Does size matter? How many followers do you need on Twitter?
OK, this is the question everyone is asking. Does it matter how many followers you have on Twitter? And what kind of followers do you want? We recently saw a “contest” between CNN and Ashton Kutcher to determine who could get a million followers first. Crazy, yes. But it shows the emphasis on numbers of followers. How many you want depends on why you’re on Twitter in the first place. If you just want to tweet your friends and family, keep it small. You can’t stop people from following you, but you can DM (direct message) your small group.
If you’re promoting any type of business or website on Twitter, you want enough followers to get a good Return on Influence (ROI). At this writing, I have more than 3300, and I’m still slowly adding new people. Bill Crosby, who promotes his Twitter Traffic Machine, has about 31,000 followers. His program costs $27 and consists of a series of steps to take that mostly are available for free. But Bill says that anytime he posts a website on Twitter, he gets about 400 hits. Assuming (at best) only 10% of his followers even see the post, that’s still 400/3100 = 13%. Not bad. Another approach is a viral follow method developed by the good folks at ViralURL. It’s called Viral Followers. I’ve used both of these, but I’m not convinced either one will do anything miraculous (40,000 in 30 days!) or give you the kind of targeted followers you really want. So I recommend the following:
- Use Twollow.com to identify Twitterers with similar interests and follow them automatically a few at a time (it allows 5 keywords and 15 follows per day).
- Use Search.Twitter.com to identify people who are tweeting about your keywords (I like MLM, network marketing, make money online, etc.). Follow up to 50 people per day manually. Don’t do too many at one time.
- Use TweetLater.com to set up autofollow and a friendly direct message welcome (not an ad for your website! I use my blog url.)
- Once a week. go into FriendorFollow.com and decide if you want to keep following those who are not following you. Also weed out the obnoxious, the non-posters, and those who clearly are not in your target market.
- Finally, use TweetDeck to tweet. MUCH easier to use and follow what’s going on. Just go to Tweetdeck.com and download the application. It’s free.
Now, having said all that, how many followers do you need? This is a topic of great debate, especially among attraction marketers. Not long ago, Mike Dillard mass “unfollowed” almost 10,000 people. He doesn’t follow me back, but I follow him. Why? I value what he has to say. Same with some others. Once you get past that 2000 hurdle (and you can if you don’t follow too many at one time and they follow you back), then you need to focus on the quality of your tweets. (Well, you need to do that from the beginning, but especially once you get a following.) I recommend you:
- Tweet funny one-liners followed by a shortened url to your blog or landing page. You can Google all kinds of quotes. Keep them clean! Save the vulgarity for the locker room.
- Tweet hot stories you pull off CNN, Fox, Digg or other sources. Just tweet the story title and the shortened url. Not every tweet needs to be an ad.
- Develop a series of posts that aren’t too obnoxious about your business opportunities with a shortened url. Use Tr.im to track how you’re doing with the message. I’ll put up a blog about how to use Tr.im in a few days. Too much to put in this one.
There are other ways to get people to your website, blog or landing page. I use ViralURL to blast emails to 6000 people every 3 days (Gold Level Membership). Google Adwords is another way, but learn what you’re doing first! You can get full training at our website on all these methods. But Twitter has one redeeming value: it’s FREE. Yes, it’s easy for your message to get lost in the noise, but if you work it right you can get astonishing results.
One little “war story”. I’m a retired Air Force officer. Back during the cold war, the U.S. Department of Defense used to put out a report every four years assessing the enemy – back then, the Soviet Union. In the Air Force, there was always an argument about our “quality” fighter aircraft versus the large “quantity” of Soviet ones. One Air Force general commented at the time, “You know, quantity has a quality all its own!” I think that statement applies to the number of Twitter followers you have, especially if you have gathered them from your target market. The more, the better.