Proof Number of Followers Don’t Matter on Twitter

It’s frustrating to see so much weight placed on follower count, but articles like these give me a glimmer of hope. From AdAge:

“[…]But his first round of magazine-cover appearances suggest that the conversion rate between dollars and tweets is still pretty unclear. And not everyone, it seems, can cash in yet.

The issue sold just more than 1 million copies at newsstand, about 20% below the newsstand average for early issues this year and 20% below its newsstand average in April 2009.

People’s later cover with Sandra Bullock, who doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account but does have an Oscar, sold more than twice as many newsstand copies.”

Separately, there was an article in HBR today dissecting Twitter followers and how it correlates to influence.

Totally gonna toot my own horn, but I’ve been saying since lord knows when: Grow out of the Tila Tequila mentality. Follower count does not equate to influence. If 3 million people are following, but no one is listening, are you popular and not an influencer? Why didn’t Beiber’s People issue sell more than Sandra Bullock’s issue? Does popularity equate to conversion? Or even reach?

Only time will tell, but me? I’d rather have a fraction of followers who actually engage. I think it’s time we re-think the terms: influencer and popular. #fridayfoodforthought


5 thoughts on “Proof Number of Followers Don’t Matter on Twitter

    1. I never use Klout.

      Your indicator should depend on your goal(s) — what does social influence mean to you or your brand? Time spent on site? Impressions? Click throughs? Also, RTs are iffy. People can RT and keep RTing but is there actual conversion? Are people clicking on the Tweet?

      See? Goals. :)

      1. By that logic, you’re lost circling around. Because analytics programs will never tell you the name of the person visiting your website, let alone the navigational path from, say, Twitter to your blog’s homepage to a blog link, you’re left guessing.

        At least tools like Klout and give an idea.

  1. I’d wager a guess that the demographic that typically buys People does not intersect heavily with Bieber fans. Nor is online influence a direct indicator of offline influence.

    Now, if Bieber had told all his fans to go buy People…that’d be interesting to see what would happen. Or perhaps look at a magazine that is more targeted to Bieber’s typical demograph.

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