Found this great article from my new favorite blogger Anil Dash, who exposes the reality of celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian with large Twitter followings that reach in to the millions. Though these guys have relished in the fact of cracking a million followers, Anil challenges that there is absolutely no value in running up the Twitter follower scoreboard. He gives great analysis on actually being put on Twitter’s suggested user lists and getting hundreds of thousands of new followers. Fantastic analysis and should be an article for individuals, small businesses and major corporations to read when crafting their social media campaigns.
Last week, I wrote a bit about what it’s like to be on Twitter’s suggested user list. The response to that post has been really gratifying, and I wanted to share a bit of what I’ve learned, as well some of the more interesting responses.
First, to recap: I had about 18,000 followers of my own back in October, when I got added to the suggested user list. (Let’s call these “organic” followers.) If I’d have continued my normal rate of growth, i’d have about 25,000 followers today, but thanks to being on the list, I’ve got close to 300,000 followers. Surprisingly though, I only get as many retweets and replies as I’d get with my organic number of followers.
I thought at first that maybe the list wasn’t valuable to me because I’m not a celebrity; maybe I’m just noise, but could bigger brands find some value by having a large number of followers?
Twitter accounts that have over half a million followers listed actually represent (at most) a few hundred thousand people who’ve chosen to become organic followers of someone, along with millions who are passively along for the ride. Some of them are inactive users, some are spammers, some just ignore the noise of the accounts that don’t interest them, like spam in an email inbox. But they can’t count as “followers” in any meaningful sense.