Twitter in 2022 with Dan Rowden (@dr)

Dan Rowden joins me to talk about Twitter in 2022
“If you share stuff, show your learnings or just kind of be softer with the approach of what you write about on Twitter, you can grow a big audience and get people engaged.” - Dan Rowden

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Dan Rowden
Dan's company,
Dan on Twitter: @dr

Brian Casel:
Brian’s company, ZipMessage
Brian on Twitter: @casjam

Thanks to ZipMessage

ZipMessage (today’s sponsor) is the video messaging tool that replaces live calls with asynchronous conversations.  Use it free or tune into the episode for an exclusive coupon for Open Threads listeners.

Quotes from this episode:

Quote 01:

Brian Casel: There are so many times where I feel like I'm painfully addicted to the Twitter feed. And I want to take a break and then don't - for whatever reasons.

Dan Rowden: Yeah.

Brian Casel: I want to ask about the growth in the following. I think it sounds like you would agree that, like, you know, the tactics and you know what really starts to annoy me today are all the growth hacks and tactics that we see on the Twitter feed. And this was not there in the earlier years. of Twitter, but it's definitely something that's come about in the last year or two years where it's like threads are very formulaic and basically like list posts.

But in Twitter, you know, tweet form. And there's also a lot more negativity, but people still are able to grow. High-quality followers and audience count by being authentic, constructive, being positive. Can you talk a bit about that? Like, what do you think actually worked really well for you? Because that's what I see from you in following you on Twitter. And you are one of these people who've been able to grow a really large audience while keeping it kind of quality and positive. So, like, what do you think sort of clicked for you in terms of audience growth?

Dan Rowden: Yes. I didn't have a goal to grow the audience this big. So it's kind of a bit of a shock to me that it's got this large and yeah, I didn't have any tricks or like I wasn't planning to do anything. I was just sharing what I was building and interacting with people, doing the same thing, basically. And this just kind of snowballed. Once I hit 10,000 followers, it the rate of new followers is kind of very steady and constant. It seems to be there's a certain point in most accounts that once you hit a certain level maybe you're shown to more users or you get like, I don't know like pushed by Twitter in front of more people because I can get 60 followers on a day that I don't even tweet.

Like, where do those people come from? Like, what are they seeing that makes them follow me? Yeah. Like, tactics-wise, I think today you could summarize like growth on Twitter just to write more threads. Like if you write more threads, you'll get more followers, which is a bit cynical and a bit kind of depressing, but that seems to be if you had to do one growth hack, that's the one to do.

And Threads isn't something that I've personally done or, or like aimed to do. I'm more about sharing my work and all the cool things I've seen on the Internet.

Quote 02:

Brian Casel: I still want to try to understand that the growth that you've had, I mean, can you point to any points in the from like 2020, 2021, where there are sort of events or spikes or milestones that seem to like accelerate.

Dan Rowden: Yeah. So in like April-May time in 2020 was when I launched Cove. And then I launched Gloat and then I launched a theme business. And then by the end of July, I was launching "ILO"( So like there was a very condensed path for a few months.

Brian Casel: Launching a lot of products.

Dan Rowden: Yeah.

Brian Casel: That's like a lot of activity.

Dan Rowden: Yes. When I came to launch, I'd already amassed maybe a thousand extra followers and they were like highly engaged in the tech, in the stuff that I'd been building. So then I launched "ILO," and I think I got a lot of traction. And then that kind of kick-started a bit, and then I hit 10,000 followers, I think maybe in January.

So all that time I was still building and sharing and people were finding me. And then I had a viral tweet, I think in March 2021. And I think it's still my like best ever tweet for impressions, which is it was just saying that my side project revenue is higher than my salary, basically. And for some reason that took off and got huge reception and that kick-started then from then it's been very steady and like the new followers that come every day is like incredibly steady.

If you look at my charts. And then in the summer, I quit my job. So that was another kind of moment where I got a lot of retweets and a lot of impressions on my tweets announcing I was leaving my job for my side projects and kind of making that transition. But other than that, I don't think there's been like three kinds of major things I remember.

And yeah, the rest of it is just showing up every day and just sharing while I'm working on commenting on other things.

Quote 03:

Brian Casel: Another thing that's been on my mind, like an open question, is whether or not to use scheduling tools on Twitter. And I used to and then I stopped three years ago because like you, I like to just do it live when I'm actually active. And a lot of times I just I really care about the tweet that I push out has to reflect my current mood like or like I have to be ready to either field replies or be able to, like, back up this stance that I'm tweeting about whatever it might be.

And I remember in the past, I would schedule things in advance maybe five, six, or seven days before it actually goes out. And I'm in a totally different state of mind by the And that. And then, you know, there's also like the risk of like, I don't know, some big world event happening. And then you have a scheduled tweet, right?

Dan Rowden: Yeah.

Brian Casel: Maybe not the right tone moment. Right. But like, at the same time, like now I'm questioning that again because I'm so busy doing work every day. I check Twitter a lot throughout the day, but I don't have as much creative energy to really think about ideas that I think are worth tweeting about. I'd rather spend that time working on my product, so it would be nice to like batch and spend a few hours on mundane lineups and tweets for the week or something like that. But I'm kind of on the fence about that. I don't know.

Dan Rowden: Yeah, well, I can say from my experience, it's just that when. Yeah. I mean, I have the same thing when you schedule things, you're likely to kind of mess up at some point because you're not in control of it. Like it. It was past me. Who posted that today? Like, Today's Me might not want that to go out And yeah, I think it's a good idea to sit down and write tweets.

And it's a good idea to like it throughout the week, if you have an idea for a tweet, capture it and maybe not post it straight away, but just capture it. And then eventually you'll grow a list of like drafts, right? You can maybe rewrite a draft a few times before you post it. Or maybe you can expand one draft into three or four different tweets.

That's the way I typically do.

Brian Casel: I like that.

Dan Rowden: I have found that it works best for me sometimes I write a tweet and I'll just send it straight away. But yeah, like I like sitting on tweets as well, especially if it's like one of those like thought tweets or kind of not necessarily what I'm doing, but like how I've realized something I'll capture like the first way that I thought about it.

But then maybe in two days' time, I'll be like, Oh, and then I have a slightly different way of thinking about it, and I'll rewrite the tweet. Maybe it expands it to more than one, but I think saving drafts a lot and then just manually posting them is maybe the best combination of kind of storing ideas as well as being like in control of the posting.

And that's how I've built the right to tool entirely. It kind of matches that workflow is very quick to capture things and it stores them all. And then you can kind of expand it later.

Twitter in 2022 with Dan Rowden (@dr)
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