My Experience Running a Twitter Gimmick Account

We all know and love the silly gimmick accounts on Twitter. This website has a wide variety of them from an account that posts “Ladies and gentlemen: the weekend!” every Friday or an account that posts a different Sega girl each day. Chances are that no matter who you are you’ve liked and retweeted posts from at least one gimmick account.

Like a lot of ambitious users of the website I chose to throw my hat into the ring out of a desire for likes and created my own gimmick account. I made sure to choose a topic that was both simple enough to get a wide reach and would have plenty of material for me to pull from: body swap episodes!

We all know and hopefully love the trope of two characters swapping bodies with each other because of a wish or a fall down the stairs and bonking their heads. Popularized in the west by the 1972 novel Freaky Friday and in Japan by….by…oh my god. You all don’t mind if I go on a tangent, do you?

So we have all watched a Japanese anime, show, or game that at one point or another had two characters fall down some shrine stairs and swap bodies, right? Well the origin of this is allegedly a 1960s Japanese novel, but what novel? I can find several references to this novel on the internet and even two movies called Tenkosei based on this novel. So is the novel called Tenkosei? I have no idea because although the Wikipedia pages for both of these movies claim they’re based on a novel neither of them name the novel nor the author.

I did a not insignificant amount of research this week trying to find out if this book was even real and finally found out on the Japanese side of the internet that the name of the book was “I am she and she is me” and it didn’t come out in the 60s it came out in 1980! This research helps absolutely no one but I would have gone crazy if I never learned the actual name.

Getting back on topic, it is now expected for any long running series to have at least one scene where the protagonist or side characters are in different bodies.

Posting a daily body swap episode from various media was a gold mine idea as everyone will come across at least one! So I began to gather up a list of anime, comics, and video games with body swaps in preparation. With my gimmick account idea in mind I created it and made my first post, one that would hopefully get an immediate boost in likes because it was a subject me and my mutuals on my main account shared interest in: Kohran’s story from Sakura Wars Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2!

With a healthy 30 likes on my first post and a decent starting follower base I decided to follow things up with something much more obscure and post the body swap episode from Xuccess Heaven, a very obscure property owned by Bandai Namco that you have never heard of. This worked wonders in gauging people’s interest as the account received a ton of comments asking “Where can I watch this?” (The answer was nowhere) and I received a large amount of followers from this.

After this moment I decided on what the main focus of my account should be: posting more obscure stuff. Sure while I do post pretty famous anime body swap episode such as Fairy Tail episode 19 or the ever classic episode 24 of Urusei Yatsura, I take much more pride in posting more obscure stuff such as a random party skit that’s exclusive to the PS2 port of Tales of Destiny.

For the first few weeks I ran this gimmick account I didn’t get a super larger amount of followers. Now don’t get me wrong 300 followers in only 3 weeks is a pretty healthy amount that I wish my main Twitter account could gain, but this wasn’t going to raise me to new heights as a gimmick account.

Then everything changed near the beginning of September….because I lost my password, oops. For two whole months I was locked out of my gimmick account and unable to post. By the time I got back in, not only had a similar account sprung up and gained more followers than me, but they had even commissioned someone to sub the body swap episode of Xuccess Heaven!

While it was a bit discouraging that I had less followers than someone with the same gimmick, I persevered and decides to expand my scope and begin posting body swap scenes from various Manga, starting with chapter 60 of KonoSuba. This post quickly became the most liked and retweeted post on my account with 156 likes, gaining me 100 entire followers as well!

This trend continued for the next week, I don’t know if I hit some sweet spot in the Twitter algorithm or what but I quickly jumped from 300 followers to around 700 in that week! Two particular posts that skyrocketed my follower count was the swap from Marvel Team Up (2019) which gained 264 likes and the swap from Fairy Tail 100 Years Quest chapter 113 which remains my highest liked tweet with 364 clicks.

By the time Elon Musk was destroying Twitter I had nearly hit 1,000 followers. I just needed one more hit post to push me over the edge and thankfully Ghost Stories chapter 188 was there to provide!

After hitting 1,000 followers I continued posting as usual, the follower count has actually slowed down now but that’s fine as now that every post gets a lot of likes I’m always guaranteed to gain at least a few. Nowadays I am sitting above 1,250 and expect to hit 2,000 by year’s end. Before I close off I have a few miscellaneous things about the account.

First off, which posts are guaranteed to get the most likes? I find that there are a few consistencies with what does and does not get a lot of likes. First off, swaps from video games never do well. Even with over 1,000 followers they rarely break through the 50 like barrier, let alone 100 likes. In comparison manga and comic swaps seem to always reach around 150 likes nowadays. Another type of post that rarely does well is whenever I post two people of the same gender swapping bodies, people are just much more interested when the genders are flipped.

Which brings me to an interesting topic, the types of followers I get. To put it simply, there are two types of people who follow my account. The first and least noteworthy is people who clearly have a weird fetish and do not attempt to hide it in public. If I get one more follower with ‘King of Feet’ in their bio I am going to tear my hair out.

The much more interesting type of follower is the sheer amount of trans people who began following my account. I don’t know how, as a Trans person myself, I hadn’t expected this as waking up in the body of someone who is the physical opposite gender as you is a dream for a lot of Trans folk. So seeing posts like a comic where Peter and Ms Marvel swap bodies with each other and Peter spends a page enjoying being a high school girl for a day must bring these people some amount of comfort.

And that’s all I have to really say about my gimmick account! Here is a link to it and I 100% expect to be put on that “Gimmick Account Breaking Character” gimmick account because as soon as this article goes up I’m going to advertise it there!

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