We have a family member who is always beating his chest about how his Twitter account is “fan based” and then chastising everyone else whose isn’t. What does it mean to be “fan based” and does it even matter?
Being “fan based” isn’t a widely used term, but he’s talking about having more people following him than he follows back. A good example of this is Dr. Oz who has 3.6 million followers but is only following 80. You will find that many “verified” accounts (designated by the blue check mark to notate authenticity) will unfortunately be unbalanced like this. We say “unfortunately” because we believe the best social media should be open and transparent, instead of closed and unapproachable, or else why bother, right?!
SO… what is the right number of Twitter followers?
Actually the answer is better suited to “What is the right ratio”? Most experts agree, you should try to keep your account as close to 1:1 followers to following as possible.
There are lots of free tools to help you manage your this aspect of your Twitter account. One we like to employ now and again is FriendOrFollow.com.
This tool quickly shows you who on Twitter you are following that is not following you back. If you have hit Twitter’s imposed limit on how people you can follow (which kicks in at the 2000 mark), a trip over to Friend or Follow to clean up your account is probably in order. On the “Following” tab we like to sort by “last tweet” and then click to the last page to start un-following accounts who haven’t tweeted in a while, (or ever in some cases).
If you insist of talking about numbers, it is widely believed that QUALITY is far superior to QUANTITY. So (please!) don’t fall for the ads telling you to buy 1,000 fans for $15 (or any amount of money). As with all social media channels, you want to build up your followers with people who are most likely to buy and/or recommend your products or services.
Here is a good example of why:
Let’s pretend you own a pizzeria in Encinitas, California (this is my favorite) and you want to do a mass coupon mailing to get more new business. You see an offer to buy a list of 20,000 names and addresses for just $50. Sound good? Well, if the names and addresses are for people who live in Thailand, London, and Miami, how effective will your coupon redemption be? Do you think you will get even one coupon redeemed? Okay. That’s why you don’t buy Twitter (or any other social media followers). Grow your fans and followers organically.
*For more on Twitter’s Guidelines on Followers, click here or follow the URL below.