Measuring success on any social media platform, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, your company blog or Twitter can be difficult; as the success will depend on what you as a professional want to achieve from having a social media presence.
The most common way for businesses to measure success on Twitter, is to treat the platform as a numbers game, and there is nothing wrong with doing this yourself – whatever your purpose for launching a Twitter campaign – as long as you know how to play the game, and you play it fair.
As a rule of thumb, when playing the numbers game, it is worth working to the ratio of 1 (following) to 2 (followers), especially when you work on the analogy that Twitter is like a large party, with conversations going on in every room at the same time – it is difficult to participate in them all, so you need to select the conversations based on what you can get out of them; but at the same time, don’t be afraid to speak up, letting other people hear what you have to say.
By maintaining a sensible ratio on Twitter, such as 1:2, it helps keep your Twitter account manageable, at the same time as giving you the opportunity to build relationships with those that you are following; and as a result, you should over time, begin to see your Twitter account providing results.
In principal, the ratio works fine. However, reports over the last couple of days have spread doubt about using followers to measure success, after it was suggested that sixty to seventy percent of followers of some of Twitter’s highest profile users – including Stephen Fry – are either fake or inactive.
The figures are based on new software, which works out the number of “fake” – an account which has been created to follow and / or spam a large number of Twitter users, and the user will usually have very few followers but be following a lot – “inactive” – an account which has been inactive for a period of time; it could be real but usually consumes rather than shares information – and “good” followers each Twitter profile has.
According to the developers of the software, all Twitter users will have a proportion of fake and inactive users – and having had a quick look at the software; it would appear that JE Consulting’s Twitter feed is in a relatively healthy position, with ninety-four percent “good” users, four percent “inactive” and two percent “fake” users.
Whilst the software has been developed to give Twitter users a percentage of “fake” “inactive” and “good” followers they have, businesses and individual users can keep a better eye on their Twitter followers and those they are following, by regularly casting a quick eye over the “following” and “followers” list – and playing the numbers game.
The best way to play the numbers game is to regularly check the list of accounts you are following, are those users tweeting regularly, and if so is the content they are tweeting relevant to your industry and / or beneficial to what you want to achieve on Twitter?
If the answer is “no” to either or both of these questions, then unfollow the user, as they will not be benefiting your campaign. As you unfollow one user, why not follow another?
In addition to running your eye amongst the list of those users you are following, do the same for the accounts which are following you; although this is likely to be more time consuming, it will help you keep the number of “fake” and “inactive” followers down.
As you go through the list of accounts that are following you, if you come across any which appear to be “spam”, report them to Twitter via the “report as spam” button or block them from following you via the “block” button.
You may also find users on your “followers” list that are tweeting regularly about issues which relate to your industry, follow these and attempt to build a professional relationship.
The simple task of regularly running through the lists of “followers” and “following”, although may seem basic, will help your Twitter account become a success within your social media campaign, and will also help you keep the number of “fake” and “inactive” followers down.