Twitter Growth: An 8-Hour Experiment

Twitter Growth: An 8-Hour Experiment

About the Author: Cory Schop is a designer, social media enthusiast, and serial
web entrepreneur who makes a living from Facebook, SEO and his Affordable
Logo Designer
services among other things. You can follow him on Twitter @coryschop and

The Experiment

The other day I got the bright idea that I wanted to spend an entire 8-hour day interacting on Twitter and measure the results accordingly. I had been using Twitter for a while but didn’t feel I was leveraging it’s true power and potential, which is what I really wanted.

I started my experiment by asking people how I could help them; I am a knowledgeable person when it comes to the internet and I do love to see others prosper. This gauged a few questions of which replies brought with them more people into the conversation. Next I simply read through my timeline and replied to the people I was following as much as I could with detailed tweets that often asked a question.

By lunch, things had slowed down, so I spent the next couple hours seeking out additional quality people to follow and interacting with them right away. I used a few tools for this: JustTweetIt, Twubble and Twitter Search.

My Results

  • 83 new followerswithin a 24-hour period, going from 512 to 595. (59 in the initial 8 hours). To compare, according to TwitterCounter yesterday Kevin Rose, the account with the second most followers on Twitter, had 63 within 24 hours.
  • I created 123 tweets / @’s.
  • 87 @ replies came back from 45 different people.
  • 12 direct messages incurred from 8 different people, 5 of them were new followers.
  • 11 tweets were created by other people about me, 3 of which were re-tweets.
  • I was contacted in regards to an icon design gig and a Logo Design project.
  • I connected with a number of great new people including @dhollings the lead marketer behind “The Secret”. He was really keen on a Twitter application I am releasing next week.

At the end of the day, I really felt I had made a difference by offering up some great advice for which people repeatedly thanked me.

My Takeaways

  • Engage in the conversations and reply to people, this is so important. Not only does this get people talking to you, it creates exposure for you on their Twitter profile and with their followers (depending on their settings).
  • Seek out new and interesting people that share similar interests with you. You can connect with some key people pretty easily when you are genuinely interested in what they are all about.
  • Offer up tips and help to further gauge conversation and add true value.
  • Re-tweet tweets that you find to be valuable. Chances are they are just as valuable to others, and this adds to your credibility.
  • Lastly, just be yourself. Don’t try to fake it; people are smart and will see right through that.

There is no quick and easy way to get quality followers, it does take time and effort like most any other social media platform.

I believe @unmarketing said it best: “The amount I get out of Twitter is directly proportional to the amount I give.”

I’m curious: what strategies are other people using to achieve growth on Twitter?

  • Cory Schop

    I just had to add one thing to this. Since this happened after I wrote the entry. I find it very interesting that the efforts I put in had such a long tail effect. Prior to my experiment I was getting 2 to 3 Followers a day on average for a few months. Now 5 days later my Followers is still growing by 25+ a day.

    Just look at this:

    I have not done “More than usual” Twittering after this experiment. I would say I am on par as far as actual time spent on Twitter prior to the experiment.

    Thoughts on that?

  • Craig Moore

    Hey Dan and Corey,

    Interesting to pull some metrics from this experiment as everyone is trying to figure out how “this twitter thing works”. Which is a subliminal jab of “how can I make money using it” with very little sublimation :).

    As with all things social media you need to have some real engagement and participation to have any return on time (aka investment). You (not you specifically Corey) cannot sign up to twitter, say “Trying to figure out this twitter thing” and then drop off and expect if to have some clout. Like all business tools and plans, there needs to be real investment. For twitter this investment is social and also has the caveat of requiring back and forth conversation.

    In the same way that marketing online is successful from a “pull” style instead of a “push” design twitter creates your social media clout, positions you as an expert in your field(s) and shows that you’re not an idiot (although sometimes it shows that you are if so, haha). It becomes a great networking bank of connections that hopefully, but not guaranteed, will enable future business ventures. It also greats a much wide networking space than your local chamber or peer group, which for most people working in and around the “interwebs” is an ideal place to hang out and chat.

    Not this is all from a business viewpoint as twitter also strips some of that veneer off to get to the people behind the brand as well as having many people interacting for the simple reason of interacting across the world. Which is a great thing on its own.

    Craig Moore
    Spider Video
    @spidervideo on twitter

  • Max

    Interesting read, Cory. Looking forward to the application.

  • Brad Buset

    Sounds like a fun day Dan, thanks for sharing. My personal strategies, while not particularly aggressive, are resulting in followers with whom I can connect. I have few followers that I would not like to have a conversation with over a beer.

    Basically, I highlight interesting articles/topics and always state where I found them using (via). I try to add some humour/insight – I know it’s only 140 characters, but there is usually room for a quick comment. Mainly I try not to use it as IM – always be adding value is the name of the game.

    I find it’s been pretty steady growth since I started on twitter about 1 year ago, with usual jumps following networking events or references from friends. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. I find that constant pruning of the network helps and if I can identify individual who are not adding value to my experience they go to a secondary tweetdeck group, or get cut completely.

    Thanks for the post – talk to you soon,


  • Amelia Brazell

    Interesting post. What a treat for you to spend an entire day chatting on Twitter. And, to have and share the results was very generous indeed.

    Thanks for sharing and tweet on,


  • Francisco Moriones

    Great action plan to promote your business using twitter. I’ve started using this social media from this year beggining.

    The best concept: “The amount I get out of Twitter is directly proportional to the amount I give.”

    Thanks for the info!

  • John Cussons [Mr Emotions]

    Hey Cory

    Great experiment and accounting of it. Appreciated new Twitter resources and offer up as another.

    I just hit the 1000th Follower milestone on 1-12-09 and I identified strongly with your efforts. In fact I have a bit of a dialogue going on right now on my blog post about hitting the mystic number – you were a commenter – thanks so much!

    For other related metrics I have a 99.1% Twitter Grade at and a #10 spot by location [see within Grader report]

    I am not a prolific poster, but as others have commented I do try to offer value, engage in conversations and keep up with those I am building strong relationships with.

    It’s Fun Work!

    “Mr Emotions”
    John Cussons

  • Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Interesting experiment and thanks for all the links to TwitterCounter! You might want to consider adding our button to your sidebar too. It attracts a lot of followers.

  • Tiffany Dow

    Hi Cory and Dan!

    I noticed my followers jumped from about 10 new followers per day to my current average of 35 new followers per day just after I began using a video avatar. I have had 2 complaints from people who threatened to unfollow (but didn’t), but the majority of users love it and I see chatter online about the @tiffanydow avatar – even in foreign languages!

    Good luck with your long tail Twittering 😉

  • Pingback: Twitter Quick Wins « SnowBlog()

  • Michael Long (The Red Recruiter)

    Thanks for sharing your results Dan! I see a lot of people sharing strategy about Twitter – rarely are they sharing actual results. Of course, I may need to look more, but that’s what I’m generally running in to.

    It seems that Twitter is making the move from an updating system to more of a conversation. I worry about posting too many @ replies because I don’t want to be annoying. However, it seems like the most logical way to communicate and get people involved in the conversation. Did you happen to get any negative feedback from the high amount of updates? Did you drop any followers that you had before the test?

    I’m using TweetDeck right now to organize everything. Does anyone recommend a different tool?

    Looking forward,
    The Red Recruiter

  • Max the Micro Niche Finder

    Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I’m new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! 🙂

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