Attracting the right fans on Twitter

All followers are not created equal: Attracting the right followers on Twitter

When I first came across Twitter in 2009, I thought “yep…don’t have time right now but I’m sure it’ll be important in the future.” So I resorted to a Twitter software application that auto-followed and un-followed random people based upon “keywords and phrases” that I happened to enter.

I left the application running on auto pilot right up until the end of 2009. I returned to my account in the New Year to find something very interesting. My Twitter stats were as follows:

Following – 1789

Followers – 1749

Tweets – 0

Yes…ladies and gentlemen. Without lifting a finger and with 0 tweets, I had skyrocketed to over 1,700 followers. Now that may look impressive in raw numbers. But looking closer, I found that less than 100 of my followers were in Canada (my target demographic). Less than a dozen were in Vancouver (my location) and almost all had images of scantily clad women as their profile pictures. So let’s be honest…what good were they to me?

Twitter Spam

Twitter spam in particular is a major problem for anyone hoping to actually use Twitter for its intended purpose. I discovered that the Twitter tool I was using didn’t actually auto-follow all that many people. All it did was follow-back anyone who happened to follow me. So with me literally tweeting NOTHING, ZIP, ZILCH…were my followers very qualified as leads? Were they, in fact, people? No, probably not.

Don’t use auto-follow and un-follow tools to boost your twitter stats. It looks good but it means absolutely nothing. Don’t lose sight of best practices in order to build a following. This is where your time is best spent.

A Vocal Fan is worth 1,000 Followers

This is something few marketers consider, especially those who have only recently started tweeting. Finding fans who will repeatedly champion your brand is absolutely invaluable.

Say, for example, I have 500 Twitter followers. Not an unrespectable number…
I can either spend an hour a day developing my Twitter profile, adding new contacts, ReTweeting frequently, OR I can create a genuine connection with just 1 of those followers I already have. Pick a follower and find them on Linkedin, send them an email, promote them in every way you can within your own networks.

What does this achieve? Well, if that one follower has 500 followers of their own, I now have access to 1,000 possible connections who see me tweeting and promoting one of my followers. It is very likely that many of these 1000 tweeters will take notice and return the favor.

A LOCAL fan is worth 1,000 Followers

How many of your Twitter followers are from Germany, Belgium and Thailand or a foreign country that doesn’t typically speak your language? If you’re like me and don’t regularly block spammers, it’s probably something like 40%.

What’s the point?

While it may look good to have as many followers as possible, if they’re not listening to what you’re saying, do they really count?

Unless you’re an Internet Phenom and have a product that crosses borders, it’s likely that most of your clients come from your local area. Local fans offer a fantastic opportunity for you to expand your network.

The more recognizable you are to your friend’s friends, the more chance there is of picking them up as direct followers in the future. Get to know more of your local followers’ friends and you will begin to expand your influence in your local community as well.

Who are your best followers? Are most of your followers from your local area or do you connect with people from all over? Follow the conversation by leaving a comment below.