A Tale of Two Twitter Communities

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We understand. It is so tempting to want to be the business with the Twitter community of 10,000, 100,000 or 1 million followers

It makes you look good. It makes you look popular. Surely it must follow that more of your customers will follow you because you’re popular and then they’ll buy from you.
Let me tell you about two very different Twitter communities from the work I have done as a Freelance Social Media Manager.

Business A has over 17,000 followers. Impressive?
Business B has just over 1,000 followers. OK but not as good as the first?

The key is to look a little deeper.

When you look at Business A, with 17,000 followers, strangely there doesn’t seem to be any likes, retweets or conversations happening on their profile. They are tweeting but there is no response from their followers.
When you look at Business B, you see that almost every tweet has a like or a retweet. The majority have multiple retweets and likes. You can see that they are talking to their customers on a daily basis, their followers are sharing photos of their products and endorsing them to their followers.
If you watched each community for a couple of weeks, you would see Business B’s follower numbers increase faster that Business A. Furthermore, Business B’s followers will be followers who are their ideal customers (consumer or business) rather than random companies looking for a follow back.

Why does this matter?

What you can’t see behind the scenes is how many people are visiting the company’s website by clicking on links in their tweets. You also can’t see how many are going on to buy a product or service from that business.
The reality is that the Business B has more people clicking through to their website and more people buying from them. They are also using Twitter to build loyal customers who will buy from them again.
So, how did Business A get so many followers? The answer is that they bought them to make their business look popular. They have a large following but the community is made up of fake accounts.
When you look at the bigger picture, which community would you rather have?

Ruth Thomson is a Freelance Social Media Manager and Co-Founder of South London Social. If you want to build an effective and sustainable Twitter following, get in touch by email


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