There are an infinite amount of ways in which business people go wrong with Twitter. It’s a delicate platform in which you are dealing with real people. The wrong approach can leave you branded as a spammer in a heartbeat. I have written before about what I think is the number one mistake people make on Twitter: focusing on followers instead of the people you are following. For today, however, I do want to address your Twitter followers–the people who see your tweets showing up in their streams. And I want to ask one question, “Who are the best followers you could possibly have on twitter?”
What NOT To Do
While I still hold to the theory that you should focus on the people you are following and sparking conversations with them, yes, you do eventually want to get people to follow you and listen to your messages. Many business people simply go about doing this the wrong way. Here are few “no-no”s:
- Trying to get celebrities to follow you. Whether they are pop-culture celebrities like Justin Bieber or business celebrities like Gary Vaynerchuck, there is no business benefit from trying to get famous people to listen to your message. In the end, you’re not trying to establish relationships in order to win a popularity contest; you’re trying to establish relationships in order to win a customer. Ignore the celebrity hype on Twitter and focus on accounts that have a reasonable chance of mattering for your business.
- Focusing on people with a high Follower:Follow ratios. You are wasting your time trying to get someone to follow you if she has 40,000 followers but only follows 200 people. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’re so special that you will become number 201. If an account rarely follows back, then cross it off and move on. That person is never going to listen to what you have to say.
- Focusing on someone who has not tweeted in a long time. If the last tweet from the account was over three months ago, the person running the account probably isn’t using Twitter at all right now. It would be pointless for you to try to build a relationship with that account.
- Focusing on someone who does not tweet often. Take a look at how spaced out the tweets are. If the account is only tweeting once a week, your chances of getting a message in front of it are extremely low. Cross it off and move on.
- Focusing on people who always follow back. There are accounts who will follow other Twitter users back no matter what. Especially if these are accounts with several thousand followers, you probably want to ignore them. If they follow everyone back, the probably don’t use Twitter to get information. They just use it to send out messages. You want to try to get people to follow you who actually read the updates on their Twitter feeds.
The Ideal Twitter Follower
So, who do you want to target on Twitter? Who do you actually want to follow you? Obviously, you want people to follow you who could actually be relevant to your business in some way. But how do you know which of those people will actually pay attention to you? Here’s the trick:
You want your followers to follow as few people as possible.
The point, of course, is that if you are 1 of 100 people that your follower follows, you stand a much greater chance of getting noticed than if you are 1 of 1,000o 1 of 100,000. The more people your followers follow, the greater the chance that your messages will get lost in the shuffle. I only follow about 2,500 people at the time of this writing and I get a new tweet in my stream once every 5 to 20 seconds, depending on the time of day.
There are, of course, a few caveats to this trick. As I mentioned earlier, if the account only follows a few people but has thousands of followers, it is probably not going to follow you back. Also, you want to make sure the account isn’t a spam account. You’ll know it when you see it. Ideally, the best followers you could have will follow 100-1,000 people and have roughly the same amount of followers themselves.
Once people start following several thousand Twitter accounts, they stop paying attention to tweets from everyone the follow. It becomes literally impossible for them to keep up. Unlike Facebook, there is no Edge Rank on Twitter. There is no filtering out of tweets. For better or worse, you receive in your news feed every single tweet from the accounts you follow. So, don’t be a needle in a haystack. Strive to get on the radar of those who will actually be able to notice you.