Why do people follow you on Twitter?
Have you ever wondered what motivates a person to click on the “Follow” button on your Twitter profile? Some are genuinely interested in your tweets/updates. Others want to expand their social reach and a few may follow you for a free “follow-back.”
A simple way to express this can be:
What’s a Follow-back?
A follow-back is when people follow you in the hopes that you will reciprocate their actions by following them back. People use the “follow-back” concept in the outside world too. Imagine you take someone’s business card, you expect them to ask for yours in return.
The Follow-back Test:
I wanted to see how the follow-back concept works on Twitter. I created two “almost” identical accounts on Twitter and set them up with auto tweets about marketing. The only difference was that one account had “auto follow” and the other didn’t.
Results of the Test:
I ran this test for the last 10 weeks with both Twitter accounts. At the end, I have the following results:
Since both accounts acted in a similar fashion we can assume the “social reasons for people to follow” (i.e. RTs, socializing, interaction, etc.) are nullified in this test. Then looking at the numbers we find out how many people follow for follow-backs.
This turns out to be 442 follow for follow-backs. That’s nearly 20% of DrSocialMedia’s follower-base!
What does this mean to a web marketer?
We know that having an auto-follow increases your follower-base, perhaps by 20%. But does this increase the quality of visits to your website? Good visitors will affect your lead generation and your sales figures.
Web-analytics reveal the referrals back to ShouTex.com from MarketingX’s twitter profile yield much better traffic than DrSocialMedia. The stats are shown below:
Also, bit.ly URL click thrus posted on the tweets are nearly 35% higher for MarketingX than for DrSocialMedia. It is clear that MarketingX follower base is actively more interested in digital and social media marketing. So auto-follow is a good way to increase a follower-base but it does not necessarily yield an active social network.