P.S. Your Twitter Followers? That Don’t Impress Me Much

“That don’t impress me much,” so sang Shania Twain in the late 90s. Numbers tend to impress us. How much you have in the bank. How much you paid for your car. How much you scored on your SATs. How many calories were in that cupcake. Numbers can make us feel anxious, important, or overlooked. An area I’ve been watching in social media since the beginning is the (misguided) importance individuals and brands place on the number of followers someone has in Twitter. (There is an argument to make for Facebook ‘likes’ too, but that’s another post.)
Is there a difference between someone having 5K versus 50K followers on Twitter? Brands and individuals can fall victim to believing the number of followers wields a lot of power and influence. What brands and tweeps constantly forget to ask themselves is, What is the quality of these followers? Like the adage says, It’s not quantity, it’s quality.
My assertion for the purpose of this post basically states that unless a tweep manually “cleans” his/her followers list regularly (and by regularly, I mean at least weekly) or uses an app like commun.it to do it for them–their number of followers is meaningless. In my humble opinion, it is even more meaningless if they don’t have at least two tweets per follower. Why is this, you ask? Because it means they have likely never engaged with any of their followers at least once, and likely broadcast much more than they share or engage.
Many brands mistakenly place their eggs in the baskets of tweeps boasting huge numbers of followers. What they fail to realize and how they essentially cheat themselves out of a rockin’ social media strategy is they never check the level of actual engagement between the account holder (tweep) and his/her followers nor do they request an accurate recount of valid Twitter followers. Moreover, brands rarely, if ever, do a “background check” to examine how tweeps they’re hiring handle their personal accounts, ie. How often do they tweet? What do they tweet? What are their followers interested in? What is their social media style?
Followers can be bought and paid for. People do it every day. But anyone worth their salt in the Twitterverse has grown their following organically. They have produced compelling content that made people think and reevaluate how they view and participate in social media. They have engaged with others and their followers in chats, conversations, debates, exchanges, and shared ideas, laughs, opinions, and all have learned something in the process.
It’s always best practice to look for the substance beneath the veneer. Anything can look great on the surface. It’s once you scratch the surface and take a peek underneath that true depth is revealed. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. By all means, pay attention–but don’t be dazzled by quantity. Demand quality. You and your social media strategy deserve it.

4 thoughts on “P.S. Your Twitter Followers? That Don’t Impress Me Much

  1. Spot on Susie. But I missed it, how do I get more followers? 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      Find your voice. Give people great content. Share, engage, repeat! Thanks for chiming in, Eric. Always a pleasure.

  2. Teresa Cypher says:

    Thanks for a good post that confirmed what I had already begun to think about the Twitterverse. I followed a link to here, posted by “Leaderswest”, on Twitter. Good information. One thing to have followers. A whole other thing to have interaction with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Teresa, thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. Interaction is key. And it’s the whole point of being ‘social’. You’re spot on, Teresa.