Sunday 18 October 2020

My Learnings from Zero To 1 Lakh Followers on Twitter

Dearest investors & friends,

As many of you know, my investing journey began in 2007. In 2013 I began guiding friends on email. In 2016, I started my website where I began writing articles and sharing my thoughts. What a wonderful journey this has been, interacting with thousands of virtual friends, making few real friends for life. Absolutely phenomenal. 

It was in March 2017, that I joined Twitter as FI_InvestIndia. I have been guiding virtual friends on email since last 8 years now. Long long journey in connecting with everyone. Like compounding, it started Zero. And today, I have connected with over 1 Lakh Virtual Friends.

Today, as I touch 1 Lakh Friends on Twitter, I thought I should collate my learnings for benefit of all. My learnings, mistakes, associations, arguments, discussions & all the emotions I went through in this wonderful journey. I want to pour my heart out to all of you. 

This is not only useful for myself as a reminder, but also for readers who aspire to use Twitter effectively to reach out to thousands effectively. This post will also serve as a guide for friends who aspire to become People Influencers and Make a Difference to a lot of people.

I am blessed to have such a beautiful journey.

Click here for My Long Journey in a NutShell

Before we begin, I want to give you something awesome. Very powerful to begin with.


Let's say I have 1000 followers. My 1000 followers each probably follow hundreds or thousands of people apart from me. Read this again friends. Our followers follow many many more people. So, my tweet is just one, out of thousands for my followers. It's just a random Tweet on their Timeline.

Now, when I create a Tweet, it shows up on my Followers' Timeline. But, along with my Tweet, other Tweets will also show up on my Followers' Timeline based on how many people he/she follows. So, effectively, my tweet has to be so so awesome, for someone to give it a second read. Yes. It has to make a difference. Only then, will someone Like it, Retweet it or even Share it with someone else. If my tweet is continuously making a Difference to someone, he/she will follow me. If my tweet touches someone's heart or makes someone smile, he/she will share it around. It's Simple but we need to Understand this.


When I Like a Tweet, what Happens? When I press the Like Button of a Tweet, my Followers will get a notification of that on their Timeline. This is a very Powerful concept. But there is some algorithm there as well. If I like something which is really getting other Likes as well, it can actually help that person to gather more readership. A Like is the simplest way of Really Appreciating someone's content. When we Like something, it moves around.


This I think everyone understands. If I retweet something, all my followers will get it on their timeline. We need to Retweet wisely. The more we Retweet, the more our followers' timelines get filled up. So, we should use this very very judiciously. A lot of Retweets can be irritating at times (especially for me).


If I Mute someone on Twitter, I cannot see his/her Tweets. But, that person can still see my Tweets and reply etc. In my opinion, this helps if we feel that we do not want to see all the tweets. For eg: I am interested in reading a person's tweets. But, 80% of her tweets are irrelevant for me. I am interested to read 20% of her tweets. In this scenario, we can Mute. Later on, we can go to his/her timeline and read what we want to read. This is a powerful feature. I have muted few Amazing People and I read their Tweets every night. I can choose what I want to read in this process and my Timeline remains clean. I do not use Mute for any Trolls/Time pass people. So, what do I use?


Superb feature. In Twitter, not everyone is coming for constructive discussions. Over time, we know which people actually do not wish to read our tweets. So, we can Block them. So is blocking something to be ashamed of? No way. Actually, we are helping the person who is being blocked. The person being blocked has a huge huge advantage since he/she will never see our tweets again. Isn't that great for them? I feel it is a wonderful feature. It's the greatest service we can do for people who do not find value in what we post. I love it.

So Blocking in my view - Politely ensuring that someone doesn't go through the pain of reading our tweets. We are serving them by Blocking them. Always remember this.

Now, with this basic introduction of the features, let us proceed. Sit back. Read aaram se as I open up some amazing stuff.

Rule 1 - Never Underestimate the Power of Organic Growth:

Just like my Wealth Creation, this journey to a Lakh friends following has been Slow. Steady. It has taken it's own time. To be frank, I never started off with any aim. I just joined Twitter to share my experiences. But, from the beginning I was very clear about one thing - Organic Growth. I came to know that there are multiple ways in which we can buy Followers or Likes, Retweets etc. But, thankfully, I never resorted to such things. Yes, it takes time. But friends, let me assure you - It is totally worth it. If we have 100 followers and if even 10% of them resonate with our sharing, this can compound real big. What's the use of having fake or paid followers if our content is really not creating an impact? So, the first and most important point is to grow organically. The better our content, the better our reach eventually. 


Rule 2 - Crisp Content in Few Words:

On Twitter, Content is everything. Twitter is a great platform to share few thoughts with our virtual friends and to have constructive discussions. My first learning is that a content which connects and resonates with thousands really gets passed on. To build a good content, we need to know what we are good at. What are the areas where we have an edge or expertise. This introspection should happen over a period of time. If we can deliver great content which instantly makes a difference to others, it really helps over a period of time.

The art of communicating a lot in 280 characters takes a lot of time. To be frank, it took me months to understand how to post on Twitter. I realized that the greatest of quotes are short but very very powerful. In the last 3 years, I have seen so many people who communicate powerful ideas in a simple sentence. I can assure you that this is possible. We all get such powerful thoughts if we can connect to ourselves and to the universe. And you know what. Powerful thoughts compacted in one sentence can really touch the hearts and minds of thousands. It is magical.


Rule 3 - Association Matters:

Twitter is a Virtual World. I call it Virtual because thousands of people whom we don't know personally read what we write. And they comment/respond with their opinions and reactions on what we write. So, on a platform where everything is virtual, Association becomes extremely key. The better our circle of association, the better our thoughts become. We need to decide whom we would like to Follow on Twitter. Twitter as a platform is very powerful and I have made some amazing friends here. But more importantly, I have also realized whom to stay away from. Yes. I keep a long long distance from many as well. If used effectively, Twitter can become a beautiful place. But, if we are associated with people who do not resonate with us, it can become an Ugly place. So, Association Matters.


Rule 4 - Follow only People who add Value to your Timeline:

There is no magic number here. To make Twitter an effective platform, we should Follow the People who make our Timeline Powerful. Never follow someone just to please someone. To be frank, as you all know, I mainly focus on Personal Finance and Long Term Investing. But, a lot of Awesome Trader Friends follow me. They are simply the best. I used to feel bad that I am not able to follow them. I used to honestly DM them, telling them that I do want their Chart Tweets in my timeline and hence I do not follow them. And they actually understood it. And we are the best of friends. Every night, I read their Tweets on Life. Their psychology tweets. Their pictures etc. I love them. But, I really cannot afford to have their Chart Tweets on my timeline. I realized that we need to follow people who can keep our timeline apt for ourselves. If you are a trader, follow the best traders. If you are a spiritual person, follow people who can give you that precious timeline. If you are looking for jokes, music, stories, inspiration, quotes, follow people who can give you specifically that. That's key.


Rule 5 - Sincerely Respond to Almost Everyone & Support Awesome Content:

One of the things I have been following from the beginning is to respond to each and every person. I try to build a beautiful connect with each person. Now, since I read all the replies, it also helped me to understand who the genuine people are. It helped me in handpicking my circles and associations as well. I realized that responding to every person really helps. A small like can make a big difference to the person following us. A small response like "Wonderful", "Great" or even a "Good Morning my Friend" goes a long long way. If I read any article which really is awesome, I Like it and I respond individually to the Person's Thread. In this way, since I have pressed the Like Button, my followers also can see that article and then read it. I love supporting awesome content. I realized that appreciating amazing content actually builds a great connect with the audience. Over a period of time, we get to read great stuff by following this simple technique.

But yes, there is a problem here. Since I respond to each and every person, I get to see some irrational remarks sometimes and trolls etc. Initially I used to try and justify and argue etc. I lost my peace of mind many times, since I was trying to educate a troll. Never works that way. Later on, as I understood the real intent of trolling, I started liberating them with the BLOCK feature. It's a WIN-WIN Now. My Timeline has also got much much cleaner.

Appreciate Publicly. We don't lose anything by Congratulating someone openly. But, if we want to Criticize, do it Privately on DM. It really really works wonders.

Rule 6 - Tag People Rarely, but Effectively:

Now, this is a tricky one. Tagging multiple people in your posts can actually do well or get irritating. To be frank, there is nothing right or wrong here. I have been tagged on some amazing articles which helped me build great connections. But, sometimes when people tag just for the sake of tagging, it gets irritating. So, it's for you to decide - When to tag and whom to tag. Let me give you a small idea here. Instead of tagging all the ids in the Tweet, upload a relevant picture to your tweet and tag people in the picture. This can work wonders actually. In this way, you are still tagging people, but you get the entire Tweet for the content. It can become more effective. Tag rarely. But effectively.

Rule 7 - Being Positive Pays:

I have seen a lot of people being Negative on Twitter. Yes, Negativity Sells. But, you know what? Positivity goes a long long way. Actually much much longer. There are very few people who are Optimistic about something. I actually think that being in a Small Positive Camp is always more powerful than being in a Large Negative Camp. A Positive Quote in a Time of Crisis, a Smile or a Like in a Bad Time or even a Word of Encouragement to someone can do wonders. Positivity is contagious. I have built a huge huge impact by just being positive. Yes. The World needs more and more Positive Thoughts. Why can't we be the Torchbearers of the same?

Rule 8 - Never Ever Troll:

Never Troll. Period. If you want to disagree with someone, do it politely. Sweetly. Word your Tweet carefully. That's an art which we have to work on, early on. To be frank, this is something I have developed over a period of time. It was not a part of me when I joined Twitter. I also used to sometimes disagree in a rude way or sarcastic way in initial days. But, Twitter and people have taught me how to put my thoughts effectively without hurting someone. I have noticed that Trolls never create a Big Impact. There are many ways to have a good effective conversation. So, the bottom line - Do not become a Troll.

Rule 9 - Involve Twitter Friends in Activities & Learnings

In 2017, I conducted an activity which became extremely popular. Hundreds of friends volunteered to study Annual Reports of Businesses and prepare notes on the same. I also used to have Exercises for friends on my Google Group where there was active participation. These small activities picked up momentum and they helped me personally reach thousands of minds. It was a group effort and it was phenomenal. We all loved it.

So, Involve More People and Create Value for them Directly or Indirectly. It helps Reach Thousands and Compounding is Awesome.

Rule 10 - Don't be Sarcastic until it is Constructive:

I like Sarcasm. But it has to be Constructive. Be Sarcastic, constructively. To be frank, I also sometimes, even today, feel like being Sarcastic about something. But, I think twice - Should I post this? Will this lead to a wrong effect? I feel that being constructively sarcastic (if at all) is much better than being ridiculing sarcastic. This has helped me to focus on the main point, rather than ridicule something. Constructive Sarcasm doesn't hurt anyone. The message is most important.

Sarcasm is like a Rocking Chair. Keeps us Busy. Takes us No-where.

Rule 11 - Focus on Quality of Tweets. Not Quantity:

Now, this is something which I try to follow. And let me admit, this was not what I was doing initially. Too many tweets can sometimes dilute the readership. I try to post a Tweet at 8 AM (IST) and one at around 8 PM (IST). I make sure that the quality is top notch, atleast it should inspire me for sure. However, sometimes, if the Market moves a little violently, I try to put some Motivating Posts on my Timeline during the Day. Also, if the Market gets a little Euphoric, I try to put some Posts to Balance this. But, I generally Avoid Many Tweets in a Row. When I post one Tweet, and allow People to Digest it, it actually Reaches a Better Audience. This has been my Observation.

When we Tweet, make sure we give enough time for readers to digest it. Let them read it. Understand. Think about it. And share it. Giving time between tweets really help.

Rule 12 - Tweet on your Strengths:

Initially I only used to tweet about some stock market related stuff. But my strengths are varied. I slowly started covering Personal Finance, Behavioural Psychology of Investing, Stock Market, Inspirational Quotes, Experiences, Videos with Children, Indian Education, Songs on my Guitar, Special Moments with Family, Trips, Personal Spending Habits etc. etc. The point I am trying to make is - I slowly created a huge Family on Twitter. To create a niche takes time. But it is worth it. And slowly, we get to be known for our niche. Everyone knows that I do not talk about stocks. So, people who expect names and tips do not find value in what I tweet. People follow for something unique. Create that unique space for yourself. That's my point.

Tweeting on topics which are our strengths help. Also, we need to slowly build up and keep inspiring everyone to live a better life, be happy and enjoy life. It takes time. But it will surely touch people. Slowly. Steadily. But Surely.

Rule 13 - Save Interesting Content in Drafts:

This is one of the best tips I can give. When I find anything interesting (quotes, Whatsapp jokes, Inspiring thoughts etc.), I immediately save it in my Twitter Drafts. This really really helps me to post some cool stuff occasionally. Even sometimes, when I am, let's say, playing with my son, if I suddenly get an amazing thought, I just save it in Drafts to be fine tuned later. In this way, we always have some great content to post and touch hearts and minds of thousands.

Rule 14 - Give Credit to Source:

This is really important. This might look small, but people are observing every step we take. If we unknowingly take credit for something which is not ours, we will end up creating a sorry figure. This is something I learnt over time. I also have made some mistakes in initial journey. Now, I am careful.

If I put up a joke or quote which we received on Whatsapp, I usually put #WAFwd as a hashtag. If I tweet a quote which I have not created, I generally use "Anonymous" in it. The reason I use "Anonymous" for even some popular quotes, is because, many times, some quotes are quoted by multiple popular people. When we google the source, we find 2-3 sources sometimes. So, to be safe, I put "Anonymous". It has worked wonderfully for me. In this case, there is no debate and people can actually focus on the message. And of course, there will be 1-2 people who find fault in Anonymous also. Best to ignore, and move on.

Rule 15 - Keep Reposting Best Tweets:

Initially, I used to Retweet my old Tweets which got a great response. But, later I learnt that, reposting a great Tweet always helps. When we Repost an old tweet, here are the advantages.

Firstly, it looks Fresh. Old friends love re-reading great thoughts again and again. Sometimes, some friends would have missed my tweets the previous time (since they might be following other people and hence, might have missed my tweet in their timeline). Also, new friends who follow will get to see my tweets, which they might have missed.

So, all in all, reposting best tweets time to time really really helps to reiterate those thoughts, act as a constant reminder and also helps new friends to understand us better.

Rule 16 - Block Frequently:

Association Matters. However, Disassociation also really really matter. If we Block someone, maybe that person might resort to Snapshots etc. Doesn't matter. Don't think of the consequences. Block if you feel that you are wasting time of someone else. As I said earlier, Blocking is a service which we are doing for sake of people who do not value our thoughts or time. So, I repeat. Block and stay in peace. It's a great tool to disassociate completely from people who do not resonate.

Now, here people might argue that we should not Block Constructive Critics. I totally agree. This wisdom comes over time. I get lots of disagreements but they are respectful. I like such people who know how to put their thoughts in a proper manner. But, it is easy to figure out, who is being cheeky. I block cheeky people. I don't think much :-)

And it really really helps. So, serve others by blocking them. Don't worry. 

My Biggest Mistakes on Twitter Platform:

My Ego:

Twitter is a great place to feed our ego. Finance is a very subjective topic and varies from person to person. Stock Prices fluctuate on second by second basis. We all have a Nice Ego. I am no exception. But initially, it was really Big on Twitter. I used to feel that My Way is the only way. This led to unnecessary debates and loss of peace of mind. I learnt that there is no point in having a big Ego here. And since, everyone has their own way of doing things, we should focus on moving on, rather than have a big ego and continue to argue. Twitter has, over a period of time, taught me this valuable lesson. If we get into the Ego Trap, this can reflect in our Family Life as well. 

So, my learning - Never allow Ego to Take over in the Virtual World. It's like a Time Bomb. Self Destructive.

Making fun or ridiculing:

In initial stages, I used to try to find opportunities to ridicule something. Of course, it was never in a harmful way. For eg: If someone has invested in a particular company that I wouldn't invest in, I would try to find a fault with it. Or, if someone is tweeting something which I would not agree with, I would argue or try to be cheeky. But, over period of time, I learnt that there is no point in ridiculing or finding fault with someone. It might make our ego feel better, but it doesn't serve any purpose. So. now, if I find something which I disagree with, I put a generic Tweet with my point of view. It's for Readers to decide my thought process and see if it fits into theirs. I try my best not to ridicule. But I am also human. Sometimes, if something is too too funny, I cannot stop myself. But working on it. Hopefully getting better at it, over time.

Naming some Businesses publicly:

In my initial months, I used to randomly make comments on some companies. This was not structured at all. Later on, I slowly fine-tuned it to post important articles, concalls etc of the companies I owned. Also, whenever I used to buy some shares, I used to update on Twitter. It used to famous as "Drops". I am a firm believer in Drops make a Mighty Ocean, Over Time.

My main intent was that everyone should understand how to buy shares of a business for years in good times and bad. But, I made a Rookie Mistake here. My Mistake was not my Businesses frankly. But, I didn't realize that most people who are reading this are not here for 15 years time frame. Also, people would read my tweet at different times. Some might blindly follow buying as well without any research. And to be frank, not many readers actually focus on owning a business. 

Also, I spent a lot of time justifying why the company is good etc. This was leading to a lot of time and energy drain. I also realized that most people who used to debate on the businesses are not owners. Also, when I speak about a company, over time, I get identified with the company on social media. But, since we can exit any point in time, this can prove to be detrimental. Yes. When we get identified with a company with "Virtual" people online, it can really get you caught in a Maya Trap. It can sometimes cloud our thinking.

So, all in all, this was a mistake which I feel no one should do on social media. Even today, I own my businesses, but not talking about them, makes me light. I removed & deleted all irrelevant tweets once and for all. This has been a great lesson for me personally. I hope others learn from the same. Today, everyone knows my philosophy towards investing and adding businesses, which was my main focus, then and now. And of course, I like my businesses. Allocation can change with time and opportunity.

I can now own my businesses in Peace. I can buy and sell. I can hold businesses in good times and bad. No justification. No debates. I am responsible for my own decisions. I love this peace of mind. It took me time to understand how awesome it is.

Unnecessary arguments:

There was a stage where I used to attend every argument I was invited to. And I realized that, in dynamic markets, where price fluctuates every second, we can be right at one time and wrong at another. So, a big learning is never to argue with anyone. When anyone comes to my timeline just to argue, a polite "Ok" or "Sure" can do wonders. I cut arguments quickly. And since, as I mentioned before, I read every tweet response, I can easily Close any Argument just by Agreeing to it. In a dynamic market, what works for me, need not work for anyone else. And hence, there is no ONE WAY. There are many ways to Reaching the Goal of Creating Wealth. The faster we understand, the Better.

So these are my biggest mistakes. I always wanted to write it candidly and I am so happy to be able to open up to all of you.

Friends. Twitter is a beautiful platform. It has not only helped me reach thousands instantly, but has shaped me well as a human as well. I am ever thankful to everyone for that.

I hope this post of mine, gives you all various messages as a take-home. Read it again, if needed and please make use of my experiences.

Let me end with my biggest learning from Twitter.

In the Virtual World, Followers will come and Followers will go. Some will Laud and some will Troll. So follower count should not be criteria.

Keep sharing experiences with all & leave the rest. Those who find value will find value. The Rest. Well. They just Move On !!!

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

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Good luck,
Fundamental Investor