Twitter – is it all about the # of followers?

The number of followers a tweeter has is commonly seen as an indicator of twittering  success. I have friends that boast of having over 2000 followers. The likes of Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian have over 7,000,000 followers. It can make a tweeter like me feel quite inadequate with my 50 or so followers. Should I feel bad, or is there more to twitter success than apparent popularity.

Apparent popularity? I’ve shown my hand a little with that sneaky ‘apparent’ haven’t I. I don’t think numbers are so important do I! Well of course I wouldn’t with my puny 50 followers (I keep writing, 50 or so at first, but I know the exact number to be a measly 51)!

Okay. I admit I do have some follower envy. A couple of hundred more would always be nice…but think

  1. Take a look at the tweeters you follow …when did I last read this guy or girls tweet?
  2. How many retweets of my tweets have there been recently?
  3. How many of my followers have sent me a direct message in the last month?
  4. How many tweets have each of my followers sent ever?
  5. How many of my followers were eager tweeters for a week and then mysteriously disappeared?
  6. How many followers do most of my followers have?
  7. What’s my ratio of following to followers?

I’ll bet in most cases the answers go something like…

  1. oof! I dunno!
  2. Ehh…none?
  3. Well, that flooring company that follows me for no reason I can workout sent a nice offer two weeks ago.
  4. ’bout 7
  5. The majority I guess
  6. ’bout 7
  7. ’bout even or 1/1

Wow. So that’s a pretty healthy network of followers you have because…

  1. So few are interesting
  2. Hardly anyone cares what you say, or even see it
  3. No one writes anymore, or ever…
  4. …not even the odd tweet
  5. Not that they ever cared
  6. And why should anyone care about them
  7. They’ll follow, but only if you follow back

So, if numbers don’t matter (they do, but they aren’t everything) what does?

Quality. Quality of followers matter. Followers who…

  1. are genuinely interested in your tweets
  2. work in your industry
  3. need the products or services of your industry
  4. retweet your tweets because they respect your authority in their industry and want to spread the news
  5. mention your tweets for the same reason they retweet your tweets
  6. write to you and strike up private conversation because they think you’re the guy or girl in the know

The followers who do this stuff will maybe, just possibly become clients who pay money for your services or products, or at least drive traffic to your blog and website that may boost sales.

So enough with the boasting over the number of followers. You’re a networker, not a collector of name tags!

And here’s an article that underlines the dangers of attaching too much importance to follower number.

It’s The Quality of Twitter Followers That’s Important, Not The Number – Just Ask Newt






About jonhartl

Jon Hartley is a former manager in international online and traditional publishing. He has over 20 years experience in marketing, training, editing, copywriting and translation.Jon Hartley Internet Marketing is a collective of professionals expert in all aspects of internet including design and IT

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