Sunday, 10 January 2010

A bit of a Waffle on Twitter Followers - PART II.

Link to Part I

In part I of this waffle, we looked at paid for follower services and how they could work. One thing I did get wrong was, I stated that followers were removed by random, which from the comments, In the case of TwitterAdder, is people are unfollowed within a time frame if they have not followed you back. What surprised me, looking at the TwitterAdder site, is compared to some of the other services out there, they are surprisngly open in what they do. In the FAQ, you will even see how their software circumnavigates the twitter ratio rule. That is not to say their site isn't filled with the usual marketing hogwash. I especially like the 'Voted Best' statement - voted by who I ask ?

I type this with my mouth slightly raised at one side, as I say lets be honest for a second, as I know that some people reading this may need a little prompt. The vast majority of people who have signed up on twitter, have done for the soul purpose of promoting either themselves or something they have made or do. Most twitter traffic is to this effect, indeed, most of the traffic to this article is coming from twitter as surprise, I have posted links to it and a few good folk have also retweeted it.

I also haven't written this article out of love, to push forward mankind or any other noble purposes. I have written it*, in the hope that you find it interesting, that you may add me to people you are following, and ultimatelyin turn increases my readership of my short stories on "The Dead Adventurers Club" and other projects I pursue.

Social Media, by its very nature is extremely egocentric. The moment you sign up to twitter, facebook etc, You are starting your own cult of I. So was I wrong to use words such as spam in part I? Was I wrong to belittle the use of such marketing services ? This is after all a level playing field, as all users who sign up to twitter start with zero followers. Do we all not ultimately not want to get more followers, and as we are promoting ourselves, what is wrong with others using tools to achieve this ?

The first response springs to mind that its bloody annoying, but I think what is interesting and to expand out in this article, is the notion of Quality over Quantity, as it is where the Cult of I has to awnser to we, the mob.

The first question is;What is a Quality twitter follower ?

It seems there are plenty of articles out there on what bad twitter etiquette is, and list upon lists of reasons that will get you unfollowed.

But very few, and I am hard pressed to come up with a definition myself on what makes a good twitter follower. I was going to post up some of the people I follow and go into depth about why I follow them, but felt this was fruitful as there was nothing concise I could draw from it.

So maybe a better way to look at the question, is what do you want from a follower ? Remember we are being honest here, and not talking about following.

Someone who RT's everything you ever post and basques in your eternal light in a 140 characters and less ?

I guess for some, the above is correct and for others the below is true:

Enough followers, so when I post a link, X percentage will click through and make that advertisement paid per a click worthwhile.

For me personally, I would say, someone who is real, someone who is going to engage with myself, and I will not say no to the occasional RT or two.

Engagement does seem important to a lot of people, also the fact that people who are following you, are actually interested in what you are doing.

In this attempt to define a Quality twitter follower, it is interesting to note how the we (they, the mob) keeps coming back to I.

Why should people engage with you ? Do you engage with other people ?
Why should people be interested ? Do you do anything interesting ?

This then leads us to; The point (which sadly has been mutated and minefielded by the marketing moo's) that if you give quality, then you will get quality. I would therefore conclude that if you want quality twitter followers, then you need to look at what you are doing. Which would of been a nice way to end this waffle - but I don't want to end there

I mentioned further up, the cult of I and the we, the mob. There is a trend that I have noticed occurring, its subtle but its growing.

I have been surprised on several occasions that someone I follow, seems to knows XXX - whats special about that, I hear you ask ? Well, its what I refer to as a second leap. Two main areas of my interest, Filmmaking and writing, it is not surprising to find someone in the filmmaking lot, who knows someone in the writing lot. After all, scriptwriting marries the two. What I am surprised to find, is someone from my archeology lot, who follows a filmmaker I know and the two of them are several thousand miles apart in both geography and subject - I am not the link before you say.

I don't really want to be a social media commentator, for I don'l like wearing tight jeans and t-shirts, so I will keep this short; I do believe twitter has given a glimpse of how the web is going to evolve and whilst the cult of I will ,alas for good or bad be always there, its in the we, the the mob that is going to rule.

I believe this is down to the fact, that as we engage with other people on twitter, over time we begin to form a certain trust. What I am writing here is, in some ways is nothing new, but when those people we trust post "check this link" we do and, if its good we will more likely RT it.

What is forming on Twitter, whether it be highly visible, such as #fridayflash ( a group of writers who post flash ficiton on friday), or subconciously where we add people, of whom we consider to be our equals, or simply adding people with similar interests. We are effectively forming clans for the want of a better word, and many of us belong to several clans. The power of the mob comes within these clans eg.

@Joe123423 regularly tweets about humourus vintage books he picks up from junk shops. He has a certain wit to his blog posts. One of the hashtags he tweets under is #funnyOldBooks and one day he posts a humorous write on a book about the Vickers Aircraft. Quite a few people find it an absolute hoot and RT it.

@sid12312 who is an aviation expert, regular keeps an eye out for any tweets mentioning certain aircraft. One post marked vickers and the hashtag #oldfunnybooks doesnt really register, but because several people have RT in through out the day, he decides then to takes a look. He finds it amusing, RT's it to the #aircraft clan and is picked up by @Mick444 who shares it with his wife, the well known chef specialising in Ham @Julie2334, who always like a good quip and adds the original author to her followers.

So because the people of the #OldFunnyBooks who got behind @Joe123423, at the end of the day, his audience has jumped and expanded - 'A second leap' as @Julie2334, is also friends with @billy29, who whilst doesn't post under the #oldfunnybooks tag,  is friends with @Joe123423. All three of them share a love of quips and wit and indirectly,  through the we, the mob they have been linked.

Its this we, which needs to be embraced more. It is why I have mentioned people I follow in this waffle, it is also why I keep things such as the list of my favourite #fridayflash stories, and something I intend to do a lot more of .

If the number of followers is an important issue to yourself, then start looking at who you follow and what you can do to promote them - even if its just a simple tweet with "Top Lass @Angie4324 I recommend you follow her", but please note I said the word embrace, not exploit.

Finally to end,

I deliberately tweeted the first part of this waffle with hashtags such as marketing, twitter and also under some trending topics.

I got 22 new followers, of which 20 of them fit the ratio mentioned in part 1 and two of them seem to be genuine. Guess how many I have chosen to follow back ?

On the other side, to give some of my photography chums a shout, if they recommended to me, someone to follow, then I would, without giving it a second thought.


* I should also note that part of the reasons, I write these waffles and rants on this site, is Im trying to mantain writing 500 to a 1000 words a day. If im not posting here, then Im writing something for the DAC or struggling with my archeology papers.


  1. More waffle

    If I had a choice I would have quality and quantity with my Twitter followers.

    Seeing as whoever can follow whom they like there will always some dead wood as far as quality goes. To get the quality and the numbers then you have to put up with some that you don't want.

    I have un-followed a few that want to sell me houses in another country and a few that tweet about stuff I have no interest in whatsoever.

    By using Tweetadder in the way I have - I have gained quality followers as part of the deal though. I can measure this in the click throughs I get via
    You can also measure the quality by the retweets you get too. With larger numbers you do get more Rt's too.

    More of my followers have a look at the occasional links I put in some posts, such as when I have a new podcast published to tell the fans about.

    Overall I would say that using Tweetadder has been worth it. With my video20Q Twitter account I have added about 1500 followers in 3 weeks. There is some quality in there too.

  2. I joined twitter in order to participate in #fridayflash, but honest friendships have grown out of it. I will normally only follow someone who has something about writer in their bio or a person who has interacted with someone I already follow and I enjoy their conversation.



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