharing platform, but images and video are a great way to add a rich experience to your profile. The key to standing out is doing what others aren’t doing. I started a while back mixing more visual content and links with photos and the results have been great. Adding video into the mix as well is just smart for getting people to share and engage with your content. Video is also great for mobile as it lets the person get content on the go without having to read a long post. Make sure you up the mix of your visuals and create visuals for your posts so you aren’t just sharing links. You can then see how they do by looking at your top tweets and analytics.

Curation – The driving force behind your feed is the content you share. It still amazes me that many people only share their own content. Even worse is when the only shares are self-promotion. My personal promotion is the minority of what I share. Not only is sharing other people’s content more social, but it also allows you to give a better variety of content to your followers. Each type of account is different, but for me, I like to create a feed that my followers love. That means bringing the best to them so they find value in my feed. There is a science to creating a good feed and this is one of the primary things we sell as a service. Quality matters and consistency as well. Everyone wants people’s attention but only things that add value will get it. Know your audience and create and share valuable content. If you aren’t getting engagement change your content mix. Analytics is key to adjusting your content mix.


OK so I will have to do a separate post to dig into these tools but I will give you a quick list of tools I find interesting. I won’t repeat all of the ones I discussed in the original post. First is obvious but it must be mentioned, Hootsuite. This tool allows you to schedule posts across multiple networks with multiple clients. It just works well and is easy to customize so for me it is the easy choice and the free version does most of what people need. Twitter Analytics – This is great for watching what is happening with your Twitter account and my guess is few people use it. Solid metrics that you should monitor month over month and A/B test your content mix to see what raises or lowers engagement. Twitonomy – This is one I just recently started using and I love the analytics it gives. The dashboard displays your top followers and mentions, and gives you some real insight into who you should be paying attention to in your network.  Finally, an odd one is Canva because it isn’t built for Twitter exactly but it is very useful. For the average person getting more visual is not likely to happen, but Canva lets you modify pre-made layouts with ease and create images for your blog posts, quotes, or TwitterChats.

Surprised cat 3


Fulfillment – This may come as a shocker but for me Twitter is the engine of all of my other social platforms in the way it drives growth and engagement. As my account grew to large proportions, I find that I love it more and more. The more followers you have, the more people you meet, and the more engagement you have. Since a majority of connections are lurkers (people who consume content but don’t engage), having a larger following will allow you to find more engagers that make your experience exceptional! I love to engage and chat with people so really this has been awesome for me.

Interviews – Besides getting into Twitter chats, I recently have been doing some interviews and speaking on some panels and shows. I love this. Not only is it an honor to be invited to speak or be a guest, but I love to engage and share my thoughts and strategies with others. Almost weekly I get thank you tweets from people who have watched my Twitter Tutorial series which is currently number three on Youtube for Twitter Tutorials. I made that series about 3 years ago and it has gotten over 200,000 views. I hope to do more video and more tutorials as well. Exposure begets exposure. I was recently a guest on the Ready Set Podcast show with the sensational Brooke Ballard and her partner in crime Mallie Hart. The subject was How to Grow Your Social Audience. I had a great time and realized I need to do more shows because I love the format. I may start my own podcast since I think the medium attracts people who want to listen and engage. If you have a show, video chat, or podcast and would like me to be a guest, just email me.

Cross Pollination – One of the big aha moments I had was when I decided to get an Instagram account. I wasn’t on that platform because I didn’t like the TOS and how they tricked people with terms changes. Well I knew I may be back because it is such a major platform and many of my clients use it so I reluctantly made an account. The cool thing was that in moments I had over 300 followers without doing anything. People who know me from other platforms saw I was on there and quickly friended me. Developing your audience on one platform helps you on other platforms. When all of them grow they cross pollinate and you get to connect with people on multiple platforms offering different content. This can help momentum and make new platform adoption really take off.



OK I will keep this one short and hate to mention only a few of the people who are awesome but otherwise I would have to list literally thousands. Here are some of the people who engage with me most on Twitter and are definitely worth following. You can click their links to see their profile and follow them. John Paul Aguiar – Great content, engages and shows gratitude. Brian Fanzo – If you want a genuine person who is on fire about the digital scene check him out. Klaudia Jurewicz – She is just awesome and real and very supportive. Tamara McCleary – If you haven’t heard her story or got to know her, it is your loss because she is the best! Relevanza – Steve Hart and the crew share excellent content and engage as well.  Hessie Jones! – She just kicks butt and also was the first to send me a book! Super thoughtful and super real :] Jermaine Young – Love the level of this guys engagement and he is always down to dive into a subject. Joel R Renner – Really engaging and always interacting. Christin Kardos – What! superstar real deal gal, Brett Relander – Smart and thoughtful, Daniel Newman – May be bald to make room for his large brain great engagement, Stephen Caggiano – Great thinker, always engaged, John Graham – Very smart and super supportive, and everyone who I am not able to list without making this post too long. There are 100,000 people I appreciate tons and I hope we can share, engage, and move our relationship forward.

Mushroom cloud

Final Thoughts – For me this wasn’t about vanity metrics or ego boosts or anything like that. I am truly humbled by all the people who find what I am doing interesting or valuable. I love that there were many people along the journey that I met and mean a lot to me and supported me. Now I am able to do that for others as well and help them get their content and passion to a larger audience. Most of the top social media and business people I have met are also super quality individuals and one of the common traits I find is being genuine and caring about others. What I have learned is that helping others and lifting them up is contrary to the “me” society but it also produces incredible results. I look forward to all the people I am going to get the privilege of working with, talking with, and helping in the next year. I would love to hear you thoughts on this post and your journey? Leave a comment below and feel free to reach out to me to connect.

About the Author

Ross Quintana
Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people's thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let's connect


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