Do you follow people who follow thousands of people on Twitter and claim to be Twitter gurus? Do you wonder why celebrities and other ‘famous’ people never respond to your comments?
This screen shot is an example of someone I follow who’s profile says “You follow me, I’ll follow you back”. Can you really have an intelligent conversation on Twitter if you follow this many people? Even if you have carefully sorted people you follow into meaningful columns on Tweetdeck, you’re going to miss something. Twitter is a sliding window of information, if you follow this many people, you’re bound to regularly miss messages intended for you. Information will be flowing too quickly for you to keep up..
Can you really be classified as an influencer because you have this many followers? Do people REALLY listen when you talk to them? Can you influence people without following thousands? The Dalai Lama offers wise words and inspirational messages and yet he doesn’t follow anyone at all. Bill Gates follows a few but influences many, and the Queen only follows updates from Clarence House – presumably to see what her offspring are up to.
How would you feel if you know that Bill Gates Read your posts? Michael Dell? Barak Obama?
Its not about the value of your Klout score, it’s not about your score on peer index. It’s not about the quantity of your followers, its about the quality of your interaction with your connections.
And if one of your connections turns into a happy customer, a customer that give you on-going business and talks about you to all their connections, then you have achieved your goal. That’s a much better result than buying followers which is a heck of a lot better than trying to communicate with people who are following thousands of people – and who will give you no quality of interaction at all…
Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.
I’m encouraged that the UK Office of Fair Training are clamping down on Tweeps and bloggers that are paid to be effusive about products whilst not admitting that they receive payment. The use of Twitter reaches new heights for communication (there were 6,939 Tweets per second sent on January 1st according to the Twitter blog). People are communicating more, and celebrities have a huge set of followers. So should they append tweets with ‘ad’ or similar to show that they have been paid to do this?
In companies like Microsoft, bloggers and Tweeps receive a salary, so it’s natural that they would enthuse about company products. Their opinions are (generally) their own and they put a personal perspective to the standard PR campaign about the product. But celebrities don’t tend to work for companies so is it right that they get paid to talk about consumer products.
Look at the TV adverts. The voice over, or the ad itself shows celebrities talking about the product. They don’t explicitly say that they are being paid to advertise the product. We’re intelligent enough to assume that they are. So why do the OFT need to get Tweeps to ‘explicitly state’ that they are promoting products. Surely we all just assume that they are being paid when they enthuse. or are we assumed to be so dim. that we blindly assume that they love these items AND have been paid for them? Did all of those women actually buy those dresses they wear at the Golden Globe awards or the Oscars? Surely not…
But does the fact that these celebrities endorse brands, and enthuse about them mean that we’re going to be more influenced by them and buy goods? We’re much more likely to buy products recommended by our peers (figures vary from twice to 4 times more likely to do this). But are we more likely because a celebrity endorses the brand.
Do we now class these celebrities our peers and our friends just because we follow them on Twitter?
There are new rules for online advertising that are coming out in March and they now include User Generated Content (UGC) on web sites. Here’s a snip from the code…
When the new code comes out in March 2011, will Tweets from paid celebrities be included in the CAP remit? Will it change the way that Facebook page campaigns work. It will be interesting to watch things develop…
Perhaps I’m too cynical – but I’m less likely to buy something that a celebrity has endorsed – whether they are paid for endorsing the product or not. I’d much rather consider something that one of my first degree connections has enthused about.
Or AM I too cynical??