Why the Total Follower Count Doesn’t Matter

Tomy Omnibot-2000

As much as you may love the Omnibot, he’s not going to buy anyone’s book. Look for real readers!

Somewhere along the line, many authors got into a contest of getting the most likes and acquiring the largest number of followers.  I thought maybe I’d start with a couple real accounts I’ve come across on Facebook and Twitter:

Account 1: 18,723 followers – Following 227

Account 2: 3,852 followers – Following 3,348

Most people would say Account 1.  You might even think that the person was a NYT bestseller or something.

Nope.  I’d rather have account 2.

The reason: none of Account 1’s followers are real.  Maybe not all of them, but the fake follower tools (like this one from Social Bakers) show them at 98% fake.  They all look purchased.  How many fake followers will retweet, share, or interact with you?  none.  How many fake followers will buy your book?  none. 

By contrast, Account 2 shows   98% good, 1% inactive, and 1% fake.  Let’s talk about this result for a minute.  Accounts that have been around for a few years will have “inactive” users – often from real people that followed you and have stopped using Twitter.  Since any account can follow you, empty accounts  (people that don’t tweet) and robot accounts can follow you.  You can block them if you choose or just ignore them (don’t have to follow them back :)). Let’s get to the important number – with 98% good.  They are real people and appear to be in the author’s genre (sci-fi).   Note: Aim for more than 90% good 🙂

That’s really the point.  They are real people and appear to be in the author’s genre.  Somewhere along the line, many authors got stuck on the total.  The total means nothing.  The more important metric is how many people are really interested in you and your writing.  How many potential readers do you have?

That’s why you would want the account 2 over account 1.  The total follower count is irrelevant.  The number of followers interested in you, your writing, and your book is much more important.

As you build your account, your focus is simple.  Find real readers and connect with them 🙂

Posted in Marketing, Twitter.

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