I struggle sometimes to explain to clients that it doesn’t really matter how many Twitter followers you have, and that getting people to click a “Like” button on your Facebook page doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve suddenly nailed the “trust” thing.
It’s better to have a smaller following that’s more loyal than a huge following of people who don’t really care, I say. But I fear that sometimes those words don’t sink in, because we learn from a young age that bigger is better when it comes to numbers. More, more, more.
So I’m quite glad to see some survey data and a wonderful article that I can share with clients in the future to back up the idea that being popular (i.e., having lots of followers) doesn’t automatically mean you have influence and trust.
The first thing is a chart from a recent Vocus study on social media influencers. This question, about three hypothetical people and their “fans/friends/followers,” got what I’d call the “correct response” from 57% of the respondents.
To small business owners, I’d say this: It’s okay to only have 100 Twitter followers. In fact, it’s better to have 100 Twitter followers who love you and spread your name around to all their friends, than to have 1,000 followers who really don’t care one way or another about your company, products, or services. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of the 100.
How Do You Build a Strong Community of Followers?
For that, I’m going to send you elsewhere. Amber Naslund has written a wonderful blog post called 9 Ways To Build A Twitter Community With Substance. It’s both theoretical and practical, and I love this conclusion at the end:
Remember: Twitter is just the medium. These same principles apply across many things, online and off. It all – always – comes down to your honest intent to build a network of people to talk to, to learn from, to share with. ALL of this depends on your desire to use Twitter that way, and not just to amass a collection of people that you can pimp your junk to.