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November 24, 2009 / Samer Baydoun

Credibility of followers number on Twitter

As checking my twitter account I went through a post of a friend says “I just become a member of this AWESOME site that gets you TONS of followers: http://tinyurl.com/yzl59f7“. The site was billionfollowers.com. For a while I rushed to login, it’s a brilliant service that I could get. Before I click login button I noticed the “By logging in you agree with the T.O.S” check box checked. Reading the T.O.S was enough to make me think twice about my privacy, I decided to keep away from this.

But when reviewing the idea of this site (or any other similar sites) I wondered about the credibility of twitter account followers number, does the number of followers reflect the activity, trends or knowledge of the account owner?

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4 Comments

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  1. beachbumcomm / Nov 24 2009 1:28 pm

    Hey Samer!

    Nice to “see you” again. Saw your tweet on this, thought I’d respond.

    In answer to your question, here’s what I’ve found. Generally speaking, if a person has a TON of Followers (1000s), and the Follows are roughly equal, then odds are he or she is using one of the many services to accelerate Follower count artificially.

    Nobody can Follow thousands and really keep up. It’s all part of a game to get your numbers up so that you can market stuff to a huge number of people. Keep in mind that the Followers may actually be following, assuming the person is well known. But the Followee (new word?) is too busy to be reading tweets from his “adoring fans.”

    I know that Twitter has been trying to find a way to address this issue. The whole thing kind devalues Twitter as a whole, I think. But for those guys who have really built a big following, it can be very profitable!

    • Samer Baydoun / Nov 24 2009 4:27 pm

      So do you think having huge number of followers will guarantee that marketers may use me to market their stuff?
      Or it’s only one of the criteria?

  2. beachbumcomm / Nov 25 2009 8:38 am

    It’s only one criteria, my friend.

    Savvy marketers know that number of followers, no matter how impressive the value, means little. It’s whether your Followers are actually LISTENING (i.e. reading, caring, paying attention) to what you have to say that matters.

    I’d rather have 100 Followers that actually want to hear from me than a 1000 who are simply there because they’re playing the “Follow me/Follow you” churn game.

    Having a lot of Followers that you’ve gotten through these dubious techniques is like having a *very* untargeted email list. Sending out a message probably *will* attract some responses, but on the other hand, you’re risking alienating many others and being seen as a SPAMMER. Unfollows are sure to follow.

    The whole point is (IMHO) to add value to people’s lives and make them *want* to follow you. These are the core principles of Attraction Marketing (which is increasingly where it’s at these days).

    Particularly if you’re selling something, you need to be very, very careful about how you go about “using” the Followers you have or you run the risk of losing them altogether. Most Twitter marketing experts will tell you that you don’t start blatant marketing to your Followers until they’ve been with you a while… if ever.

    It’s OK to have links to products and things (nearly everybody does it), but balance this with real content and real interactions with people. Twitter is *supposed* to be about making real connections with real people. When we see an account where somebody is Following 25,000 people, do we really believe those are his (or her) “close personal friends?” I think not.

    Further, we live in an age where increasingly… your name and reputation are built in real time online.

    Be very, very careful about what you do and how you go about doing it. 😉

    • Mahmoud Lattouf / Feb 23 2010 8:10 am

      Samer, thanks for raising the issue, and beachbumcomm for the useful insight.

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