It’s been said, and rightly so, that having a lot of followers on Twitter can mean nothing – it’s about “engagement” and “Quality over quantity”. And what some people consider “a lot” is for others “a paltry amount”.

But there are 2 very important-to-consider and not-to-be-ignored reasons for Twitter users to aim for more followers.

Having a lot of followers is a vanity thing.

It means more people looked at your profile, and for whatever reason felt they would follow you. Saying that, sometimes people will follow you SIMPLY because you may follow them back.

But back to the vanity thing. It feels good to reach milestones and see a bigger number there. It motivates and encourages you to go out there, and please those followers out there, by being an active member of the Twitter community, by being useful, interesting and great at banter! And there is no arguing that those things are great things to be!

The other benefit of having a lot of followers is marketing.

If your business (or personal brand) benefits from being well known and having a good reputation, then having more followers means you will get far more “bang for your buck” when you tweet. It’s a simple maths thing, although of course the ideal scenario is having “Engaged Followers” – ie people who you interact with often enough for them to be interested in the stuff you share, likely to interact with you, and likely to retweet you.

I have, at the time of writing, 8413 Twitter followers. This number changes often and I try not to cry when people unfollow me. But I am not going to lie. Having a lot of followers is great. When I tweet a request for something, I am more likely to get people replying with recommendations. When I am at my weekly networking breakfasts, I ask for the introductions on Twitter and often get new contacts for my fellow members in the same meeting. When I share some of my own content, more people retweet me and reply to me with comments. All this is where I see the benefits of a higher follower count.

And here is a fine example of where quality is definitely more important than quantity.

There will be some people who aim at a very targeted niche audience who really only need a much smaller number of followers to get value out of Twitter. An example is our good friend and client Abbie Tanner. Abbie does marketing specifically for IFA’s in the UK.

She has fewer followers than I (but still an impressive amount!), but as far as her exact industry, financial advisers in the UK who use Twitter, she has a lot of it covered. She can use Twitter just to communicate with them and show her expertise in their field and as such she is getting huge value with a lot less frequency of tweets and a lot fewer followers. Her followers – those who are Financial Advisers in the UK and also active users of Twitter – maybe few in number, but they make up for it in their potential to be great contacts for Abbie.

So, decide for yourself. Do you need more followers on Twitter?

What type of followers would be best for you? And how will you make the right impression on them? Your thoughts on this are most welcome (in the comments below please!)

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