Twitter follower growth provides concrete, measurable benefits for your digital marketing efforts. In order to prove this statement - and to respond to those who disagree with it - we need to first make an important distinction.
Fake Followers vs. Real Followers vs. Targeted Followers:
- Fake followers are fake Twitter users, usually "bots" (program-generated and program-run accounts). They generally have two purposes: to distribute spam links in order to get clicks to advertisements or malware, or to be sold as followers.
- Generic followers are - for the purposes of this post - generic non-fake Twitter users who are not necessarily interested in your brand.
- Targeted followers differ from real followers in that they are not only real but also interested in your brand. You know this because of what they choose to place in their Twitter bio or what they Tweet regularly. You can search for them using Manageflitter's "Account Search" or "Tweet Search" functions.
You get the best results the more targeted followers you have. But some of the following benefits also come from having more real followers .
Friends Followers with benefits - here are 4 good reasons to grow your Twitter follower numbers:
- Higher Influence Scores
Almost all "influence" metrics in existence use your follower count as part of the algorithm to determine how influential your Twitter account is. Klout, Followerwonk, and Manageflitter all use follower count as part of their influence algorithms.
Many use how many times other Twitter users add you to Twitter lists as well. But more people will add you to Twitter lists if you have more followers.
Take a look at the growth of my (@marketer_social) Twitter follower growth over the last six months:
And now here are the graphs of my Manageflitter Influence growth and how many times I've been listed over the last six months:
Read the details of ManageFlitter's influence metric here.
- More Interactions, Therefore More Clicks
In an article titled The Psychology of Social Networking in Psychology Today, Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic remarks:
Clearly, popularity is an important driver of friendships because it affects the number of people who you meet as well as the degree to which people pay attention to you and want to be your friends.
It's not rocket science: humans are drawn toward popularity.
If you have more followers, people will more often favorite, Retweet, or recommend what you Tweet. They will also be more likely to click links you Tweet out, and their shares will generate more opportunities for clicks.
- More Followers
Yep: if you have a higher follower count, more people will follow you organically.
They will search for keywords in your bio on Twitter or apps like Manageflitter, and you will show higher in results. Twitter prioritizes by account size (as well as relevance) in search results. And as the above quote from Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic indicates, people are more likely to take an interest in larger Twitter accounts.
I have used the same strategy for accounts with under 100 followers and accounts with over 1000 followers. The smaller ones grew at rate of 50-150 targeted followers per month, and the larger ones grew at a rate of 300-500 per month.
- Other Cool Stuff
I have seen firsthand how often people I follow (for my own account or on behalf of my clients) respond offering interesting opportunities.
A musician client has received many offers to be featured on radio stations and music blogs. A photography client has received requests for pricing because she followed someone interested in wedding photography. I've gotten guest blogging opportunities simply by following bloggers.
The list goes on. But It All Depends...
...On what you're trying to accomplish. The point with this article, though, is to point out different ways you can accomplish your marketing goals by growing your Twitter followers. It has definitely helped me accomplish mine.
What about you? Do you agree that Twitter followers are valuable to your marketing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments and let's talk.