Ran across Tamar Weinberg’s Techipedia via Simple Justice’s deconstruction of a comment on her post “The 7 Truths About Social Media Marketing”. SJ unfairly insists she is vapid, apparently missing out on gems like tip #4, “Social Media Is Social”. Perhaps she left out “Social Media Is Media” because everyone knows lists have to be in groups of seven or ten.
Personally, I was struck by these passages from tip number three, “Numbers Aren’t Everything”:
It’s more important to look at the holistic view of the individual or entity on Twitter and across other social channels. If someone has over 20,000 Twitter followers, how many people are they following?
Excellent. We’re going to get a holistic approach to figuring out whether someone is worthy of out Twitter attention. She then dissects folks into three categories of twitterers I should be wary of, based on their ratio of friends/followers. Group number one:
If there’s a near 1:1 (even distribution of 20000 friends and 20000 followers) ratio of friends to followers, chances are that this person is reciprocating every single friend request. It might even mean that the person might have gone out to find more followers.
Anyone who follows everyone who follows them is a poser. Not worth the trouble. Group number two:
If there’s a 2:1 ratio (20000 friends, 10000 followers), that might be something to worry about; why isn’t it even? Are your potential followers not interested in your tweets?
These are the pathetic losers. Everyone knows those extra ten thousand people aren’t real friends, or they would be paying attention to you. And finally group number three:
On the other hand, a 1:2 ratio (20000 friends, 40000 followers) could also raise red flags. I’ve seen countless “experts” and “celebrities” reciprocate every single incoming friend request only to later purge everyone. The numbers, consequently, get artificially inflated, and these guys look like rockstars.
These are the cheaters. Since they can not be counted on to pay attention to you, they should not be followed. When you boil it all down to gravy, you end up with this bit of advice: Do not follow anyone on Twitter who has (a) fewer or (b) more or (c) an equal number of followers than friends.
Which happens to be my take on Twitter as well.