In today's Digital Writing Compass, I'm going to share with you 4 lessons from my recent Twitter thread that had over 2,000,000 impressions, 7,500 likes, and 1,500 retweets.
You'll walk away with new frameworks for your writing process, for capturing attention & keeping attention, and for maximizing email conversions / Twitter followers from your threads.
I’m going to break down:
- My exact writing process
- Construction of the lead-in tweet / thread hook
- My “attention-keeping” cadence philosophy in action
- The clear CTA I used to lock in 1,000 emails & 5,000 followers from the thread
Alright, let’s dive in.
The writing process
If you want to watch the full video of my 55-minute writing session for this thread, scroll all the way to the bottom.
Everything I write starts with 6 questions:
- What problem am I solving?
- Whose problem am I solving?
- What are the benefits of solving the problem?
- What promise am I making to the reader?
- What emotion am I trying to generate?
- What’s the next action I want my reader to take?
And for this thread, here were my exact answers:
1. What problem am I solving?
- This thread helps people figure out what it looks like to effectively use clickbait/etc, but then actually deliver value to that attention
- A lot of people actually don’t know who Mr Beast is and how quickly he has grown, so this for some people will be an introduction to him
2. Whose problem am I solving?
- People who don’t understand the basic principles of capturing, keeping, and delivering value to that attention
3. What are the benefits of solving the problem?
- Grow faster, build an audience, go viral on any platform
4. What promise am I making to the reader?
- If you do these things, you will start to get higher returns on your content efforts
- If you do these things, you 10x your chances of going viral
- If you do these things, you will build inevitably build an audience
5. What emotion am I trying to generate?
- “Damn, I really wasn’t sure where this was going but there’s a ton here. I am better understanding the moral parts of using clickbait when I create something high-quality.”
6. What’s the next action I want my reader to take?
- Realize that you can apply these principles anywhere, YouTube, articles, landing pages, tweets, that these are the timeless principles for winning attention in the digital age
Writing these out gave me a clear roadmap for where I wanted to take the thread.
I was going to:
- Create a curiosity gap for how someone could grow so quickly (what everyone wants to do)
- Present the tactics in a “challenge your current way of thinking” format (i.e. that it’s okay to use clickbait, your current belief is wrong, and here’s why)
- Give the reader actionable, tactical advice that Mr. Beast implements (which keeps readers moving down the page)
- At the end, reveal that the real driving force behind Mr. Beast’s success is his incredible focus and work ethic (and the tactics I laid out in the thread are actually secondary, which is what people need to hear).
And I think it’s worth unpacking this way of thinking a bit.
Readers don't want to hear you have to put in 10 years of work with insane obsession and drive to see the results Mr. Beast has seen. They want to go viral NOW!
So in crafting this thread, I kept this simple idea in mind:
“Sell people what they want, but give them what they need.”
With that in mind, I started crafting the lead-in tweet.
The lead-in tweet
Alright so – there’s a few things going on here.
First, recognize exactly what I’m promising here – rapid growth, on any platform. That’s what the people want!
I would never make a lead in tweet that said “here’s his 3-part framework for putting in hundreds of thousands of hours and focusing harder than anyone else.”
Why? Because no one wants to hear that!
So in hooking their attention, I focused on selling them what they want – which is to go viral quickly.
Now, for the tactical parts of the lead-in, here’s the framework I used:
- “Big bold claim”
- Moment-in-time opener: “Over the last 12 months”
- Huge number: over 50,000,000 subscribers
- Credibility: I binge watched 100 hours to study him
- Reader-focused benefit: Here’s his 3-part framework (that YOU can use on any platform)
- Big, scroll-stopping thumbnail image (learned from Mr. Beast himself!)
- Casting a wide net: “That you can use on any platform.” – Notice, I wanted this thread to go viral. If I would have said “that you can use on YOUTUBE,” that would have shrunk the total size of the audience (since not everyone on Twitter cares about growing a YouTube channel).
Take a second to look at that construction. I hooked their attention with the word KING, brought them into a moment in time, sprinkled in a dash of credibility, and then told the reader exactly what they were going to get (and cast a wide net to capture as many readers as possible).
That’s the lead-in, but just as important is the second tweet.
The second tweet
The lead-in is super important – it gets them to click and expand.
But your second tweet is JUST as important – because you have to give them a reason to keep reading. And from there, you need to continue to reveal new information and keep the reader engaged.
My second tweet uses some of the same frameworks from the first tweet:
- “Only 23 years old” – DAMN! Immediately for anyone unfamiliar, that’s interesting
- BIG NUMBERS – (90 MILLION, 15 BILLION, $40,000,000)
- Mainstream credibility – Referencing squid games (and connects the thumbnail image to this tweet)
- Curiosity gap – I strategically left a cliff hanger with “what can we learn?” I actually think I could improved this with something like “and his success comes in just 3 simple steps” or something like that.
At this point, they've read my lead-in tweet and read my second tweet – they're pretty much hooked.
But now, I need to keep their attention. And how I do this is very intentional (again, using tactics from Mr. Beast himself).
Cadence for keeping the reader’s attention
Copywriter Eugene Schwartz has this great quote:
“Your words should read like a slippery slope, each word leading to the next to keep the reader sliding down the page.”
And with Twitter threads, this is extremely important.
Because all the reader has to do is swipe left and right and boom, they’re gone.
Every tweet needs to keep their attention and give them some kind of reason to keep reading.
Here were the last lines of every tweet in the middle of the thread (where I’m doing everything I can to keep the reader engaged):
- “So... what can we learn?”
- “Let’s dig in:”
- “Here’s what I mean:”
- “Here’s where it gets fun:”
- “This is 100% wrong – and Mr. Beast knows this...”
- “Now here’s where it gets interesting:”
- “How he gets you hooked is the second lesson:”
- “Here’s the INCREDIBLE intro from this video:”
- “Link at the end btw”
- “And it all comes from a maniacal obsession on 1 thing.”
- “And there’s a hugely important lesson here:”
- “And when I say obsession, that’s an understatement.”
This thread was 18 tweets long. If you cut out the TL;DR summary at the end, 14 tweets ended with some kind of “open loop.” The reader couldn’t help but keep going!
And since I knew the reader was “inhaling” the information, I brought it all home at the end with a clean summary to help them recall what they learned.
The TL;DR summary to help the reader remember
Since I optimized this thread for pacing and speed, I knew the reader may get to the end and have forgotten a few things mentioned. So, I wrapped it all together in a “slow down and summarize” 3-tweet cadence.
Now the reader has inhaled the whole thread and is keenly aware of everything they just learned. They’re basically eating out of the palm of my hand! Which is where the CTA comes in – it’s time to turn this reader into a follower and potential customer.
The CTA (Call-to-action)
The goals I had for each reader, the “next action” I would want them to take at the end of the thread were as follows:
- Get them to subscribe to my email list
- Get them to follow me
- Get them to retweet the first tweet
So I presented the CTA in that order. First, I gave them a compelling reason to join the email list, tailoring the description of our Ultimate Guide to match the principles I laid out in the thread (but in written form)
Then, I gave them another 2 things to do, in case they skipped the one above. I said they should follow me @dickiebush – importantly I put my handle right there for them to click because I knew quite a few readers would not know who I was (since I was optimizing for virality).
Then, I made it easy for them to jump back to the top of the thread (which you can do by posting your thread, then replying to the very end of it with a link to the top tweet, which you have to do in 2 steps).
And that's it! Here were the final stats on this thread:
- 2,400,502 impressions
- 7,294 likes
- 171 replies
- 1,382 retweets
- 1,000+ new email subscribers
All in all, pretty good! Hope this was helpful to give you some insight into the way I “engineer” my writing for specific outcomes.
Lastly, here's a video of me writing this thread if you're interested (it took me about 2 hours of total time spread across 2 writing sessions). This is the first hour going from blank page to outlined and ready to write.
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