Following and Followers on Twitter – What’s the Big Deal?

Now this is the article where I show my true colours as a Social Media Heretic.  

I’ve written a number of articles about following on Twitter and you have asked me how to, why to and mostly what to do.  First off, please understand these are entirely my own opinions.  I don’t run a complicated stats package and I don’t use studies or fancy algorithms to back up my insight.  My Twitter advice comes from 20+ years working with people and establishing productive working relationships with them in the flesh and online. I do know what I’m doing.  I was manhandling online information before Twitter and before Mark Zuckerberg had any friends.

What you get from me is straight talking.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you’ll know that my advice is primarily aimed at small and medium business enterprises.  I want to help you develop and maintain an engaging, open and positive relationship with your clients.  All my advice is based on my mantra (yep here we go again):

 “People do business with people they know
and people they like.”

However, I’m not exclusive and any and all my advice can be taken on board by anyone.  It’s good stuff!

I probably spend more time on Twitter than most because I want to get under its’ skin and find out how it works for those of you in the real world.  It’s my job to sort it out Social Media for those of you who want to part-take but haven’t got the time or necessarily the inclination.  I would like you to be able to maximize your opportunities and enable you to use your time online productively.

“I like work; it fascinates me. 
I can sit and look at it for hours.”
Jerome K. Jerome
Not us though!
Paris, France – 2007

So back to being a Social Media Heretic. 

For SMEs (and most of us) I sincerely believe that it’s not about big numbers but quality numbers.  This is why I don’t adhere to the more is more plan of action. I don’t slavishly follow everyone who follows me. Honestly I don’t understand why some people do follow me.  They obviously haven’t read any of my tweets, visited this blog or gone to my website.  They usually leave before the week is out.  Yes, confession time here.  People leave me in droves!  OK a minor trickle, but it happens.

I don’t care. (OK it’s very nice to have loads and loads of followers.  I do enjoy having a fan club that may or may not listen to what I have to say.  I’m human, I want to be liked!)

What I do care about more is the people I follow.  And yes many followed me first and I liked what I saw and followed back. The others I discovered myself.  I’m choosy not a ego manic.

“Oh, but you’re so mean because that’s not very nice”, I hear you cry.  Not so.  I’m sure the other 189, 999,301 plus accounts on Twitter will find their own fans (in some cases I wish they would just go away but…).

Come on!  Who has the time? 

Really is it important to be followed by everyone including the cat’s brother?  Wouldn’t it be better to develop a solid core of interesting and engaged followers who actually know who you are?  People and businesses you can talk to/sell to/rely on/are interested in?  My answer is yes.  Your most effective use of Twitter is as an integrated part of your marketing scheme.  So use it to it’s best advantage to find your particular niche audience.

I say this because I feel that you must always keep in mind the “Social” aspect of Social Media and this require dialogue, interaction, exchange.  You know – being social. And yes, to use Twitter really effectively you have to do this.

Coffee or tea with chat works nicely too
Buonconvento, Italy – 2009

The formal lingo for developing a compatible/useful/involved following is called “Organic”.  Because it’s a selective process, takes a lot of time and yes you have to wade through some decomposing natural products to get there (nice euphemism eh?).

In the long run (and do keep in mind that all Social Media is for the long run, it’s not an over night quick fix), developing your home grown organic followership will be much more rewarding than 1,500,000 followers who only need you to make their numbers look good.

It’s not just a popularity contest.  Twitter is a business platform.  Seriously.

Hope this helps clear up a few things.  Any ideas, objections, insights……you know where I am.



2 thoughts on “Following and Followers on Twitter – What’s the Big Deal?

  1. Thanks for your post.I am with you. like you said some people want just the numbers or followers but what truly matters is when they follow you because they know who you are and they will stay with you for sure.

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