The misconception out there is that bigger is better, or, in this case, more is better. This might actually be an upcoming topic in one of our podcasts that we just started back up. More followers means that people’s perception is likely to be more impressed and put more stock in what you say since you have so many likes on your Facebook fan page or followers on Twitter. It’s not always the correct perception, though. Actually, it’s a very slow process if done correctly. Unfortunately, perception is everything these days. Let’s delve into it a little deeper anyway.

I will say that a smaller, fairly unknown company that manages to get a large number of followers on their Facebook fan page has my respect. They’ve been working overtime to build that up because Facebook doesn’t make it easy and the rules are very much not in your favor. So they’re doing something right. But Twitter?

One of the folks who works here in the TM office has some ties to the publishing industry and something authors need are readers. No readers, no sales. However, when someone fairly well known in the industry has 2000 Twitter followers, but someone much more unknown has 5000? Something’s not quite adding up. It might look impressive to someone unfamiliar with how Twitter is supposed to work versus how it can be manipulated, only one has to examine just who these followers are and how many are legitimate.

Part of the key to social media is indeed legitimate users. Having 2000 fake or spam accounts following you isn’t going to look impressive to your other followers when they see the kind of crap that gets tweeted out. And it’s not just about having an account with legitimate followers because how likely are they to convert into potential customers or recommend you to someone if you never actually interact with them?

Interaction is the key. Sending out a thank you message to folks who follow you is a start. If they like that sort of thing, and most do, they may respond just to see if you’re still listening. If you consider them important enough to have added to your online social media portfolio, then you’ll dash them back a quick note, which is something they’ll remember. Do that and if something comes up where they have a question, chances are they’ll remember you and come to you first.

The same can be said on Facebook. You can bait your followers with posts and links until you’re blue in the face, but miss responding back to a question or comment someone makes and your job just became many times more difficult. Make the time, take the time and even if you only manage to get 100 followers in a month or two on Facebook, at least you know you’re getting the right kind of followers.

Would you rather have 100 followers you interact with or 5000 followers who don’t care they’re following you and you never interact with?

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