Anatomy of a Tweet¶
The last two posts were hard to write, so this one is easy, but it gets my words in for the day. This is the equivalent of not wanting to miss a gym day and just walking the elliptical for 25 minutes better than nothing.
The goal of this post is basically to share what I have learned about writing a tweet, how to think about writing a hook, and a few comments on how the body and the cta needs to retain and reward the user. Its not much, I've only been on twitter for about 6 month.
Before I discuss how I write tweets (content?), I want to share some of my thoughts on how I think about Twitter.
- The path to reaching 50k followers may involve writing 50k tweets over a span of 2-3 years, which seems like a reasonable approach.
- However, simply increasing the quantity of tweets may not be enough to grow the follower count past some scale. Improving the quality of the tweets is also important and may have a significant impact, but is hard to consistently replicate.
- On the other hand, the path to reaching 1M followers is likely to be very different from the path to 50k followers. While its sitll likely that 1M tweets can get you to 1M followers, its more likely that you will need different set of strategies to get there.
I believe this is true in the same way that the technical skills required to make $100k versus $10M are vastly different. It's essentially transitioning from trading time for money to acquiring talent, building systems, and scaling. For example, I could hire a writing team to produce more content and increase my output. I can also leverage affiliates and encourage people to share my content, which can help in reaching a wider audience. Additionally, being promoted by larger accounts, like when I was retweeted by llama index and LangChain, can significantly boost visibility and follower count.
This more about business in general
I want to emphasize that this knowledge applies only to my own place in the journey. I'm not claiming that this is the path to internet stardom, but I think it's a good place to start thinking about getting your message out there.
Why write this?¶
I don't think most people should give a shit on how they want to use Twitter. But I actually used Twitter to possibly generate leads for my consulting business while also using Twitter as a way of testing material that I will eventually blog about. There's something about being able to write a good tweet that gives me confidence that if I have a message that I believe is important that it will be heard and that's pretty nice.
- What is a hook? A hook is basically the first sentence of your message, it's the landing page that decides if people want to continue reading.
- The goal of the hook is to get people to read the rest of the tweet.
A lot of people's hooks are just like "I'm gonna share a story about X." It's kinda weak. Not only does it not foreshadow any benefit to the reader, but it's also a lot of wasted words and isn't a very strong message.
- Today I went with my friend Sarah, who is from the UK, and we tried some fried chicken, and it was very good.
- I had the best fried chicken of my life with my friend Sarah.
The second one is a lot stronger. It foreshadows a benefit to the reader and doesn't waste words early on.
What is your intention?
The way I try to strategize the hook is to write my message as "it is my intention that by the end of this X, you will know Y." If the goal was to tell you about the chicken shop, it should show up way sooner than the conversation.
- I spent most of my weekend experimenting with this new vision model, and I've come up with a framework for how to think about it.
- Here's a framework for working with vision models.
- There are 5 ways I think about vision models.
The last one is great because people love lists. If your list is a little long, and the first few bullet points are strong, the rest might be hidden behind a "see more" button. That little bit above the fold becomes extra important to catch the attention.
- Here are some ideas about X that can help you save money.
- Here's the one secret everyone must know!
- If you do X, this message is for you.
- Doing X can save you 50%!
It's kind of a meme to lead any of her posters like you know 99% of taxability users don't know this one trick or here's the one thing Dr. don't want you to know about. People say shit like that cause it works, and obviously you don't have to sell your soul and write excessively like that, but it just goes to show that it is worthwhile to spend some time on a hook. A good hook with the same idea could have a 40X difference in views.
- Be Confident, No Hedging: Avoid phrases like "might," "perhaps," or "I think." Assert your ideas boldly.
- Immediate Value Identification: Within the first 20 words, make the benefit to the reader crystal clear.
- Promise a Reward: Tease a compelling benefit or revelation that awaits the reader.
- Use Metrics or Lists: Where possible, quantify benefits or structure your hook with a list format to organize thoughts clearly.
- Yes-Based Call Out: Start with a question or statement that gets the reader nodding in agreement, creating an instant connection.
- Leverage Storytelling: Start with a brief, engaging story or anecdote that is relevant to your main point.
- Create Urgency or Scarcity: Suggest that the information is time-sensitive or exclusive to create a sense of urgency.
... This is basically just sales and marketting but it works. We're all just dumb monkeys, but instead of looking for strawberries in the bush, we're looking for dopamine hits on our phones.
OK, they stopped scrolling, now you have to actually write the body of the message. Rememeber, you worked so hard to figure out the hook because you believe the body has value. This is the part where you actually have to have something to say. All I really realized is that people like lists, and if it's gonna have many parts, make it skimmable by reading the first sentence of each paragraph. You just need to actually meet the expectations you set in the hook. If you don't, you're gonna get a lot of unfollows.
Your hook should have foreshadowed some reward and set expectations early. You then retain their attention by meeting the expectations they expected to get. However, I think great content can exceed expectations by presenting a different reward, 'and one more thing'. I leave it up to you to figure out how to do that.
Call to action¶
This is the most important part of the tweet. If you don't have a call to action, you're missing out on conversions. I'm not saying life is all about metrics, but if you're thinking about how to get more views on a tweet, you're probably considering metrics anyway.
My first blog post had 20k views. If I had included a call to action to sign up for my newsletter, I could have gained 200 signups. At $8/month, that's $1600/month. That's a significant amount of money left on the table. I'm not suggesting you do the same, but it demonstrates the missed opportunity. Instead, you could ask for a follow, a share, a tag, or even for help.
Also, try to offer a reward in the call to action. For example, if you're asking for a follow, you can say "follow me for more content like this." If you're asking for a share, you can say "share this with someone who needs to hear it." If you're asking for a tag, you can say "tag someone who needs to hear this."
These are the generic lines you often see on platforms like YouTube because they are financially motivated to find the best lines. However, you can also be creative and come up with your own. I believe the best ones are those that are specific to your message.
Anyways, I've completed 1000 more words today. Now, I'm going to the gym.
But before I go remember:
- If you believe you have something to say, a great hook can make sure people read it.
- You still need something to say.
- Specifically you need something to say to your audience.
- Think about what you plan on asking for return, it doesn't have to be much.
If you like this content or want to see me try to figure out twitter by tweeting a shit tonne of experiments follow me on Twitter @jxnlco, as an experiment if you want to workshop tweets shoot me a DM. I might not read it if you're being weird.