The number of followers a Twitter account has is irrelevant, or near-irrelevant. It is the influence that it has that’s important.
I’ve had a merchant approach me with an idea to run a giveaway promo, distributing gift certificates where the nominal of the gift card would be tied to how many Twitter followers or blog subscribers the affiliate has. I’ll leave the question of blog subscribers for now (it would make a good subject for a separate post), and let’s concentrate on Twitter here. Does the fact that someone has 700 or 2,000 followers on Twitter mean anything? It does, but what exactly this means depends on the influence this Twitter user has on his followers and the followers of his followers (through retweets, for example) too.
How do you measure the influence?
There are numerous KPIs you’d have to analyze if you had to do it all by hand. Thankfully, there are a few good tools that can make your work easier.
I recommend the following 5:
1. Twitalyzer — One of the most comprehensive tools I know of. Arrives at an one’s impact rate based on a number of metrics (including engagement, influence, clout, generosity, velocity, signal, Klout Score, and twelve other factors). Also allows you to compare Twitter users one to another, and generate graphs too.
2. Twinfluence — This tool measures a Twitter account’s influence on three levels: its reach, velocity, and social capital.
3. TweetLevel — Calculates one’s influence on a scale from 1 to 100 based on three factors: popularity, engagement, and trust. More about the tool and the algorithm behind it here.
4. Klout — Its score is incorporated into Twitalyzer’s analysis, but it’s well worth checking Klout out on its own. Scores range from 0 to 100, and use “over 25 variables to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score” [more here]
5. Tweet Reach — Analyzes the number of impressions one’s tweets received within a set time frame, or how many people were reached via one’s tweets.
Forget about the number of Twitter followers. It’s a poor metric, and can be gamed easily. If you’re looking for real quality, focus on influence.
If I haven’t mentioned a tool that belongs here, please post about it in the comments area below.