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With Twitter, More is Not Always Better

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I recently noticed that an acquaintance of mine has over 20,000 Twitter followers. He’s fairly well-known in his industry circle, but this enormous amount of followers outsizes his standing by quite a bit.

When I clicked to see who his followers are, I discovered why: a large majority of them are spam accounts, presumably because he bought them from one of those “I’ll get you 10,000 followers for $20” rackets.

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We all want more followers. Having an audience is important for businesses, organizations and freelancers. But don’t trade your integrity for follower numbers because while 20,000 followers looks nice at first glance, one click reveals that those followers are non-followers, and your credibility flies out the window—or is at least diluted.

The point of Twitter, and all social media, is to engage with other people, to share information, to express opinions, to make connections, to build a reputation as a credible voice.

Building up a Twitter following takes time and consistency. If you do it organically, it doesn’t happen overnight.

If you don’t have a lot of followers, don’t worry about it. Keep tweeting valuable, insightful information, engage with others, retweet tweets you find entertaining or useful, and be patient. Your follower count will grow.

A Twitter network of 100 people who are interested in what you tweet, actively engaged with you, and, well, real, is far more valuable than 1,000 spam followers that are there strictly as a front.

Social media credibility is about being authentic, helpful and interesting, not about impressing people with an artificially high follower count.

Image: Shawn Campbell (CC BY-20)

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