Twitter For Dummies, 3rd Edition
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Twitter itself has a few ways to measure your Tweets. You have following and followers counts. Although those numbers would seem to provide a good baseline for understanding how far your updates go and to whom, they don’t say much about what types of people follow you and how influential those followers are. It also doesn’t show how many people your followers follow.

Less ethical people aggressively boost their follower numbers, sometimes through questionable habits like following people just until they follow back and then dropping them to go follow someone else. Important lessons? Don’t automatically trust an account with a really high number of followers. Don’t build your network around high numbers at the cost of high relevance and high engagement.

For all intents and purposes, these follower numbers don’t really measure influence or reach. First and foremost, use Twitter to communicate; and, although high follower counts may indicate genuine popularity, they can be gamed and don’t necessarily indicate importance or quality. Remember this important bit of advice: “The most important, influential person in your Twitter stream is you; be proactive about your life.”

Think of your follower counts as a measurement of the type of Twitterer you are. Here are three types of users:

  1. Conversationalists

    These users typically have an even number of people following them and people who they follow. They enjoy participating in all Twitter chatter and consistently spark conversations based on Tweets they see.

  2. Broadcasters

    These are users who typically have more followers than people they follow. They’re focused more on sharing valuable information, such as links to articles, motivational quotes, or interesting facts. They seek to share knowledge across the network rather than consuming it.

  3. Listeners

    These users typically follow more people than the number of people who follow them. They use Twitter to consume as much information as possible. Some may even use Twitter as their own personal news source to stay up-to-date with the latest world happenings.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Laura Fitton was one of the first marketers to discover the value of Twitter for businesses and society. She founded Twitter app store oneforty.com and sold it to HubSpot. She’s now Inbound Marketing Evangelist for Hubspot. Anum Hussain speaks to thousands on how to effectively use social media - in classrooms, at conferences and even alongside Twitter’s Small Business Team. Brittany Leaning writes about social media strategy for HubSpot’s 1.6 million readers and has managed accounts for several well-known brands.

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