How I got 500+ Followers from 1 Tweet

This is how I got 500+ Followers from 1 (pretty mediocre) Tweet.

I will dive into what made this tweet successful (and unsuccessful) and how it led me to get 500+ followers. I even received continued engagement with this tweet for about 3 months after the event, it kept circulating!

Here’s the Tweet:

What do you think? It’s a pretty average tweet, but there are a few underlying reasons why it got so popular.

So, why did this happen?


Lady Gaga (or her social media team?) ended up retweeting me. This did a few things, 1. it gave me Reach/Exposure, 2. Credibility and 3. It also put me in front of her super fans.

I also tagged Tech Crunch, a leading media site, which gave my post more authority.

Take advantage of super fans

If you are not aware, there is a tactic many B2C Twitter accounts take advantage of — and that is a brand/person’s super fans aka “Fan Army”. These fans deploy in hundreds, even thousands sometimes when their celebrity interest is mentioned.

When I managed the Applebees Twitter account, we would engage with celebrities and big events on Twitter. So much so, that fans would tweet to us asking us to help them get noticed, and/or followed by their favorite celebrity. Which of course — was a fun thing to do. This had nothing to do with Applebees and selling food, but it allowed us to tap into a fan network, get more exposure, engagement and follows and do some good! We had some great success engaging with Ariana Grande — getting her to reply in comments and tweet back.

We made their day and were able to leverage our authority to engage with celebs —whom fans usually never reach. We became part of the conversation with these fans - they love chatting! We even got Ariana to say Happy Birthday to one of our mutuals fans! Finding out who your fans/followers love and tapping into that is a great way to get engagement- and it doesn’t have to be 100% relevant to your brand.

In this occasion, I was able to get picked up and traction with Lady Gaga’s fans.

Fans started Retweeting and liking — like the loyal little monsters they are, they started retweeting what Gaga put on her profile. Since this was also breaking news and a new — feel good — initiative, this also led to more engagement.

Fans started commenting — which is typical behavior as they want to leverage a popular tweet in case Lady Gaga saw the comments/replies. They use this to get their fan accounts exposure and leave (usually love/support) messages.


This was breaking news on Tech Crunch. One of the biggest reasons this tweet got picked up is because I think I was the first person to tweet it — or one of the first.

I was watching the Live Tech Crunch announcement and made sure I had Twitter open and ready to do some live tweeting. Jumping on breaking news is a good way to be one of the first people to talk about it and likely get picked up and more exposure.

Tagging, hashtags and Linking

I leveraged tagging, hashtags and linking to make this a successful tweet.

  • I made sure to tag Lady Gaga’s mom as she was a big part of the initiative and also seen in the photo
  • I thought about what she would have wanted said about her brand and tried to include all relevant information
  • I tagged and linked to the source — Tech Crunch
  • I used searchable keywords and relevant hashtags in my tweet
  • I made sure there was context in my tweet

I said my tweet was mediocre because it was not crafted using the best tweet principles, yet — it still worked! So, what I would do differently if I were to tweet this now:

  • I would have reduced the number of hashtags and just kept 1: #HackHarassment — because that was her initiative and the others were not needed. I probably would have tagged the official @HackHarassment Twitter profile as well. You do not need to put a “#” in front of every keyword — you still have discoverability without it.
  • Having your post be mostly hashtags looks spammy — keep it to 1–3 max. Reserve hashtags for (trending and specific) topics and events.
  • The tweet, although successful, pretty much used the title of the Tech Crunch article. I would now have tried to give more or different information that what can be read in the preview and title. You don’t want to be redundant and tweet the same thing that can be read in the tweet image title.
Lady Gaga retweeting me

Hope you found this interesting and that it inspired you to get creative, and try to create this for yourself! Please say hi to me on Twitter and let me know what you think about this article — @AlexandraABowen

Program Manager @ Google. I write stories around: Design, Community, Product, Sustainability, Philosophy, Work, Career.