Matt Fagioli organizer of ReTechSouth and I were talking last night. “I agree to talk while you are talking” is how I described the practice of following those on twitter who follow you in a bid to get your follower numbers up.
This practice seems near mindless. Most people who agree to take on hundreds or thousands of courtesy followers immediately filter them out using Tweet Deck or some other software (you’re not so clever, they do the same to you!)
I recently asked a couple of friends who have thousands (one has over ten thousand) followers to tweet one of my blog posts with a Tiny URL (a great tool BTW) attached.
Later I checked Google Analytics (another great tool) to see the number of visitors received from Twitter from my friends’ tweets. The amounts of visitors were surprising:
- the low teens.
In contrast I have just 120 followers. When I tweet a blog post I get about 13-17 visits- about the same number of visits as my friends get even though I have 5-10X fewer followers. I follow about 60 people and read just about every tweet. The people I follow are carefully selected as they post great tweets and retweet stuff they pick up. The small number of people I follow act as my filter and help me stay informed.
Are your followers REALLY following you? Probably not. Nor are you following your followers. In the mad dash to get followers are you merely involved in a Ponzi scheme of self obsession?
It seems that for large numbers Twitter can be used to broadcast or to listen, but not both at the same time.
This makes twitter possibly less scalable than we imagine.
Having lots of followers is perhaps less important than having quality followers.
The same goes for traffic to a web site. Zillow recently drove a lot of traffic to their site by announcing a Zestimate of the White House (go ahead and click on the link, then ask yourself of what use is this type of visitor to a Realtor-are they going to help sell the White House? is the visitor a qualified buyer?)
Quality traffic matters as should quality followers.
In the mad race to get bragging rights to the most number of followers, quality seems to have fallen off the radar.
Are you ignoring proven lead generation methods to your financial detriment and spending inordinate amounts of time on twitter talking to each other, gaining followers or just trying to figure it out?
For further thoughts on twitter see: