by Phoenix A. Desertsong, The Perpetual Prose Machine
Here's a question I keep asking myself on a regular basis when it comes to social media: Does the number of Twitter followers you have actually matter when it comes to your actual reach?
The short answer is yes… and no…
Yes, quality followers are always good.
Yes, Twitter followers do make a difference when it comes to your social media reach. But as is the case with many things in life, quality is always preferred over quantity.
It's always fun to reach follower milestones. Heck, I was pretty excited about 400!
But, no, not if you have a bunch of fake followers...
Unfortunately, especially when it comes to Twitter, a lot of people just follow with the hope you'll follow back. And while there's nothing actually wrong with that, it sort of inflates follower counts in a way that gives people a false sense of your actual social media influence.
There are a lot of “fake” followers out there. It's important to watch out for those. I do tend to follow back anyone who looks legitimate myself. But if I noticed they unfollow fairly quickly, I don't hesitate to unfollow back. And of course, there are the obvious spam bots and porn accounts that I block…
Still, yes, because Twitter is a great way to build up others!
On the flip side, there are people that follow you and others with the intention of building up one another. This is how I use Twitter personally and I know that others do, too! It's pretty easy to build up your follower count if you follow the right people and they follow you back…
But, no, interactions always beat followers when it comes to ROI!
When it comes to getting your tweets seen, followers are nice to have. But many of your tweets impressions come from likes, replies, and of course retweets. And yes, retweets are much more effective when you have more followers. But as a metric, followers are actually significantly less important than actual interactions - yes, even automated ones!
And not all Social Media Automation is bad… but we will get to that another time…
Yes, because let's have fun!
It's way too easy to worry about follower milestones, likes, reshares, and impressions. Myself, I tend to obsess way too much over metrics. But at the end of the day, social media should be about having fun, not just grinding out numbers. You'll have a lot more success with a mindset to have fun. Honestly, that's true for most things in life come to think of it!
However, follower counts are still achievements! It still means you're doing something right! But be aware about the quality of the followers. Focus on those who support you the most and those who you feel deserve to be built up. Basically, treat social media like you would everyday life. Be kind, be respectful, and take any chance you can to make a positive difference in someone's life.
And yes, that be helping someone get to that next hundred or thousand followers ;)
Just don't stress about the number of followers you have. Treasure those you do have and have fun!
~ Phoenix <3
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Often known by her nickname "Ami," Ms. Phoenix Amelia Desertsong has written for many online publications, often under pen names.