Over the past 4 years of testing and building twitter programs the same question comes up. What is better quantity of twitter followers or quality. Our first Hummingbird program focused on quantity of followers in building your twitter accounts. Back then we could easily follow a thousand people a day and twitter was just starting so quantity was easily the winner.
Today twitter has restricted its use though so the question is not as easy to answer. Lets go through the challenges then and see what you come up with.
#1. Twitter has restricted the amount of people you can follow per day and monitors it closer than before. This could lead one to think that quality is more important than quantity. If we only take this point into consideration we would still have a debate.
#2. Twitter monitors account building closer than they used to and have set up automated systems to look for Excessive Churn. Excessive churn on twitter is aggressive following and unfollowing of your tweeps. When building accounts we are safer when the people that we follow will return with a follow-back so it becomes mutual. If they do not follow us back then a couple things happen.
a) Our ratio of following to followers will grow and eventually we will be unable to follow more.
b) We unfollow people we are following to allow us to follow other people. This is what most automated programs do and also what Twitter looks for with churn.
What this means for us is that we want to avoid unfollowing people whenever possible to prevent putting our accounts at risk when building them.
#3. Our purpose of using Twitter is basically to get the links and word out to as many people as possible. This also includes the tweeps of our tweeps and every page we can. So if we think that quality is better here you are wrong. Quantity is our objective when it comes to viral tweets not quality of the people following us.
#4. What if we take a look at clicks or building traffic to my site This has to be quality of tweeps right? Not really it appears that again it is a percentage game and the way to increase percentage is to increase the numbers not to increase the quality. You day and time is limited and after spending 10 hours a day working a test account and grooming the account I found that there was no difference in my clicks or site stats. Instead I spent more time and actually put my SEO at a standstill. That’s right your tweeps and tweets can assist in your page rank and SEO as well. As of the end of 2012 Twitter was number 5 in page rank influences for Google. So quantity will again help instead of quality of followers.
#5. Time invested is a big detail in this comparison as well. If I can increase my followers by 100 per day and not have to invest over 10 minutes a day doing it then is it worthy of my time. This is also a reason that people look for automation these days. The challenge is if the automation is too automated or if the logic of the automation provides you poor results. Twitter is a business tool and like most business tools you have to work it and not simply put it on automation. This is why over the years we got rid of our total automation platform to go back to the basics. Lets build accounts and allow people then to work them.
If you look at these points you might find that quantity is the winner of quality even today when building your twitter accounts. Keyword following is a scam that allows marketers to simply be put into their own little networks. It is a good thing as well because it allows real marketers to market to the people that will buy their products and not marketing to the same people selling the same thing. It also helps us to keep affiliate marketers that are doing nothing but spamming the system to isolate themselves and frees up twitter for professionals.
Even today Twitter provides many benefits and for marketers and people that own websites it is even more valuable today. If you are looking for the quick money and hoping to make a twitter killing then you might be disappointed though. If you are looking to build your reputation, and business you are on the right track.