Number of Twitter Followers. Do People Care?

If you go to @boedekergroup on Twitter you will see that I have very few followers and I’m following very few people on this particular social channel.

Why?

ROI.

Or at least, my perceived lack of ROI which has equated to my spending very little attention (almost none) on Twitter for my business. So, I want to test my assumptions, get pushback, and in the spirit of always learning - see if I should be thinking of this differently.  

What I have always said in my career, what I built a company off of and am working on with my clients is this -- know your customers.

  • Know who they are

  • Know what they care about

  • Know where they go to stay up to date on the industry they’re in

  • Know what they’re reading

  • Know how they make their buying decisions

If you segment the market correctly and really know your customers, you don’t have to capture the whole market when you launch a product or business. You can be extremely successful getting that portion of the market that cares specifically about your product, your service, and your approach. You can give them exemplary customer service. You can get repeat business. You can hit your goals. Your product, your service, your approach may not be for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be. I am not a luddite, and I am not thinking small when I’m saying that. I think of where time is best spent to get the most return.

So to best engage with my market, I have a decision to make every day on where to invest my time. Twitter is amazing in many ways. I’m a big fan of being a consumer on the site where I mainly follow politics, education and technology trends along with some friends and comedians who keep things light. There’s a lot of quality content that is being shared on the site.  

But there’s another side as well. “Follow me and I’ll follow you”...”Follow me and I’ll show you how to increase your Twitter followers.” “Make more money from Twitter!” The list goes on.

And I think back to my customers. I have not launched a company for the masses. I’m not selling a consumer product. I have built a company that focuses on supporting companies as they go from idea stage through successful launch of their products. The majority of industries I have worked with are in education and technology, but they don’t necessarily need to be. I’m not thinking small. I plan on building the best consulting company in the industry, but do I need 16k Twitter followers to prove that to people who will never be my customers? Do you need to see me re-tweet the most current Chronicle of Higher Education post to trust that I’m on top what’s happening in my industry? Does seeing my name pop up a lot of times in your feed because I’m re-tweeting inspirational quotes, or re-tweeting all the interesting things that I read make me more of an authority on education and technology and therefore someone you want to hire?  I’m curious...

Are my potential customers making buying decisions on Twitter?

I have asked. Most said no, but I believe in asking the questions when you genuinely want to know the answers. I am testing my assumptions because every decision you make on what you’re going to do you’re also deciding what you’re not going to do… and hours following and trying to get followers and re-tweeting in between the times I’m putting out quality content pieces is time that I’m not reading up on my industry, meeting potential and current clients as often as I can so we build a great foundation of trust, actually doing the work companies are hiring me to do, or just playing with my kids or reading a book I want to read. There are only so many hours...

So in the spirit of a network of professionals who can continue to learn from each other - please advise. Do you look to Twitter to determine if a company is ‘legitimate’ or not? What are you looking for? Followers? Type of activity? Content they’re creating and putting out or content that they’re engaging with?  If my network and my customers tell me this is important, I listen. If it is, then I will do what you do when your customers give you direct feedback that doesn’t align with your current plan- adapt it.

My disclaimer: I know Twitter is important for a lot of industries/companies. I am working with the social media agency for two of my clients because it’s extremely important to those brands. However, I ask - Is it needed for every company? Is this now a box that must be checked? Is Twitter presence and activity now just a point of entry for all businesses in 2017 regardless of their industry and target market?

Curious minds (who have a lot of work to do) want to know.  

And now, back to work….

Thanks!