Does the ratio of Twitter followers and following matter?
I am just getting into Twitter and have heard from some people that one thing to focus on is to have a lot more followers than people you follow. Does this really matter?
When you first begin with Twitter, you shouldn't "over follow". Twitter will not allow you to follow more people than you have followers.. It is a delicate ratio when you are first starting out. The reason? Twitter accounts where the number of "following" is drastically higher than followers, appears to be a "spammy" account. I personally will not follow a Twitter account whose ratio of followed accounts is drastically higher than the number of people following them.
Start off by following 100 people over a span of a couple of weeks. You need at least 20 people to follow you. Then work your way up to 200 followers with at least 80 followers. Keep at this ratio. Your eventual goal is to have a 1:1 ratio of followers vs "following". Ideally, you will grow to have more followers than people you are following.
Last tip - do NOT buy followers! You want real, quality followers.
It doesn't matter at all. When you start out one of the best ways to get followers is to follow other people. And you may read that it's a good idea to get a lot of people to follow you back and then unfollow them.
What matters is if you connect with your followers in some way. Whether your account is for jokes or business, you have to use Twitter like a real person.
I've met people who claim to be twitter "guru's" that have 100k followers. But when you look at their tweets they have no favs and no RT's. I would rather have 300 followers that interact with me...and that's really the whole goal of Twitter.
To me, it makes no difference how many people you follow as long as you interact with them and don't tweet spam all day.
The number of followers an account has is not indicative of the quality of content they share nor does it mean that their message is automatically more important or authoritative. What is important is how an account interacts with the followers it does have and how their followers interact with them. Personally, an account that is following many times less people than are following it tells me one of two (possibly both) things: the account is either a celebrity in its space (how often do celebrities share REAL value?) or it is not doing a good job of actually engaging with its audience - because, as a user, what feels better than following a person or brand that you like? When they follow you back, and pretend they give a damn about their audience/customers. What's even better than that is when they actually DO give a damn, because that's what social media is about.
In short, I feel that what you have heard about social media, Twitter specifically in this case but perhaps other platforms as well, may be coming from people who are good at building profiles but terrible at actual engagement. Anyone who says that a follower/following ratio such as this is of high importance doesn't understand social media themselves.
Yes, it does matter but initially you can follow people to build your connections and your profile visibility. Initially, you only focus on increasing your profile visibility and user engagement. This can be done only when you will get good number of shares and replies for your content. Try to build up your profile first. Once you have good number of followers, you can unfollow those people who did not follow you back or might not be helpful for you in future.
Twitter's follow limitation is around 2000 accounts. Once you get to this point they apply a ratio based on the number of people that follow you. As your followers get closer to 2000, you are then able to follow more accounts.
The accounts you follow should be based on your goals. If you are just on Twitter for personal use, this doesn't matter but if you are using this for networking and sales then who you follow is more important than how many.
Think of twitter like a cocktail party. Don't be the guy that's always talking and not listening. You need a balance of both.
Don't worry about the numbers. follow and engage people that will support your goals.
And what the others here have said...DON'T BUY FOLLOWERS.
Yes, the ratio of followers to following is important. The first time I hit the 2K limit, my follower #s were around 1300. That's a big difference. Now I know everyone I follow is not going to follow me. Some I 'whitelist' and will follow them regardless, because I either know them personally and/or admire them professionally. Sometimes you follow folks in hopes that they will return the follow. You may try to build a social networking relationship with them. If it has been a while and there has been no return follow, and you are nearing 2K, then you have to decide if you want to either whitelist them or unfollow. There are several good unfollowing services out there, which I have used on more than one occasion to enable me to follow other folks in my niche who are more active.
It's important if you want to follow more than 2000 people, however it does not affect the success of your Twitter marketing in any way. In fact if I see someone who has a lot of followers and just a couple dozen people they follow, or worse, just a few or zero, I immediately can tell they're in it only for the vanity reasons. Twitter is best used as a tool to network and build your relationships with others, and it goes both ways. I especially get a rash when I see so called marketing gurus who don't follow anyone (and of course just broadcast their sales BS, instead of getting on there and talking to people).
Does it matter is a very subjective question.
Does it matter to Twitter? Up to about 2000 I don't think so. At that point you can only follow something like 5-10% more than follow you. I'm not sure what the exact limit is, but it seems to kick in around 2000. The strategy of following so they'll follow back works pretty well up to this point.
Does it matter to your followers? For me, if I see someone that's following many more than are following back my gut reaction would be "low value". If following and followers are both equal and high I'm thinking broadcaster. Maybe I'd follow, but I wouldn't expect much interaction. If I see a high follower count and a low follows count that seems like pretty high leverage and good social proof. He's worth following without having to resort to farming tricks and probably engages well with those that he follows back. You can decide for yourself what you think you're audience would think.
Does it matter to you? It depends on what you want out of Twitter, how you want to be perceived, and how you expect to engage with your followers/follows.
You have received such a variety of answers and to be honest, everyone is right in their own way. FIrst and foremost, you want an account that has people retweeting, favoriting and most of all ENGAGING with you. If all you are doing is posting posts, why waste your time on Twitter?
Having said that, at the same time, people will look at your account just like Kim said. If the ratio is way off, I also am hesitant to follow, if I even do. I want to spend time engaging with folks, not dealing with spam Direct messages or constant requests to retweet someone else's business.
Most of the leaders in any niche that you might want to follow will not return the follow if your ratio is off. Hope this helps you to balance it all out