I find myself staring at Ellen’s 4.8 million followers…or Gary Vaynerchuk’s 852,000 or Mari Smith’s 70,000 and I feel very small with my measly 1589 followers. I read a blog this week by my friend Hajj Flemings who points out the size of your following doesn’t matter. Right. Spoken like a guy with a 5,331 followers.
Now Hajj does make a valid point that the quality of your followers is more important than the number. I can rest easy knowing that every single one of my followers is top of the list, king of the hill, A number one. But still I can’t quite get over this hollow feeling that there just aren’t enough of them. I find myself waking up in the dead of night, logging on to Tweetdeck and jealously counting my followers like a guy on rogaine. I don’t even want to talk about what happens when I find I’ve lost a follower since going to bed.
I was actually doing fine, plodding along, picking up three or four followers a week until an article appeared in Broadcast & Cable magazine a couple of weeks ago listing America’s top local news Tweeters. I was actually interviewed for the article, which I thought was a pretty big deal until I read it.
“It’s a great way to mine stories,” says WXYZ Detroit anchor Stephen Clark, who has 1,500 followers.
That’s it. Mind you I’m not complaining. B & C is a huge publication in my industry and they spelled my name right. But did you notice how the reporter virtually mumbled my follower count? It’s almost as though he’s ashamed of it. And the reason is in the chart accompanying the article. The top ten Tweeters in local news:
By the way, that blonde in the corner of the chart is not me. That is Amy Wood from South Carolina and she may seriously deranged. She is the undisputed queen of TV station Tweeters with more than 13-thousand followers but, apparently, no life.
So lets go down the list a little ways to get to my 1,500 followers. Oh! You mean I’m not on the list? And there’s my problem. I don’t even make the top ten. Although in fairness my 3,600 Tweets does put me at #4 on the list of most active Tweeters. But that is of little consolation.
I WANT TWEEPS!
The question is how do I get them? I’ve asked that question of several of the Tweeters I respect (in other words, those with HUGE numbers). Scott Monty has approximately 41,704 followers. He tells me you develop a following by consistently providing valuable and interesting content. That’s all fine but I suspect Scott is offering a free Ford Fiesta to every new follower.
Brandon Chesnutt says he got his 3,731 followers by getting to know his online neighbors. By listening.
See…there’s always a catch. I was hoping for some kind of secret hand shake. Or one of those “cheat codes” you get for “Grand Theft Auto”. But apparently if I want followers I’m going to have to work for them.
I’m having lunch today with Charlie Wollborg and his 7, 737 followers. I’ll take one last shot at asking him for some secret to getting followers.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll steal a few when he goes to the bathroom.