April 5, 2010 Jason

Twitter – Communication or Competition?

Are you using Twitter as a business tool to engage with like-minded people in your community, or are you treating it like traditional media, blasting your message out to as many eyes and ears as possible?

Twitter  Followers Tshirt

When you first started up with Twitter, you might have been a bit discouraged that there weren’t that many people following you.  Sure, the first few were kinda exciting, but when you got to #10 or #20, it wasn’t  that big of a deal.  You keep seeing local people with 500/1000/5000 or more followers, and you wonder what they are doing to keep the momentum.

With any luck, they are either contributing outstanding content that provides value to those that see it, or they are following a detailed social media strategy – or both.

So, what’s my point?

Let’s take a look at this case.


Here is a situation where the Twerp probably used some tools to autofollow, in hopes of increasing his own followers.  There’s a fair number of tweets, he’s on 60 lists (another post, another time) and he’s followed by 1,048 Tweeple.  But the fact that he is following almost 2x as many people is the concern.  This person is following anyone he can find, with no apparent regard for content.  OK, technically this is my own profile, and I have been experimenting with some Twitter tools.  (It’s not a blatant attempt to get you to follow me…:-) – but this is not an uncommon twitter stat, and it is something you should be aware of as you build your social capital.  Look for folks with more followers than following, and they will probably be worth listening to.

If you are planning on using Twitter to provide your business or enterprise a face in the social networking world, you should consider having a social media strategy.  The first part of this strategy is to ask yourself what you want out of the social media world.  If you are looking for a way to leverage your existing media buy and dump volumes of tweets about yourself, then Twitter probably isn’t going to be that enjoyable for you.  But if you are looking for a tool that can help you engage with your clients, allow you to actually listen to what they have to say and enable you to interact with them in hopes of finding a way to better serve them, then you might find Twitter is the right fit, and your list of followers should continue to grow.  Create a social media goal so you know when you achieve it, and then you can thank your followers for helping you get there.

Does quality trump quantity?  You have to decide which is best for your business; more followers with less engagement, or fewer followers, but a higher level of interest.


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