Why The Number of Twitter Followers You Have Is Irrelevant

Twitter followers

The following is a guest post.

There is a particular personality type out there that would rather have one or two extremely close friends than a dozen superficial acquaintances. It’s a case of quality over quantity. Much in the same way, just because you have a huge Twitter following doesn’t mean you have a good following.


Chirp! Unless you’re from The Bronx, in which case it’s “Choip!”

Quality vs. Quantity

In this case, quality is defined as likely prospects, people who actually read your tweets, click on your links, and get involved. Look at it this way; if you have a Facebook account, surely there are people out there who sent you a Friend request that you’ve accepted solely so that you could shut them up. You don’t look at their pages, you don’t even have them actively on your news feed. That’s not much of a friendship, Facebook style or otherwise.

Much in the same way, Twitter followers can range from everything from spam accounts to dead accounts to people who simply follow you automatically, to people who actually do follow you. Wouldn’t it be better to have 500 Twitter followers who are willing to engage you, than have 5,000 followers who never even read your Tweets?

Some would say “No’. The more, the merrier!”, and perhaps they have a point. If you can brag about having 59,000 followers, you really don’t have to add the fact that none of them actually interact with you or your tweets. A lie by omission? Maybe.

Why Tweet?

What it all comes down to is, why do you want followers on Twitter? What’s the point or the goal? If your sole purpose is to build an army of 400,000 minions for the purposes of bragging that you have nearly half a million followers, then all power to you. There’s nothing wrong with that. It could even make you seem more important, which could in turn lure more people in (“Hey, this business has 400,000 followers! They MUST be worth following!”).

But if you’re using Twitter as a direct marketing tool, then you need to make sure that your followers are actually reading you and responding. Quality followers are those that you have influence over, the ones who actually respond to your marketing campaigns, and retweet your messages to their friends.


Hello? Is Anybody In There?

The best way to tell if your follower are quality or not is to incorporate Twitter analytics and find out the patterns and habits of your followers. There are various utilities and apps out there to help you generate some real numbers, finding out how many followers your followers have, how often your tweets are retweeted, etc.

Of course, one simple and direct way of telling how influential your tweets are is to incorporate a promotion exclusively on Twitter and then see how many people actually take advantage of it. Granted, it’s not scientifically accurate, and doesn’t take into account other reasons for not engaging with it (lack of funds, the promotion is for something unwanted), but it can at least serve as a rough guide.

All in all, there are good reasons for having superficial Twitter followers and having quality followers, but the value of those reasons becomes clearer when you settle on why you’re using Twitter in the first place.

John Terra has been writing freelance since 1985. In his writings, he’s covered everything from decorating a man-cave to online reputation management.

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