Apparently numbers matter, especially when applied to the number of Twitter followers one has. The bigger the number, the more you count and the more important, authoritative, intelligent, virile, and altogether attractive you are to members of the opposite sex. Or so I’ve heard. And yes, a lesser man than myself would probably be tempted to slip in an analogy here comparing our obsession with our number of Twitter followers to the male fixation on penis size. But I won’t. Because that would be crass. I will instead however describe a sure fired way to increase your Twitter follow count by thousands, why some people are tempted to do so and why though, in reality, no one actually gives a damn.
It seems both odd and fascinating to me, from a purely sociological point of view, that once human beings begin to numericize something we get this little itch in the back of our head that compels us to achieve the highest score possible. Just like the fundamental psychological need that drives us in any sort of activity from collecting stamps to playing Tetris, our innate desire to complete and compete can be overwhelming. And, funnily enough, Twitter exploits this perfectly by displaying a clear and public count of who likes you enough to click that little follow button, a shining beacon of numerical worth and shame pulsating out to everyone who stumbles past your profile.
The bigger the number, the more you count and the more important, authoritative, intelligent, virile, and altogether attractive you are to members of the opposite sex.
Of course having a lot of genuinely interested and real followers is a massive, massive boon and I’m by no means denying the power of it from a marketing point of view or even the fantastic social benefits it can bring. Indeed I’ve met some great people through Twitter and it’s definitely helped me not only grow my own online friend base but also allowed me to interact and engage with an entire online community that I would never have discovered otherwise. In that sense Twitter is amazing and I’m certainly a huge advocate for using is as a medium of interaction and growth… so long as it’s always natural and honest.
My issue is when the number of Twitter followers becomes nothing more than a status symbol, a measure of one’s worth or authority online, and loses all meaning as a true social network. What’s the point of having thousands of followers if none of them are actually interested in what you have to say? What’s the point of being part of a huge online network if all you see is a flood of automated retweet spam spilling down? This is the line that changes Twitter followers from real people into pointless numerical epeen and, believe me, it’s easy to be tempted into jacking your follower number up as high as possible for no other reason than just to bask in the self-imposed virtual glory it brings.
How to get followers
Unfortunately it’s entirely meaninglessly because, let’s face it, accruing followers on Twitter is exceptionally easy. All you need to do is conduct a simple Google search and find one of the dozens of sites out there (I’m not going to link to them – I’m not a complete reprobate, y’know) that will sell you 2,000 followers for as little as $20. Yep, you can literally fork out a few bucks just to boost up a little number on your screen (they offer the same service for Facebook too if anyone is interested). It’s a staggering hidden black market all designed to make money out of nothing more than the stroking of our virtual egos.
Aside from the obvious cheap tactic of buying followers in order to convince clients that your marketing strategies are working, having so many unwilling and unrelated followers genuinely serves no purpose other than making yourself look better. Having a vast army of loyal Twitter fans is incredible for everything from friendly banter to online promotion but it only actually works if those people are honestly interested in yourself and what you have to say. Being trailed by thousands of spam bots is completely worthless in every regard.
So I guess the moral of this story is don’t become besotted with numerical figures or immediately assume that having a lot of followers is a good thing. Real and honest human connection and interactivity is what matters the most and you’d be better of with 10 genuine followers than 1,000 paid bots. My advice is be natural, be yourself and don’t worry about silly numerical follower counts. That will grow over time and you’ll be better of for it.
And on another, completely unrelated note, feel free to follow us on Twitter.