One of the potential pitfalls about Twitter is to make a snap judgement that the more followers you have, the better position you’re in. While this might be true in some cases, I think twitter followers are just like any other type of online traffic – quality massively outweighs quantity any day of the week.
That’s one of the reasons why the new Twitter tools which leverage on the Twitter API can provide a picture about the twitter users following you. This can be an instrumental tool if you’re building a community and/or establishing your brand purely through the web.
The API-based tools can help you go below the surface to dig out details about your followers.
MrTweet is a recently launched tool which lets you identify:
- Influencers in your network: people who have pull
- My followers I am not following (you probably want to follow some of these people back)
In addition the tool provides useful metadata such as:
- The number of tweets published each day
- and a key attribute “Reciprocity: Usually follows back” or it’s variant “Frequently replies to non-follows”
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow everyone who follows me because I do my best to read every tweet that appears in my update. That’s the whole point of social networking, isn’t it?
I am not sure that someone who follows 6,000 other users is going to read every update. That could take more than 24 hours a day. In my books, there is an element of “social networking dishonesty” if you’re following people whom you have no real interest in.
It may or may not factor into MrTweet’s ranking algorithmn, although I found that the following:follower ratio is usually. Someone who is following 82 twitter users, has 1,803 followers (with a ratio of 21.98) like copywriter Marlon Sanders tends to be a genuine twitter, compared to someone who is merely gaming the system.
Is social networking vulnerable to “social engineers” or “black hat social marketers” gaming the system? For sure, but analytics tools will help you suss out the smart marketers from the rest of the pack. From there it’s building the bridge to forging a real life relationship that is going to pay the big dividends.
Competitive intelligence tip: MrTweet functions on an open system, no passwords or logins are required. This means that you could type: http://mrtweet.net/report/(twitter username) and gain insight into how effectively personalities or marketers are using the system.