Friday, August 15, 2008

Twitter Follow vs. Followee Ratio... when does it matter?

Preface on how this came about:

Desarae A. Veit frankly at this point, I've tweeted tons, I'm a person not a brand, I'm not a link spammer, & i have a few friend i know wont unfollow me-

Desarae A. Veit see my last tweet + so If I want to follow 1000 people 5000 people and i only have 100, or 500 followers. I DONT CARE if you follow me back!

Desarae A. Veit (see last 2 tweets) - there is a point when u know Im real (After my last 2,000 tweets?) so if you like my conversation get over my ratio.

sbspalding: @desaraev Just because it's apropos. I don't think it's the ratio that matters as such. You could be following 10k people if you are -
sbspalding: @desaraev using your account. The problem is the flood of 1000/12 accts that are made that are in no way legitimate.

Desarae A. Veit @sbspalding no I understand and completely agree with that (you can also tell they are fake by the name, picture, lack of bg)

Desarae A. Veit @sbspalding what i think is dumb is people who complain about legit accounts. I clearly have more then 12 followers... I have tons of favs

Desarae A. Veit @sbspalding tons of tweets... so if i want to see who else is out there... add 500 and wein them down in a wk. thats my choice.

Kirstenwright: @desaraev I've always wondered about people w/ 10,000 followees...really? you care about 10,000 people? lol. You tho r def. worth following

Desarae A. Veit @kirstenwright thanks! Very nice compliment

Desarae A. Veit My point is simple: I like to look up people w/ sim. interest follow them for a day or 2& delete all the people who dont add to the convo.

Desarae A. Veit So if tomorrow my ratio is 2000 (me following) & 600 following me ... critics can kiss my bum (read last few tweets to understand)

@desaraev I never look at ratio. I always ask, does this person have something to say that I'm interested in hearing several times a day.

Desarae A. Veit @patrickrhone Exactly. Right on.
Desarae A. Veit ..or maybe i just like to stir up opinions towards the end of the day who knows... blame the seo for my mid-day coffee rants :D

Desarae A. Veit Last rant on follow/followee ratios ( again read last few posts if you feel lost) How are you going to find anyone new.. if you dont look?

Ok tweeters... now that you are all interested ;) I wrote a blog post on the subject!

In this post I intend to tell you exactly when I think looking at ratios matters and why. Most the time I'm going to tell you it doesn't matter. My first question to you is this: The person who you are about to not follow (or block from allowing them to follow you), are they real, do they have something worth saying, could they be your next client or employer? How do you know the answers to these questions (unless of course your just blocking everyone and then the answer is NO, you will probably NEVER have a connection with those people.

What an awful thing, to block out people, to block out the world without ever giving them a chance. Now I do understand that recently Twitter, especially compared to some micro-blog services), has seen a MAJOR increase in fake profiles. For a very long time I have made a point to look at peoples profiles when I get the email that they are following me and if I think that person is creepy (I determine this by the number of other women they are following -- especially if its 100%, the number of perverted posts, and the number of followers), and I've also made a point to block micro-spammers. Why might you ask, and you might also be thinking --this doesn't help your case, just wait yes it does. Micro-blog spammers are simply people who get an account to post their dumb links and never join in any conversation. I WANT that conversation. I don't care how big your company is. I've stopped following the small twitter accounts like (girls name)12446363774754 and I've stopped following the New York Times for the same reason. Why? Because even though I want to know about your content, I don't want you to be the only thing showing up on my screen!

Now there is me. I started twitter in late 2007, with no intention of following anyone other than my boyfriend. Now I'm practically a twitter evangelist. I've learned how I can benefit from it's content. For starts I got my job from my boss who I met off of Twitter. I've also received countless freelance jobs, networking friends, and read hundreds of blog posts I wouldn't have searched out on my own. In the beginning the first 3 or 400 of my followers/followees found me. I don't always know how because I only ever asked about 50 of them, but one thing I do know is I wouldn't mind finding more interesting people (or just keeping the ones that I have). I like the random content that I receive. I've also learned that just like in real life, I don't need to follow every second of everyones' day but my own. So if I want to find a sertain topic I use tweet search. Otherwise when I'm interested I glance over at one of my twitter desk top apps and read a random tweet, but I ALWAYS follow my @replies and direct messages! Now to the real point. Why ignore ratios? Because half the time--you WOULD NOT be following me then. I have about 700 followers right now. If they all go away but ten .. I would still be happy as long as they don't block me. I want to know what they are thinking, blogging, talking about, and while I would be sad not to have all of their feedback... being able to do what I want is more important to me. On a regular basis I do a search for new twitterers, people with similar interests, people who talk about social media, bloggers etc. Then I follow TONS of them for a few days. When I'm done I go through the neebies that I don't recognize or that didn't follow me back etc. and unfollow them (for now). Some day we might find each other again, but I look for new people to join in my conversation (and don't worry I keep track of who is new--so you are not at risk of being unfollowed except by accident).

So my question(s) to you: what do you have to say, what is your conversation about, and if that person is saying something why are you blocking them-- when they may benefit from your conversation. If someone is being professional, new/or not, and is genuinly interested/interesting why block them?


Kirsten Wright said...

Desarae -

You have made some extremely valid points here. There are actually some people who are "great minds" of marketing that I have stopped following, simply for the fact that their conversations were always url's and self promotion. I got bored.

I rarely look at the ratio's of people, I simply follow people with funny comments and similar thoughts. Plus, like you, I have gotten some great oppotunities via Twitter. I am moving to Texas next week and all of the job interviews I have set up are via twitter/linkedin connections!

The only people I block are the ones that are obvious spammers or have rude words to say. I agree with the 'giving most people a chace' never know when they will post something that will cange your life!

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and keep it up!

xavierv said...

I follow people who tweet on a regular basis, and with whom we share common interests.

When someone follows me, I check his profile, tweeting behavior and website, and take a decision based upon those three criteria.

I don't think we should make a big deal out of who we follow or unfollow on Twitter, that kills the fun.

desaraev said...

Xavierv -

Not trying to be a fun killer, I agree with most of your comments. Just heard a lot of critics on it, and thought I would state my opinion. I don't think many people have thought about WHY my follow list varies from week to week. Especially when I see notes like "the last person to follow me's ratio was 1,000/500 --not following!" That's a critic and its their decision, but if they knew my point of view and looked at more then my ratio, they make think a little differently.

Andrew Krzmarzick said...

Hello, fellow Cyclone,

I just joined Twitter a few weeks ago...obviously I haven't built up much in terms of "following" or "followers." We need to keep that in mind as well when we are deciding who to find, follow, and unfollow.

P.S. What sorority at ISU? I was FH.


Robyn Flach said...


I am also relatively new to Twitter and other social media sites, and find differing values in each of them.

Twitter in specific, is something I use for a variety of purposes:

~ It's one of the best sources of informative links to articles and quality blogs I have found

~ Meeting like minded people in varying industry and social circles (though admittedly, I do not often have the time to invest in the level of conversation that some would like for relationship building)

~ Meeting local industry peers

~ Gaining knowledge and keeping an eye on the pulse of 'what's happening out there' at local, national, and international levels.

I watch and observe MUCH more than I participate, and I'm thankful that someone doesn't have to follow me back in order for me to see and gain from their tweets. The only time I have EVER paid attention to what my ratio is, is when I periodically go thru and block obvious spammers. I am fairly under the radar, and dont even have too many of those, which I appreciate.

I agree with you. If you dont step out of the box and follow new users, even temporarily, how do you gain and expand your vision. Usually with a notification I am being followed, I check out their profile, a page or so of their tweets, and perhaps I am odd, but I look at that users Favorites. What was important or funny enough for them to save? To me, that speaks loudly about at least one side of them, even if it is only their sense of humor.

Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

ENNYMAN said...

To Tweet or Not to Tweet, that is the Question...
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

My personal view is that one must determine the value of one's time and weigh against it the purposes of one's life, business aims, etc. Reading about Twitter in an article, and Twittering are two different things. The more you Tweet the more you see the potential power it has, if you choose to use it in that manner.

Many Tweeters are doing it as a movelty, no question. Like taking a walk out through the fun house at an amusement park.

Obviously it is more social than the fun house... more like a coffee house in the ol' Greenwich Village days.

Keep on doing your thing Des. You're helping the world to turn.

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