I am constantly being asked about the issue of quantity of Twitter followers or Facebook fans. I see tweets and blog posts about the subject continually. As a matter of fact, I recently posted one of my most viewed blogs called “Social Media Faux Expert Gurus – Evil Pied Pipers?“, which detailed one such individual with hundreds of thousands of followers. This post furthered the discussion about people with a ton of followers. Many stated that it’s not about the quantity, but the quality of your network. Though I agree whole heartedly with this premise, I want to discuss the other side a bit as well.
My view is this… It is not an either/or debate, but a BOTH requirement. Meaning, you have to have a quality social network of followers and fans to be effective. However you ALSO must have a large enough community to be effective as well.
Here’s an analogy:
If you are going to place a radio advertisement on THE most targeted station for your target market, but they only have 1,000 listeners, it really won’t matter what the percentage of response is, it will be way too small of a number to be effective or highly profitable. You must have a large enough target audience to achieve both an effective percentage and quantity response rate.
With Social Media, you must develop a highly engaged, targeted audience that is made up of significant numbers. When I say targeted, I am referring to geographic (when appropriate), as well as demographic network users. You need to engage with these fans and followers to establish relationships and connections that deliver value. You need to continually reach out to new targeted users in order to expand your community to sizable levels that facilitate enough engagement and relationships to make this medium effective.
What quantity of followers/fans is appropriate? That depends on your brand, target market and numerous other factors. I tell my clients that the minimum bar should be approximately 2,000 for a local brand. But again, these must be targeted followers. The delicate balance between the two is crucial.
For tips on increasing your Twitter follower base, ready my post: The Social Media Parallel Universe – Science Meets Social