Monday, 15 June 2009

Playing the numbers game with Twitter

Last week I was a little shocked to find that I'd doubled my follower counter over night, giving me a total of more than one thousand pairs of eyeballs to feed with my musings.

However, one click to check the validity of my followers confirmed that my sudden surge in popularity was a blip on Twitter's counters rather than fame or recognition. It had been a nice thought for a second.

A few days later my follow counter returned to 550 odd and my existence as a Four Figure Twitter Influencer was over. Although my followers had never grown substantially, the episode made a point with me.

I've been bombarded with articles detailing how to cheat Twitter and attract X thousand followers per day and use the power of Twitter for world dominance.

Ok, so the world dominance is over stating it but there are a lot of people who play the numbers game on Twitter to gain influence, channel web traffic and feel about themselves. The essence of the article is to add new followers every day in the knowledge that many will follow back, adding an extra number on the counter. After a few days, following numbers can be preened to only include those who've followed back, helping to balance the stats

I've never done this as the value of Twitter is in the network rather than the numbers. It's quality over quantity, an influence is far greater when an audience is captive and listening rather than just big - a group of 100 followers with mutual interests can be far more influential than 1,000 rag, tag and bob followers.

That said, I do appreciate that, for the likes of internet marketers and advertisers, every internet users is a potential captive listener, I'm sticking to my relatively strict rule of thumb when it comes to following - at the least, it allows me to follow conversations and avoid being drowned out by the noise.

So, whilst my brief dalliance with Twitter power was pleasing on the eye, I won't be frantically adding contacts to build my numbers back up.

**My introduction to Twitter for expats - complete with a list of recommended expats to follow - is here.


Talen said...

I still don't get the appeal of twitter. I use it for posts and I follow a fair amount of people but for the most part they are related to Asia or travel.

The marketers on twitter are very annoying!

expatudon08 said...

The marketers on twitter are very annoying! fully agree with that but there are some gems in the rubbish
regards john

The FrogBlogger said...

What gets me is when you follow a key word such as 'Thailand' and the stream is flooded out with dozens of commercial tweets from the same outfit, time after time.

Still, once you've built up a quality list of followed the realtime news etc is good.

Can't see the point of following marketeers with thousands of followers though, can't work out why people bother.

john brook said...

I need to constantly look at my on-line presence I would like people that follow me to get focused info and i would like the same myself
i think over time i will get it sorted out