Quality vs. Quantity – The Truth about Twitter, Facebook, and Social Media Followers

I’ve been having so many conversations about the importance of focusing on the quality of your social media followers lately, that I thought it would be a good idea to share an excerpt from my book, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, about this very subject.

“There is a widely held belief that it’s important to get as many people to follow you on Twitter as possible in order to build your business. While it’s true that a large audience of followers raises the chances that more people will see your content and share it with their audiences, giving you potential exposure to an audience you couldn’t reach alone, using Twitter to build your business is truly about quality of followers, not quantity.

“Many people join Twitter and seek out as many people to follow as possible under the mistaken assumption that those people will reciprocate and follow in return. However, blindly following people who aren’t interested in your business won’t help you any more than untargeted advertising would.

“It’s better to have 1,000 highly interested followers than 10,000 followers who don’t care about you or your tweets. Remember, the goal of social media marketing, including using Twitter as a marketing tool, is to build relationships, particularly with people who are invested in your business and are likely to become your advocates. In other words, tweeting to 10,000 people who ignore you is a waste of time, but tweeting to 1,000 people who find value in your tweets can lead to direct and indirect sales.

“Don’t be tempted to follow anyone and everyone on Twitter, and don’t be swayed into thinking that Twitter profiles with large lists of followers are truly the most popular and powerful. Always think of quality over quantity when it comes to using Twitter as a marketing tool. Slow growth in quality Twitter followers trumps fast growth in quantity of Twitter followers when it comes to business growth that will last.”

– Excerpt from ’30-Minute Social Media Marketing’ (McGraw-Hill, 2010)

Remember, social media offers businesses the opportunity to move away from marketing on a one-to-many basis to marketing on a one-to-few or one-to-one basis. Leverage that opportunity by pursuing quality relationships with followers who value the content you publish and are capable of delivering long-term, sustainable, and organic growth to your business.

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2 Comments

  1. JM Auron says:

    Very well put! I tend to shy away from people on twitter following 20K people. Numbers like that, though certainly impressive, would make it (in my mind) less likely that there is going to be the connection I’m looking for in my online interactions…

  2. Susan Gunelius says:

    Thank you, JM.

    I agree with you. Twitter isn’ t a popularity contest. Quality connections will always win over quantity in the long run!

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