How to Write Twitter Threads That Go Viral
The Ultimate Guide to Gaining Followers Fast
Twitter threads are the most viral content on Twitter. A well-written thread can gain you thousands of followers overnight and millions of impressions in hours. My big tipping point as a creator was when my first viral Twitter Thread received 9,000 likes, a million impressions and sent me from 5,000 followers to 15,000 in under a day. After over a year of writing threads, here is everything you need to know about writing viral threads:
What to Write About
First, you need to figure out what to write about. The world’s best threads have one goal: to teach something. Whether it’s how to make more winning trades, write higher quality content, or gain more followers, the thread must have a clear purpose.
The more value that purpose provides to the reader, the better. Think about your niche. Think about your areas of expertise. Which subjects can you break down into 4 or 5 actionable steps? I typically write threads on my areas of expertise: building a platform, improving your skills, and getting closer to your goals.
Now that we have a subject for our thread, we need to discuss how to format it. After writing at least 2 threads a week for over a year, the structure I find works the most effectively is:
The hook is the opening tweet and the thread’s most critical part, responsible for 95% of the success. The hook reels the reader in and determines if they read the rest. After hooking in the reader, the intro further crystalizes what the thread is about. This has a major impact on if they read until the end.
The body is where you deliver the information, and the conclusion is your closer and determines if the reader likes and retweets. The CTA (call to action) is the value exchange. All five components of the thread play a role and can’t be neglected if you want to publish a successful piece of content.
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The hook is the most crucial to nail. A lousy hook can cripple the performance of a thread. A great hook can make a crap thread with little value go viral. A great hook is simple, clarifies the value the reader will get out of the thread, and is tastefully clickbaity. When crafting a hook, put yourself in the shoes of the reader. Think to yourself, if I read the first line of this hook, how likely will I be to keep reading? If the answer is anything but F*CK YES, then it’s not good enough.
Most of my hooks are 3 simple lines. The first line typically talks about why the thread’s subject is important. The second line either presents a challenge or a reward pertaining to the first line. And the third line teases what’s to come. Example:
Now that we’ve hooked the reader, our mission is to get them to read to the end. If we get them to read to the end, we have a significantly higher chance of getting them to engage with the content, boosting its standing in the algorithm. We also increase their chances of giving us an exchange of value in the call to action. The intro is largely responsible for guiding them on their journey to the end of the thread. The intro is the 2nd tweet and typically gives them the pitch on why the subject matter is so important and show them what you’ll cover:
The intro should include another tease on why the information you’re about to present is so important, then summarize precisely what you’ll cover in the subsequent tweets.
Enough teasing; it’s time to start delivering value. The body includes all the details on the subject matter you’re covering. The body must be easy to read, short, concise, and actionable. Before writing the body, break your subject into 3-5 “chapters”. These are the chunks you will turn into tweets in the body. For instance, in my thread above on how to prepare for Twitter monetization, my chapters were ‘experiment with video’, ‘master threads’, ‘master Twitter Spaces’, ‘network with content creators’, and ‘improve your writing’.
I then broke each chapter into two tweets: one descriptive tweet and one action tweet. I avoid dedicating more than two tweets to any single chapter. Any more than two, and your thread is becoming too long and wordy. You should be able to cover any single chapter in just two 280-character chunks.
Here’s an example of a descriptive tweet in a chapter:
Here’s an example of an action tweet:
I don’t think every chapter in a body needs to be two parts, with one of them being an “action items” tweet. It would get rather repetitive if everyone used “action item” tweets. But this is the format I use for myself roughly 50% of the time. For the other half, I’ll either go with a visual in the 2nd tweet or have no 2nd tweet in the chapter at all. Remember, the simpler and more concise you are, the better.
Within the body tweets, you want to make sure your content is super readable. You can ensure this by using plenty of white space. I put line breaks in between each sentence to create white space and make the overall tweet much easier to consume. I also like to use visual cues at the beginning of each chapter. My go-to visual cue is the 🔶 emoji:
After we’ve written out the entire body, it’s time to wrap it up with a conclusion. The conclusion tweet reminds the reader of the importance of your subject and creates emotion with a powerful statement. The conclusion is the tweet where the reader will decide how they will engage with the tweet, if they engage at all. Obviously, the better the engagement, the better the thread will perform.
My conclusions are an alternate form of the hook, going over the value once more. Instead of leaving off with a teaser, it should leave with a powerful statement that will stick with the reader. Here’s my conclusion from my example thread:
This conclusion tweet should only be 2nd to the hook when it comes to engagement in the thread. If the conclusion is powerful, it will get a ton of likes and retweets on its own. This is your last chance to convince the reader to engage with your content.
Call To Action
The last tweet in the thread is your call to action. If you wrote a quality thread, you’ve successfully given a ton of value to the reader for free. You’ve now earned the right to make an ask. I find the sweet spot here is two asks. If you are on the smaller side and are 100% focused on Twitter growth, your two asks should be for a retweet of the original tweet and a follow. I’m focused on newsletter growth as well. So I ask for a retweet and a subscription to my newsletter.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for something here. You spent your most valuable resource, time, to create a thread that gives value. If you gave value, you can ask for a little in return. Here’s what my typical call to action looks like:
How to Publish
I compose, schedule, and publish all of my threads through Hypefury. They have an awesome composer tool, easy to use scheduling, and help you figure out when it the right time to publish. I’d definitely check out Hypefury here if you are interested in regularly writing Twitter Threads. My Twitter threads typically perform best when I publish them between 9am and 1pm EST.
Last Things to Remember
Viral threads that build you an audience need to be simple, actionable, valuable, easy to read, and relevant to your audience. You can write the most incredible thread on software development of all time, but if you’ve built an audience by writing fishing content, you’ll get zero traction. Focus on your niche, format the thread in a readable way, then publish at the right time. Do these steps correctly, and you will find a formula for success. There is no more viral form of content on Twitter than threads. Nail the creation process, and you’ll grow your account faster than you can imagine.
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NFT God. After re-reading over and over, this is by far my favorite insight to an activity to say. I am thankful you shared this.