How Many Followers Can One Person Handle?

February 18, 2010

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It seems to be a hot topic in the past few days.  Is it good to have a lot of followers on Twitter, or just a few?

I was first intrigued by the video blog of  Steve Witsen.  He likens having a great many followers to trying to make an announcement to everyone at a U2 concert.  You’d have a lot of people to tell your message to, but most of them wouldn’t listen.  Nor would they care.

By having a couple hundred (or less!) dedicated followers who are truly interested in what you have to say,  you target your message to those for whom it is relevant.  Lightbulb moment!

Another worthy blog that shares this sentiment and expands on it is that of Aliza Sherman on WebWorkerDaily (10 Things to Avoid in Social Media).  #8 goes a little something like this:

“Avoid the numbers game. Sure you can use automated following tools and maybe get a slew of people following you back. But they’re not listening. They don’t care. I’ve always said that I’d rather have 100 friends, fans or followers who care than 1000 who ignore me.  Social media is not about the big numbers but what you do with the numbers you have — and what they do in return. Devoted actions of a few can have an exponential impact, far greater than inaction by many.”

This game seems to change daily, so keeping up with it is at turns exhilarating and exhausting.  But somehow, the conventional rules of social interaction and traditional etiquette still hold. (Thankfully)  Building relationships and trust takes time and attention.  Or as we used to say “If you want a friend (follower, tweep, connection, link…) , be a friend.”

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4 Responses to “How Many Followers Can One Person Handle?”

  1. Aliza Sherman Says:

    Thanks for referencing my blog post on Web Worker Daily. I was just reading about Dunbar’s Number – have you read this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number The theory that people can only manage up to 150 connections? Interesting theory.

    Reply

  2. jeremywaite Says:

    Great comment! I’d rather have 50 people that care, rather than 5000 who are invisible. Too many people still think social media is a numbers game. Just because you sit behind a computer, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t CARE about your followers. I think that one great thing about the web is that it is so transparent, all the great people will get their props in the end. Having 847,000 followers on twitter won’t impress anyone if you don’t have anything good to say! x

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  1. Paola Modesto - November 22, 2011

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