The fallacy of followers

There is a common fallacy on Twitter and if you fall for it you’ll likely end up disappointed with your Twitter experience. The fallacy is the “follower fallacy.”

The common wisdom was, or is, that you need a lot of followers on Twitter to be effective. The more followers the better. The more followers you have, the more money you’ll make. The more followers you have, the more famous you’ll be. What this did was create a sort of “arms race” to see who could get the most followers in the shortest amount of time.

This line of thinking created the whole Ashton Kutcher and CNN “race to get to a million followers first” fiasco.

I remember participating in conversations where the talk was to “get more followers now before the celebrities discovered Twitter.” The theory was that once celebrities got on Twitter they’d suck out all the followers leaving the regular people like you and me with have no one following them.

I posit to you that the number of followers that you have is irrelevant. I also posit to you that the number of lists that you’re on is also irrelevant. The only number that truly matters is how many people pay attention to what you say. In other words:

What’s your circle of influence or reach?

I’ve wasted a lot time on Twitter getting more followers while ignoring the real measurement of Twitter success. Even if it’s only one person that listens to you that’s better than having 5000 followers that don’t.

Twitter followers are worthless, Twitter listeners are what counts.

Social media is about connections etc blah blah blah. Then make connections not followers.

I propose that you figure out who you listeners are and who you’re listening to and you go out and nurture those relationships.

Those connections are the ones that matter. Even though you won’t see that number listed anywhere on Twitter, that’s the most valuable number on Twitter.

Let’s end the follower fallacy once and for all.

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