Reasons To Grow Your Twitter Followers

Purists argue that twitter is a tool for updating friends and family. Others suggest that twitter has an application as an alternative communications channel.
Of course, it can also be used to spam and annoy others. Then, so can email, snail mail, phone calls, and just about any other medium. I think the answer lies somewhere in-between. Utopia exists where those that just want to chat with friends can do so without being bombarded with junk, and others are able to use the medium to influence, while simultaneously creating value for their followers too. Below is a list of reasons why having a large following on twitter may be worthwhile.
  1. Search Engine Rankings: Pagerank is often put forward as the main reason for influencing your position in Google search results. At a high level this is true, but more importantly it’s the number of links to your site, and their relevance and trust that matters even more. Unfortunately twitter uses “nofollow” attributes in their links, so any links to your site on twitter do not directly contribute to this process. But this is not the whole story. Links that pass via a large number of followers also tend to be clicked. Click-through-rates (CTR’s) will vary depending on the quality of your following, but they will drive traffic, albeit in low ratios sometimes. This increased usage will affect your rankings. The API also passes links without nofollows, and these can affect your ranking if later indexed by a search crawler somewhere.
  2. Social Proof: You are more likely to be listened to if you have a large following already. This is because people look to others for guidance all the time. This is largely a subconscious process, but we tend to feel more comfortable with a choice when we see other endorsing it.
  3. Driving Traffic: The more people you have following you, the more traffic you can drive somewhere. People will click your links when you tweet them. If you have your own website or blog, then this can become a quick and affordable way to create page views for your content. They might not all read that content, but it will at least give you an opportunity to win them over.
  4. Viral Effect: The number of retweets you get will grow as your following does. People will click on the retweeted links, and will also further retweet the retweeted links. It’s the viral effect. The larger your following, the more you will experience it.
  5. Branding: Spam your followers with low-quality updates and you’re likely to alienate them. Add value and you’re likely to get a lot of benefit from having your profile scrolling across their screen regularly.
  6. Expert Power: If your game is to be the guru, then building a following on twitter is very relevant. Due to the broadcast nature of the system, when you help people out you create visibility for your expertise. You don’t even have to be very active to be effective here. Just by being mildly active in your area of expertise you’re likely to build relevance as an expert. You will get referrals too, and these referrals will also be seen by the followers of the people sending them. This all goes hand-in with social proof. Initially, an expert with a large following will be perceived as genuine. Of course, it’s your job to maintain that credibility thereafter. If you are a blogger, then you need to pay attention to this point.
  7. Fewer Options: If you present someone with too many options, they’re likely to get frustrated and go elsewhere. Presenting potential customers with just enough options to cover their needs, while making it quick and easy for them to select amongst the options, is the way to win them over. The same dynamic exists when people choose whom to pay attention to. They want to find the interesting people to follow, without having to evaluate every option. Unfortunately, one of the only things they have to go on initially is follower size. If you have a large number of followers, then in their minds you may be one of the few top options at first glance.
Some followers obviously do not read their tweets, and as such a lot of these arguments can lose ground in the face of this, but it’s hard to discount them under all circumstances…
by Dave Sumter

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