By Alan Graner
You see them all the time: ads, tweets, blogs and articles promising they will reveal the inside secrets for amassing hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers in a short period of time.
You get all excited because, well, hundreds of thousands of followers give you gravitas. You are a person with influence, a somebody.
Nah, not really.
Let’s suppose you have 100,000 followers, admittedly an impressive number. How many of them reply to your tweets? Or favor your tweets? Or retweet?
That’s not influence, that’s just a bunch of people following you in the hopes you and others will follow them back so they can feel important by building their own impressive follower counts.
A vanity metric
A large follower count is what’s called a vanity metric, one that’s meaningful to your ego and little else. It’s a popularity contest to see who can acquire the most fans—not a measure of influence.
In fact, if you read studies on large follower counts you’ll quickly discover there is little correlation between huge numbers and real influence.
Those with the most Twitter followers—Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake—have little influence other than, perhaps, the ability to sell movie tickets and albums. The only exception is some guy named Obama.
Wait, you say, what about other influencers with huge followings?
They have high follower counts because they’re influential, not the other way around.
If you want your follower count to matter, concentrate on following movers and shakers in your industry and/or your specialty. Tweet posts that matter to them and perhaps they’ll retweet or start following you.
But don’t count on it.
A little research will reveal top influencers don’t follow many people.
It’s something to think about.
Agree or disagree?
Image: Ken Lee via Flickr®
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business marketing content and distribution firm. For content that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.