Last Post, Titled How to get your piece of the Twitter Traffic Pie looked at Twitter and discussed how I build my Twitter following, and more importantly why I build my following – but something that bears a lot of relevance to this discussion is the topic of targeted Twitter Followers, or whatever that actually means.
This post came about as a result of numerous discussions I have had with other bloggers about Twitter, because the comment that always comes up is ‘ yeah but are they targeted followers?’
Targeted Twitter Followers?
I’m sorry – but I honestly think that’s a load of horse wallop. Sure, there are people on Twitter that are looking for certain products or services, and if you can utilise the hashtags, stay on the search, AND be constantly active on the site – then sure, you can follow them – hope that they follow you back, and THEN try and sell them your wares, but C’mon! Really?
There are like a hundred gazillion people using Twitter* at any one time so finding those that are looking for what we have to offer simply comes down to playing the percentages. If 0.1% of Twitter users are looking to buy my stuff then I had better get at least 1000 followers so that I may find that one person. But I would love to maybe find two people, so I had better get another 1000 followers…and so on and so forth.
(*These Stats may have been blown out for the sake of a good story.)
Playing the NUMBers game
In order to find these so called ‘targeted Tweeps’ that may or may not exist – you need to be followed by a boatload of people, that much we have established, but how you go about this process is all about the context you are looking at it in. The secret though is to NOT THINK about it. It’s actually mind numbing stuff – and when I did attempt to go into the intricacies of who I did and did not follow – a little bit of brain leaked out of my nose. It could have been play-doh (don’t ask) but I’m pretty sure it was a section of frontal lobe…. anyway, the point is to get as many people following you as possible and not to worry about the details of whether they are targeted or not.
Wait, Define Targeted.
Half the issue is that the meaning of targeted, at least in relation to Twitter is really quite ambiguous – and the whole debate is clouded by a million different perceptions of just what the heck a targeted follower actually is, so here’s my 2 cents.
The perceived value of targeted followers is just that…perceived. It does not have any real value.
Targeted followers do not exist. It’s a figment of some Affiliate Marketing Guru’s mind, kind of like the Duplicate Content Penalty, and was created solely to convince you to buy products that focused on ‘Finding Targeted Followers’ (surely the Duplicate Content Penalty myth was perpetuated by those selling article spinners – think about it).
TargetING followers. Now that exists, and is something I try to incorporate into my Twitter process – because it is not something I have to worry too much about. The process I follow to build my Twitter following (which I outlined last post) involves choosing someone in my niche and then following those who follow them. The nature of this process actually incorporates a huge degree of Twitter Targeting because clearly those who are following say @ViperChill are going to be interested in niche marketing, blogging and making money online. Perfect. And that’s about as targeted as you will ever see me get.
Why not further define the followers?
The idea is to follow until I follow no more, and then unfollow those who do not follow me back. Since I am weeding out those who are not willing to return the Tweet’n love – over time this makes the minor details completely redundant. They certainly become irrelevant when you spend time filtering all those RT the most and follow them, only to go and unfollow them all a few days later. If someone is going to follow you back, they are going to follow you back – no amount of statistics is going to shed any light on whether this is or is not going to happen.
OK, so I filter a bit….
Although it’s not Targeted, I thought I would add that I do ask Tweepi to discount those that have not been active on Twitter for a while. Although the process would eventually weed them out anyway, I would rather not follow someone guaranteed not to return the favour. That’s just stupid, besides I’ve only got 500 more to follow before Twitter says stop!
I might lose my true followers amongst the gamut of ‘filler followers’ though!
Murray Lunn of Murlu.com raised a point in the comments of yesterday’s post about the loss of value that may be associated with mass following like this, at least I think that’s the gist of what he was stating when he said:
I would always try to stress that you don’t want to overload yourself else you may lose track of those that you truly follow
Although Murray raises a good point here, (and I can tell you first hand that the guy knows what he is talking about) I have to regretfully say ‘wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong’
It’s fair enough to assume that with each addition of ‘mass following’, the value of the existing ones must drop – and that is logical – but Twitter lives outside the bounds of logic – and it really, really, honestly is a numbers game. The more followers you have, the higher the (perceived) value placed on your Twitter account.
Fun Useless Tip: Go to tweetvalue.com to find out what you account is worth. Mine’s worth $2099! Yeah baby. I’m selling it for sure. Wait. to who? ummm….
Besides – As Steve Scott said in his epic post – and I totally agree, you really should not be reading Twitter. You should definitely pay attention to those talking directly to you or those that @mention you, but I can not see any value to be gained from scanning the stupidly large amount of Tweets that occur every second of every day – hash tag or no hash tag.
With this in mind – how can I possibly ‘lose track of those that truly follow me’ when they are always just an @ away.
SPAM is also made redundant because you simply unfollow anyone that is tweeting too much crap.
4 quick Twips to getting followed the old fashioned way
Even though this kind of contradicts the entire post, I thought it fitting to give you a couple of quick tips on how to build your following the old fashioned way – slowly, and yes – to a point targeted. (like I said – contradictory)
- Make sure you register your account with as many Twitter Directories as possible – the more your account is visible, the more…ah you get it.
- Optimise your Bio within each of these profiles to include as many keyphrases relating to your niche as possible. Be sure to cover as many Broad keywords as you do more targeted ones.
- Use SocialOopmh to create an automatic thankyou message when someone follows you. Make this message something original and unique – or just witty. Stand out.
- Tweet, ReTweet, Share and then ReTweet some more. If you want people to follow you, you need to actively be sharing good bloody content. Go out there: Find it and share it – a lot.
- Don’t SPAM either!
What exactly are the benefits again?
Traffic is the ultimate reason for creating a large following, and the numbers don’t lie. The more followers I get to my Twitter account, the more traffic I get to my blog – simple as that.
The other reason, and I honestly think the more powerful one is Social Proof.
True story – My neighbour has asked me about what I do online and I mentioned that the easiest way to find out would be to check out my blog at my namesake.com.
The next day my neighbour approached me looking very impressed indeed. I thought he was going to talk about how awesome my content was (well, I hoped anyway) but the first thing that came out of his mouth is “You have more than 5000 people following you Alex, that is very impressive. You obviously know what you are doing”
In this case I DO know what I am doing, but the power of Social Proof is something you cannot compete with. It is the nature of human psychology to accept what we hear about someone, so long as it is not that person telling us. In this case my neighbour did not know what Twitter was and had no idea about anything that I was writing about on my blog – yet the next day he has found a new level of respect for me and the knowledge that I apparently have. Why? Because 5000 people cannot possibly be wrong – surely!
Think about all the ways you can leverage that!
- What are your thoughts on Targeted followers?
- Do you think it is worth investing the time in Twitter to build relationships as you might in the blogosphere?
- Do you agree with the methodology I outline to build your followers?
- Have you followed me yet?