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🎙 Learning Curve Podcast

EP 18

Building a brand on Twitter 😉

September 03, 202035m 5s

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Show Notes

Listen to Brittik and Aravind talk about what they use Twitter for, tips and tricks and how to build brands on Twitter. (And there is a secret after party later in this video)

Youtube link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym7R-pRaDjQ


Aravind Balla

Brittik Basu

Learning Curve Podcast


Even if you're not someone crazy big, you can still benefit from having some kind of audience.

Once you have something of value and you can actually go out and sell to people.

Who you know if you don't have You any following? So you need some kind of following and okay

I built something, tweeted about it, and few people who have huge following, were excited about it. And then they retweeted my tweets. That's how I could like reach a lot of people on Twitter and this increased my follower count.

Reaching till 100 took a lot of time, than reaching to 600

To get people interested in you, share your process and how you overcome challenges.

How many views you get doesn't matter. It's just the sharing part that matters. If that has helped anyone in the process then nothing like it.

Twitter is like your base station where you launch everything from so if you create a YouTube video you share it with your audience on Twitter.

Start small

Once you are comfortable sharing more of what you're learning, you can go ahead and do it on all the platforms.

Starting small means we can continue the journey for a longer time.

Normally we share our thoughts with our friends, family and people at work, but when social life gets cut down to just being at home, Twitter is a great place to open up your circle to the whole world.

A good approach to begin on twitter

Share one original tweet and several retweets with your take/comment.

Retweet with comment to add your take to a tweet

Thread is like long form content or long form thought process

Twitter has this amazing character limit. A lot of people don't like it, but I think that's very good because you try to condense your thoughts.

Threads help you to expand on your on your tweets and add more content to it.

Threads can also be used like a timeline. You can have a thought and then a few days later if you want to change add an update to that tweet. Twitter will notify all the people who like that first tweet about new content.

A lot of people open their beta lists on Twitter People who create big things are on Twitter Find your next job on twitter

People first talk to the people they know on Twitter about the open positions in their company. Only when they don't find good people here, they go back to traditional job portals.

Being on twitter is like going to a conference and finding new people.

Clean your twitter feed. Unfollow anyone because of whom your twitter feed has content you don’t wasn’t to see.

tweet out a lot of things that are currently happening without expecting them to be perfect

Instagram is like, come see my face. And Twitter is like, see my brain!

Make friends on twitter.

Following the right people matters a lot

Use lists to take a break from your niche

I have all the cricket related people in a separate private list called cricket. When I want to see what's happening there, I switch to that list

Motivate people on twitter, ask questions, engage.

On twitter you can build your own community, be a part of a community and find like minded people

Filters in twitter’s search are a very powerful feature.

Shitposting is, whatever comes to your mind and not thinking about what people think. We're not bothering about anyone but just posting

Document your journey on twitter.

Twitter’s word limit forces to be an editor

Welcome to the learning curve Podcast, where brittik and Aravind share with you everything that they've learned so far about technology startups and remote life.

Hello everyone welcome to 18th episode of learning curve podcast. And in this episode we are actually turning like learning curve podcast is turning an adult like a teen Okay, so we are doing something different we are going on video and we are like you know how it happens when you're 18 you're comfortable in your skin by now. And that's why we are okay showing ourselves on the camera.

And yes, and we are going to talk about something interesting because having a podcast means also having a brand so learning curve podcasts is a brand and how are we actually taking things forward? And how are we leveraging Twitter for it? And the people, all the good people of Krita? How are we leveraging that and connecting with people. So we will share our strategies and how you can build a brand on Twitter, learning from what we have learned and just sharing our experiences. We are not huge Twitter celebrities, but what we want to say and convey to people is that even if you're not someone crazy big, I think very few people get to be very, very famous. But even people who don't get very famous, there is long trail and you can still have benefits of having some kind of audience, making friends on the internet and even selling things to people.

Once you have something of value and you can actually go out and sell to people who you know if you don't have You any following? So you need some kind of following and okay. Introducing Aravind Balla on the other end. Hi, Aravind. You have a big following on Twitter? I think it's seven 800, folks, right?

No, I think it's 600 600 plus, close to 700.

Almost 700. So I think by the time you know others watching the podcast follow you for the great content on front end development as well as second brain I think it will become 700 hopefully. So, Aravind, what has your experience with Twitter been like? When When was the first time you had 100 followers? And how did you grow it to 600? Was there any like spikes and stuff?

There was a spike recently that happened because of the theme. The Gatsby theme that I built. I talked about it in the previous Episode so I built something for, like publishing your thoughts, which is a Gatsby theme. And then I tweeted about it, and few people who have huge following. Were excited about it. And then they retweeted my tweets. That's how I could like reach a lot of people on Twitter and then increased my following. I mean, I had a good spike on the Twitter followers. Reaching till 100 took a lot of time, then, I guess reaching to 600 because I'm not there at seven yet. So yeah, the strategy was to share what I do online. It's, it's very simple. So I have this theory of working with your garage door open. It's something that I took from Andy. What he says is that When you like, share about the process of your work, and not not just the end product, but sharing the process of how you work on things, and what are the challenges you're facing and all that, like connects with a lot of people. And then you, you become like really genuine and share your process with them, then that actually gives you makes people interested in you, which leads in like a follow back on Twitter.

Cool. So basically you're giving first and creating things in a way that people can follow you and learn from how you are learning. Pretty cool! Was YouTube a contributor to, you know, more people getting to know you? Because you also you know, like you said, keeping your garage door open for people to see how you're working and solving problems was that in any way helpful, or did you get good feedback?

I think YouTube was... it went from Twitter to YouTube. It's not that people find me on YouTube and then come back to Twitter, but more like people who follow me or when I share the videos on YouTube? Then they go to the YouTube and watch a few videos that I made. So it's been the other way around. And yeah, I've got good feedback on YouTube. Two, three comments very less views below 50. But that doesn't matter. When you share content and do things or share things that you like working on, that how many views you get doesn't matter. It's just the sharing part that matters. And if that has helped anyone in that process then nothing like it.

Really good. Twitter is like your base station where you launch everything from so if you create a YouTube video you share it with the audience on Twitter. So I think you have what it takes like many people think it should publish everywhere. But you are starting with Twitter as a focus. And I think for people who are you know, creating content in the beginning to do this, you know, across the board across every it can be a bit overwhelming. It's like, you have to do this everywhere rather than just start somewhere. And once you are comfortable sharing more of what you're learning, you can go ahead and do it and all the platforms just like how we are doing now we will be putting this video up on YouTube, but we did not start that way. It is somewhat overwhelming. You have to figure it out. Everything's I was a bit overwhelmed. This is my first live video. We did once on I think periscope once but it was just casual. Right now I have to figure out The lighting the camera and the mic, and also the software to cancel out noise from the street behind. It can be overwhelming. So starting small means we can, you know, continue the journey for a longer time. Okay, so let's come back to Twitter, what am I doing? I have like two to 300 followers, I think less than 300 followers. And for me how I'm using Twitter is to trigger my thoughts. So when I read something interesting, I have a perception of it and how I think of it, how I would like to, you know, sometimes I read something and it triggers a different thought. So I retweet with comment of the initial tweet. And it's usually me sharing my take on something grown from my experiences. So that's how I use Twitter and I’ve engage with cool people on Twitter. And it's been Great so when Twitter is the new normal that's where we should share our thoughts. Normally we share our thoughts with our friends, family and you know people at work, but when social life gets cut down to just being at home, Twitter is a great place to open up your circle to the whole world. So yeah, that's how I'm using Twitter and it's been fun to share initially I thought, you know, it's it's difficult to come up with many tweets. People say should tweet a lot every day, but it's not necessary. And slowly as you keep eating, you will find that you have a lot to share. And that's how you also tweet a lot. And it doesn't have to be original ideas. I would say everyday if you can share one original tweet and several retweets with thoughts, remixes of Your ideas and I think that is a good approach to begin. And initially, I thought it's not possible to tweet so much like how do people actually do it? But now I you know, having tweeting 10 to 15 tweets a day, I think it is very possible to tweet more and share more of who you are as a person and be more visible to people out there. In the real world, it's easy to be visible, you have this you know, physical body and people see you they talk to you and a lot happens. There’s a lot of serendipity that can happen. But when the world moves online, Twitter is the way to actually share more of yourself. So tweeting is like, you know, standing in front of few people and having a chit chat and letting people even over your your what you think that's what Twitter is, it's the new normal,

I like your retweet strategy a lot. So what brittik does with his retweets is that it hasn't just retweet. But he makes sure that he adds a comment before he retweets. So that's like his take on that tweet. And also, one more interesting thing that happened that is happening with Twitter is that you don't need to be in high places. As in you don't need to be in cities to find cool people. Cool people now are available on Twitter, at your home, even if you are in a small village. With a good internet connection you can, like reach out to all the people on internet. Derek Sivers follows you on Twitter Brittik. Would it be possible to meet him?

Yes, he follows me on Twitter. I think I wrote some tweet. No, it wouldn't have ever be and it's really cool because we are both like big fans of direct servers and the simple ideas he has. And to get get a follow from someone you admire that big deal for a fan boy. So very very happy that happened and it was only possible because I tweeted something about how you don't have to you know, think that you're this you know, you have to be this big person you can also think that you're below average. And that's Derek sivers idea and I just tweeted about how that helped me to let go of my lofty goals and accept who I am and you know, I am below average. This isn't the biggest podcast on the internet and it is okay as long as we are sharing our thoughts and using the tools out there so it's okay to be below average, but our work should be above average in sense that you should not think you're below average and not do anything that's not an excuse. Rather accept it and still be yourself and show yourself to the world. So, uh, shall we dive into strategies on You know, using Twitter and and some basics, I would say like having threads and things like that. Aravind, what is your experience with creating Twitter threads? And why do you need a thread in the first place?

thread is like a long form, content or long form thought process that you can say because Twitter has this amazing character limit. A lot of people don't like it, but I think that's very good because you try to condense your thought, whatever you have to say, in that tweet, and then tweet it. threads help you to expand on your on those tweets and add more content to it. And then I also see them like a timeline. You can have a thought and then a few days later if you want to change something on that or if you want to Did that thought or update that tweet, you can basically make a thread. So what that helps in is, it will, it will notify all the people who like that first tweet. So that will make sure that all the people who like your content or like your previous tweet are notified about the updates. So you can use threads for all the things like this, maybe you can, you want to share your workout progress. You can make a thread out of it. You can tweet every time you work out and the things you do. So you can use it for that or what happened in my case is that I was working on this gatsby theme Andy, and I was not making individual tweets, but I was adding it to that existing thread. So this helped me like tell all the people who liked it or interacted with the original tweet To know about the updates of that thing that I am building. So it is like a change log, if you are building a product.

Also, you documented everything there the whole journey from pushing the team out and all the updates. It's all in one place. It's like documentation, but on Twitter, and one benefit I see of having threads is the limitation you talked about. And it forces you to become an editor. Normally, if you have like unlimited word limit, you just keep on writing and you don't focus on, you know how long you're writing or how much fluff you have. And the word limit actually forces you to have a focus and not try just a lot. So if you want to say about, talk about one thing, and it's one point, it can just be endless. It is very precise and just 280 characters, so threads are great for that and also threads Great for, you know, like having a conversation and building up on your tweet. Once you learn something new, you can just go and add on to it. For me, I have you know, principles for using Twitter. So as in when I learn more about Twitter, I keep on adding in that thread itself. And also reference it whenever I want to, you know, yeah, revise what my thoughts were or update the thread if necessary. And yeah, talking about a bidding, there is no way to delete a tweet. And I think that that makes it like real life. Yeah, yeah, exactly. No way to edit a tweet and it forces us to learn more than force. It makes it like real life. It is either you say something, and once you say it on something, it's out there in the world. You can delete it, but people have already seen it and you can change your wording and you can just say today's Monday. Tomorrow, edited to wetness day it will always be Monday on that tweet. So I think it's great to have such limitations and that is when creativity shines when you have limitations. And right now, on this current episode a limitation is there is no crop, we are not stopping the video for anything, we are continuously rolling it no matter what we say and you know, whatever it is, it is rolling. So that is a limitation. which forces Aravind & I to make this video like we are on stage and we can not mess up So, even if you mess up, it's okay, right? It's cool to have our flaws and embrace it and keep improving as we go ahead. So same twitter if you write something, let it be let it serve as a reference to your earlier thoughts. If it's very absurd, please go and delete it. That's what I think if it's something I don't believe in. It's very okay to delete things if you should post on someone's Oh, okay, wait a second, what is shitposting?

Shitposting is, whatever comes to your mind and not thinking about what people think we're not bothering about anyone but just posting, I think that's the right way to use Twitter.

Haha, It's about having fun and not being very self conscious, like someone posted about actually, I'm still not sure about how good shitposting is or not, but it is fun to do. So someone posted about react, okay, I'm not a react developer, but they said something about it needs tree shaking and things like that. For me, I think tree shaking is something like not literally tree shaking, but reducing the amount of features and making it leaner and focusing but when someone mentioned tree shaking, I just wrote Yes, we need to plant more trees. I don't know how that relates it does not of course, but just going to someone tweet and just making you're having fun there. I think it's okay to do that as long as you're enjoying and not being rude, or, you know, saying something bad. So I think that's shitposting for me, I don't create tweets, which I should post I'd rather go to other people's tweets and just make a joke. So now we have the lights on. And it is evening and it was raining outside. So beautiful green wall from Aravind’s home, and you can also see the mechanical keyboard on his left. So pretty cool.

Yeah, my setup is near a window. So this works best if we if it is a day and then the day light comes in and only my only I am lighten up in the background.

We were planning like Arvind said, we should have this call earlier, but I was like, my setup was not done, Mike and everything. And we were also thinking about simultaneously recording and logic. And you know, have the audio there and do things separately, but then we decided, no, let's keep this simple. Let's just do the zoom thing and not overload ourselves with everything. So I think until now, it's going pretty well, no disconnections. And so let's get back to the next topic or when, what's next?

What are the things are apart from threads that we use on a daily basis on Twitter? I can start the one basic thing or one feature that I use a lot is search. So you can not only search for war words, but you can search for specific things you can add filters in your search. And that is very powerful. For example, if I want to know what Brittik Brittik just mentioned his tweet about tree shaking, so I'll go into Twitter search and then I will type from Brittik Basu which is Brittik’s handle and then I will type trees so that will pull up all the tweets that Brittik had with trees in it three words in it, and then I can come to know how humorous brittik is right.

You won’t find out because I went and deleted the tweets so I have no tweets which is cheese Okay, so I go and delete you know, like when I get my consciousness back like okay, I I shouldn't have said that. No one laugh no one commented like Haha, yeah, it's funny. So I just went and deleted it. But yeah, this is a great feature where you can access anyone's tweets and not just that you can use search for getting famous tweets, you can have a filter where you have retweets like it has at least 10 retweets, or at least 20 likes, and you will get those tweets on the term you're searching on. And I think search is a great way to learn about something. I was learning about open source and it helped me find tweets about what people took away from one book. So rather than reading the book, I could actually get the highlight. So it really helps.

Yeah, and then you can know people's opinion on things you can like enter their handle and enter the topics so you can access all the things they have tweeted about regarding that topic and that will give you an opinion and You can basically when you are dming that person or messaging that person, you can have this context pre built. You don't have to, like start from scratch or it won't look like you have not done your research. Right? So you have some specific context in mind. And then you go ask that person. Maybe if if the person says x about a thing, you can tweet, or you can message them saying if that x is still valid, in their opinion, or if things have changed, and that's a good icebreaker as well.

I actually go and ask people what what's your take on this tweet? So I asked this person, what's your biggest highlight from reading this book? And he got back to me, like, you know, I'm still reading it, but I'll be soon sharing, you know, condense form of what I learned from it. And I think from his perspective, I'm also kind of motivated him to finish the book because he hasn't yet he bought the book, but he didn't. And someone on the internet is asking dude, like, tell me what you learn from it. So it's kind of an accountability thing also. And also I'm motivating him by engaging in that tweet, and also following him so that you know, I can stay updated. So it's a very good community, you can build your own community, be a part of a community, find like minded people. And I think it that's what Twitter is for. And there are arguments about you know, there are more people on Twitter so you no more unnecessary content, more angry people, but I completely disagree. While there are more people sharing lots of stuff, if you niche down on the things that matter to you, and you will find few people in your domain compared to you know, people following actors, actresses, politicians, things like that. If you Step out of the mainstream into something that matters to you. You'll find more like minded people, even though there are lots more people, I think it's more like a good thing because more people on Twitter means more possibility of finding people like us on Twitter. Aravind have you made a friend on Twitter?

Yes, I have made lots of friends on Twitter. Not a lot, but maybe less than 10. But yeah, I sometimes have DMS with them on Twitter. And yeah, it's good. Another point, I feel is that you have to follow people you like so that your timeline is good, and is of the tweets that you want to see. Yeah, so your timeline basically consists of People you follow their tweets and the tweets that they react to the tweets that they like or retweet or comment. So this makes up your timeline. So people whom you follow matters a lot. And like having it specific on a topic, or, for example, in my case, my Twitter timeline is completely on, on tech and development. So this having this criteria is good. And then there is another Twitter feature called lists, which you can use to divert a bit from your original niche. So what I do now is I have all my, all the cricket related people in a separate East separate private list called cricket. And when I want to like see what's happening there, I switch to that list and then see that so you can have less for maybe you have painting as a hobby. You have music as a hobby or cryptocurrencies and stuff, so that can be separate lists and your main content timeline can be only of tech Twitter. That's a really powerful tool too.

I would like to add to the cleaning your Twitter feed thing. So what I do there is I unfollow anyone who has liked something that I will never accept. So it's like, you know, some political tweet or something, I just don't want to engage in that or I don't want that in my Twitter feed, then I unfollow those people. What I do is, first I check their profile. If there's something useful in the first 10 tweets, I still follow them. But unless that's the case, I unfollow them so that I see more tweets on the things I want to learn about, rather than you know, what's going on in the world. So I don't use Twitter. as what we call, you know, critic calls it a news feed, I think, our Twitter feed, so I don't use it like that I just use it for things I want to know. And it's similar things I think we can do and we should do and all social media and the things that views like on Google News, I strongly dislike things that I don't want to learn about. So it makes space for more things that I want to learn about. And I think this applies everywhere in life. If you remove the things you don't like, you're naturally making more space for the things that you like, and you might like. So opening up the possibilities. Now talking about others social media, you know, how is Twitter different from say, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, you know, other social networks out there?

So Instagram is like, come see my face. And Twitter is like, my brain

And LinkedIn is where people ignore you, basically.

I think Twitter is a platform where you, like tweet out a lot of things that are currently happening without expecting it to be perfect. Because we don't. For example, in Instagram, we want things to be short very well, and things to be looking good, so that people like it. But on Twitter, it's not the case you can tweet anything.

And Twitter is a place it's like going to a conference and finding new people. When I compare it with facebook, facebook is like a book where which has faces of all the people I once knew. So that's what Facebook is. Now I don't really use it for anything. It's just a place where if I want to connect with somebody I knew from before Facebook is the place Where I go and, you know, say hi to those people on messenger maybe. But apart from it, I think Twitter is where the future is where we meet new people, where we find like minded people. So I think that's how Twitter is very different from all these other social media platforms.

And if you are a developer, I think you should be on Twitter. A lot of people from India, not a lot of developers from India, not on Twitter, but you should be on Twitter because all the big companies all the people who create big things are on Twitter. Right so they tweet a lot of stuff that at their about their work even before things get released. And they asked for credibility they open RFCs which are forms for discussion before a feature gets released into Open Source thing. So, yeah, question and what is the latest thing you signed up for? Next JS conference.

Okay, cool. I signed up for Sahil, not so our levels io Yo, that guy he created a tool using GPT three and it generates new ideas and I just went there and uploaded some ideas on that too.

I saw that I should get on that soon.

It's really cool. The first thing spoiler alert is the idea that which got the highest vote is fashion designers should start selling their creations online. So, you know, a platform where all the fashion designers, students fashion design students can actually share things. So students are creative, right? They are rebels and they come up with the best ideas. So they should have an option. Click where they can share their creations make money and yeah, be more sustainable.

Shopify for fashion designers is a is going to be a thing,

Exactly. Shopify, I think more like Amazon for fashion designers, where you have designs from all the fashion schools out there and a singular place where you can also use filters and find things that you like, but from students of fashion schools. So yeah, so you get to do these things and Twitter. I would not have found out about this if I was on Facebook, or anywhere else. So all these cool people, it's like, the place for them to say, Hey, are you a beta user? Please come join me.

A lot of people open their beta lists on Twitter they find people from twitter and let you use it. I remember I purchased this font called dank mono. And I purchased it using offer because the creator of that font, Phil, he asked if people were interested to test it out. So I sent him a message and he said, the waitlist is closed, but because you're interested, you have this discount coupon. So all these cool things happening on Twitter. And then what about the job opportunities?

Yeah, even that's open right on Twitter. There are like 70% of the jobs just never make it to job portals. They are filled up by the people you know, the people who you know who know other people, so like, you know, so your immediate or mutual friends network. So Twitter helps you with that. So now if Aravind has a company and he wants to find somebody, and he doesn't know anyone in his immediate social network or immediate You know, physical social network then he goes on to Twitter and finds people like hey, I'm looking for react developers or interns please let me know and people retweet and when you retweet it share with your network. So I think that's a place for looking for jobs.

And that is free job posting

Also you can tell people that please retweet retweet for karma read feed for each do that because the more people share, the more you are and other people's Twitter feeds. Yeah, Aravind what were you saying.

So Twitter is like free job posting. These job portals want you to pay money for posting a job ad but I think a lot of jobs are getting failed through Twitter. People First talk on Twitter and if they don't find good people, I think then they go back to traditional job portals and then post the postings.

So almost I think we covered everything, all the possibilities on Twitter. Is there anything left to cover? any points?

I think we covered almost all of them. At least the things in my notes are covered.

Okay, so welcome to the after party. So the podcast is over and now I think we can talk about we can also edit it from the audio version if necessary. But since we are on video, I think we have the freedom we always have the freedom. So this is the best way of doing podcasts

Yeah, if you are on audio we highly recommend that you go to the YouTube is in the podcast notes and then watch this after But till then have a go

because everything everything after the beep will be deleted so you're missing out. Beep beep.

Beep. Beep. Haha