I was waiting in line at my favourite gluten-free bakery, coincidentally right below our studio, as the owner Arlene was chatting with another customer and mentioned that she would tweet her when a new product was available.
The gal replied “Oh I’m not on twitter that much” but that she does refer friends to the bakery via word of mouth not twitter. Arlene then mentioned she was talking to someone else who basically told her her twitter presence was insignificant, that she needed at least 500 followers before it became useful.
I said, well it’s not necessarily true. As a joke I said she only needed 10 followers.
Yes, of course 500 vs 50 is probably better — I’m not arguing with that. It’s the concept that there is a set number out there that business has to achieve. And, that if you have 500 followers, but over 50% of them are bots, that’s hardly something to write home about.
Also, the whole numbers game and the ideal ratio (you “should” have more followers than following) has always seemed a bit suspect to me. The pump and dump strategies employed by some — they follow you and then unfollow you once you’ve followed them back so they can quickly have a ratio of 2,000 to 10,000. Look at me, I’m popular!
Although I tossed out the number 10 as a joke, what if her ideal client, who also happens to be on twitter, also happens to be a very popular twitterer….maybe she does need only a few followers. What if one of them happened to be @hummingbird604 ( I don’t think he’s a gluten free person, but who knows?) One RT from him and you’re immediately reaching a much wider audience (>10K in his case), so the logic goes. On the other hand, he tweets probably 300(0?) times a day and so that audience might just miss his tweet about your x, y, z.
A better strategy is to not focus so much on the numbers and focus instead on listening to your audience and responding to them as the genuine, authentic business owner you are.
Forget about the numbers. Really.
p.s. Say hello to Arlene on Twitter.