Twitter Best Practices: Check Your Followers

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Check those Twitter followersThis may come as a shock to you, but some of your followers on Twitter aren’t quite who they seem to be. Oh sure, they may have a slick picture and a friendly name, but are they following you because they want to engage with you or your brand? Or are they following because they want to sell you something you don’t need?

What does it matter? A follower is a follower, right? Wrong. Followers affect your influence on Twitter, and if you have a boatload of “Bad” or “Ugly” followers, your ability to attract and influence “Good” followers will be diminished.

Take a look at your follower list and see if you can spot these three types:


The Good:

These white hat Twitter followers engage with your tweets—retweets, favorites, click your links, and respond to your questions and comments. The engagement, the interaction, and the profiles are genuine.

The Bad:

Twitter's Default Profile Pic

These followers are the worst of the worst. The baddest of the bad. These are your rogue black hat Twitter followers. Picture them leaning up against a crumbling brick wall, talking out of the side of their mouths as they cajole you to buy their list of 25,000 Twitter followers who will do nothing but take up space, or make false promises of dubious content via spam links.

The Ugly:

These Twitter followers don’t even own a hat. Heck, they don’t even use profile pictures, just the default Twitter egg. These are Twitter followers in name only. Each of these followers is one of the names out of the list of 25,000 the bad follower above just tried to sell you.

What’s the harm?

Those bad and ugly Twitter followers aren’t hurting anything are they? Actually they are. Social media credibility depends on “influencers” and there are analytic apps that rate your perceived influence.

An influencer is a Twitter user who engages with a large percentage of good followers who help spread their message and content. An influencer earns credibility over time through engagement and builds trust via quality content. Most importantly, influencers are sought out for their tweets and content and have the ability to do exactly what the name suggests—influence people.

The good followers know you have something of value to provide, and their engagement with your content influences other good followers to follow you. Good followers depend on your credibility to influence them to buy your product or service. The more your followers engage with your content, the higher your influencer score, and the higher your visibility.

Scoring Influence

Not all @followers are created equalInfluencer scores are based on several metrics, but for the sake of argument we’ll breakdown only one: engagement. Bad and ugly followers bring down your influencer score because they upset the engaged vs. not engaged ratio. Here’s how this works.

If you have 100 followers:

Good: 65

Bad: 28

Ugly: 7

Influencer score: <65

35% of your followers are not engaging with you or your content. They’re not re-tweeting, favoriting, visiting your links, or commenting on your Tweets. Social media analytics gather that data and score your ability to influence based on what your followers are doing. In this case, let’s simplify things and say your influencer score is 65%. Because 35% of your followers are deadwood, your overall score is adversely affected.

Look for Quality over Quantity

So what do you do about your bad followers? You block them.

Blocking those 35 bad and ugly followers removes them from your follower list and now you have only 65 followers—all good. These good followers reflect 100% engagement, which ups your overall influencer score to a solid 100%.

It really is that easy. Going through your follower lists and doing regular housekeeping keeps those bad and the ugly followers from dragging down your influencer score. And after all your hard work managing social media, don’t let a few bad eggs spoil it.


How to Become a Twitter Influencer: Science and Practice

How to Get Industry Influencers to Boost Your Social Media Reach

Further Reading:

If Social Media Were a High School Dance [INFOGRAPHIC]

Book Review – Stand Out Social Media Marketing


By: ETMG Social Media Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>