How to build a Twitter Empire like Guy Kawasaki–4 simple steps–Infographic

Infographic is at the bottom of this post.

Photo of GuySo, you want to be a Twitter legend like Guy Kawasaki ? You want 250,000 followers. You want to make lots of money and Tweet all day long. Well, the insights in this dashboard won’t turn you into Guy Kawasaki, but they will help you understand the 4 most important things that make Guy such a success on Twitter.

Guy Tweets like a Firehose
Guy tweets about 3 times an hour, generating about 83 Tweets per day. Half of Guy’s Tweets are published between 9am and 6pm, Eastern time. Guy repeats his Tweets 3 times, 8 hours apart because he knows that his repeat Tweets will bring in about 75% of his total clicks. So do what Guy does and repeat your Tweets.

Guy Tweets to be ReTweeted
Just about all of Guy’s Tweets have a link to his website, Guy publishes lots of interesting content, and his 250,000 followers ReTweet Guy’s stuff about 1,500 times per day. By getting others to ReTweet his Tweets, Guy’s audience spans well beyond his 250,000 followers.

Guy’s optimal time to Tweet for ReTweets is 5pm Eastern. If you’re looking for ReTweets, try Tweeting when Guy does, and also read this. While you’re doing that, make sure you pay attention to Guy’s next attribute.

Guy Tests and Tracks to refine his Twitter Strategy
Guy tested his Tweet repeat strategy before deciding on the 3 repeats, 8 hours apart. Why not go one step further and use Twitter data to predict how many ReTweets Guy’s post will get? I’ve constructed a model showing that that we can predict, based on the first 15 minutes of ReTweets, how many total ReTweets Guy will get from his initial Tweet in the following 24 hours. Guy could use this early indicator to alter his Tweeting strategy for the day, or to shuffle around advertising, or to change his repeat Tweet strategy on the fly. You should do the same.

Guy Tweets Great Content
This is the most important thing of all. Tweet all you want, but if you don’t put out interesting stuff, who will want to follow or ReTweet you?

The data for this analysis were gathered using various APIs (YQL, BackTweet, Twitter Search, and longurlplease). SAS was used to gather and manipulate the data and JMP was used to build the predictive model. The data in this analysis span Guy’s Tweets from the first two weeks of June 2010. Weekend Tweets were excluded.


Single click image for full screen version.
Download a high-resolution pdf of this infographic here.

Not all of Guy’s tweets were used in this analysis. @Replies were excluded, as were tweets which didn’t have a link to

10 thoughts on “How to build a Twitter Empire like Guy Kawasaki–4 simple steps–Infographic”

  1. John,

    Wow, I didn’t know I was doing some of this stuff. One thing: I repeat the tweets 4 times, not three. It’s been like this for months.

    And I do not schedule the initial tweets. They just happen whenever me or my ghosts happen to post, and I’m often in far off timezones. The rational behind the 4 x 8 hours apart is that no matter when we post, this strategy means we’ll hit prime Pacific even time.



    1. Guy,

      The typical pattern I see in your Tweets is an initial Tweet followed by 3 repeats, spaced at 8 hour intervals. For example, one of my favorite recent Tweets of yours is about the couple who discovers photo showing paths crossing as kids at Disney World. I got chills seeing that photo. Anyway, you originally tweeted that one on June 9th at 8:40 pm Pacific. Then the Tweet was repeated on June 10th at 4:40 am, 12:40 pm and finally on June 11th at 8:40pm. I’m counting this as 3 repeats and one original, not 4 repeats.

      If you’re saying that you Tweet once, and then repeat that initial Tweet 4 times, then I’ve missed a Tweet somewhere. If you’re saying that each of your Tweets is generally Tweeted 4 times, then we’re saying the same thing.

      I limited the scope of this analysis to your Twitter acccount ‘GuyKawasaki’ and looked at links only. I did read your ‘How I tweet, just the faqs’ post while doing my research, but I have to admit, I’m still a bit unclear on whether or not you’re counting your original Tweet in the repeat count.

      I know this is a hot topic, one that can make a big difference in the effectiveness of a Twitter campaign. Thank you for taking the time to comment on it.


  2. Interesting research John but I wish you would have cautioned people about the risks of tweet volume and repeating tweets. I personally quit following Guy because, frankly, he was polluting my Twitter stream. He desire to feed his “Twitter Legend” status comes at the risk of hacking off some of his followers who tire of seeing his face dominate their twitter feed. I don’t think the average @joe could get away with this tactic for too long without eventually losing followers.

    I would love to see some analysis on Guy’s follower attrition rate to determine if there is a optimal rate for his Tweeting.

    Great research though!

  3. Dean, I agree with you, and, if I can speak for Guy K., he probably agrees with you too. His repeats do likely annoy people who monitor their Twitter streams closely. For those folks, however, he does offer @alltop, which is his feed minus repeats.

    From what I’ve read, Guy claims that he looses a tiny fraction of his followers in return for 75% more clicks by repeating his tweets. See for details on that one.

    I’m not certain that that the average @joe might not be able to get away with a repeat strategy like Guys. After all, unless your followers are online and looking at their Twitter feed with say 30 minutes or so (depending on how many people they follow) of your posting, they’ll likely miss it. I’ve started repeating my Tweets and haven’t seen a drop off. Then again, I have a ways to go before I hit 250k followers like Guy has.

    Thanks for posting Dean.

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