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Does it make a difference who you follow on Twitter?

A Klout score may indicate influence

A Klout score may indicate influence

Klout scores of Twitter account holders appear on desktop browser versions of Twitter. A Klout score is one indicator of a person’s influence on the Internet, but it is not the only metric and Klout is controversial in some circles.

Another factor to consider is to examine the Twitter account’s ratio of Followers vs those they are Following.  And also the number.

Celebrities typically have huge follower numbers, but they rarely follow other people – usually only other famous people. This indicates they might be fun to follow, but they are not likely to engage with you (dare I say they could care less!?) and it might not be a good idea to waste too much time trying to get their attention, at least directly. There are always exceptions, of course. If you can interact with a famous person – if they pay attention to you, it does put you on the map of influence, for certain.

An even or fairly even number of Followers & Following indicates the person or account holder is likely to check you out and engage with you on some level, possibly even share your content. The close ratio also indicates if you follow them they will likely follow you and that reciprocity is expected.  That takes away a little bit of the organic meaning, but it is what it is.

As a Twitter account holder, it is always better if your Follower numbers are higher than your following numbers. It adds a little weight to your social media panache.

The Twitter accounts that appear amateurish are those that follow large numbers of people, but have few followers themselves. They are either just starting out or don’t know what they are doing. If you have been following a local paper reporter or politician, you might want to keep following them regardless of whether they follow you back or not. But if you have followed an individual for weeks and they have not reciprocated, unfollow them, lower your following ratio – and revisit that person at another time and reattempt the connection.

Lastly, examine the number of Tweets a person created and the nature of their content. Very few Tweets mean they are very new. Low followers and a low number of tweets mean this account is not taking Twitter seriously and is not likely to help your metrics. Examine the kinds of Tweets they are sending out. Are they varied? Seeing the same Tweet over and over from one account is a good indicator that the account holder is a troll and should be avoided. Or if they are constantly pitching or selling a product or service, you may wish to avoid making a connection. On the other hand, great people are continuing to join Twitter and many have content worth sharing. Everyone has to start somewhere. Low influence, low numbers notwithstanding, if they are authentic, relative to your interests and goals, give them a shout out and follow them!

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