Skip to main content

Do More Twitter Followers Drive More Traffic?

Until recently, I've believed that, for the sake of Twitter etiquette, I should follow back pretty much everyone who follows me on Twitter (as long as they used a real name, real photo, and weren't peddling an "Internet dating site"). I thought it would be rude not to do so.

But two items recently got me re-thinking that rule. The first was this post from Constant Contact, Qualntity vs. Quality: How Many Twitter Followers Do You Really Need. Blaise Lucey writes about the pros and cons from both sides of having too many followers and a smaller number of followers but with more loyalty. The two points of views are  displayed in a conversation between two men discussing this subject, instead of just listing a boring pro and con list. Both strategies are equally valid, they just produce different results and have their own benefits and drawbacks.

The second was the increasing amount of twitspam I was seeing, nearly all of it misleading, much of it downright dishonest. I don't tweet false or spammy information, I don't want to read it, and I don't want to be associated with those who produce it.

So maybe I need to rethink my policy on following, I thought. More quality, less quantity.

And that got me thinking about the relationship between the number of Twitter followers one has and the amount of blog or site traffic Twitter drives. Does more followers mean more traffic?

To find out, I compared my average number of Twitter followers (by the way, it would be really nice if Twitter provided a way to track these types of analytics) over the past eight months with the number of Twitter-referred visits to this blog:

Clearly, the relationship between followers and traffic is anything but linear. This is also apparent from looking at the ratio of followers to visitors on a monthly basis—the number of Twitter-driven visits over the the average number of Twitter followers for that month.

On average, the Twitter ratio was about 10%, e.g., having 1,000 followers would produce 100 blog visits. (Keep in mind this is as measured by Google Analytics, so the figures here likely understate reality to some degree.) But the range was considerable, from less than 5% to more than 20%.

Conclusion: while, in general, more followers will mean more traffic, the relationship is weak and non-linear, as there are many other factors at play. Elements such as blog post topics (not surprisingly, posts about Twitter tend to draw well on Twitter), post quality, people mentioned in your posts, who you ask to retweet you, who actually does tweet or retweet your links, how many followers those people have, and time of day you tweet all have an impact on the amount of traffic Twitter will refer. Collectively, the effect of these other elements is at least as important as raw number of followers.

In short, either a "QualTweeps" or "QuanTweeps" strategy can generate reasonable amounts of Twitter traffic. But it's not rude to follow selectively, and a somewhat balanced quality-vs.-quantity strategy is likely to produce better results than a blinkered focus on simply attracting more and more followers.


Contact Mike Bannan:


HAL said…
Nice post.

I'm jut wondering how to implement your tactics exactly in a methodical way without spending too much time building the nest?


Tom Pick said…
Thanks Hal.

You can use something like TweetLater ( to consolidate and partially automate your tweeting, but honestly this doesn't take that much time.

I'm not sure who first described social media as a stream, but it's a great analogy. You can't possible capture all the water in a stream, but you can dip your toe in every now and then.

I check in on my Twitter account a few times each day, add things, read things, and retweet useful information I see (as well as responding to anything @TomPick of course). I don't get concerned with seeing everything in my Twitterstream because it wouldn't be possible. And really isn't necessary.

Hope that helps!
I like to manage the strategy what you guided here.And marketing tool will be managed to gain the social network too through the twitter etc., keep sharing.

All Time Greats

Digital Marketing for Law Firms, How Hard is it?

A lot of "verticals" or industries make sense for digital marketing and the whole process can be very easy and intuitive. For instance, if you are running a Search Engine Optimization company, it's very straightforward to content market:

1- Write blogs or articles about SEO
2- Try to answer questions people have about SEO
3- Optimize those blogs around what the questions are and what you are saying.

But what about an industry that is a lot more complicated and not very straight forward? What about marketing for lawyers?

ACE, one of Philadelphia's top Law Firm Marketing companies, just posted this extremely helpful blog about why SEO is important for Law Firms. It delves into exactly how to do the job for a complex industry like the law and its practitioners.

One of the key points in the entire article is: "If your customer journey does not have a use for search services, then you'll never see SEO campaign results."

We recommend reading the whole thing. …

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Tip #2 to Improve your Digital Marketing

Spend Wisely Each platform used to market online provides you with a different value. You need to analyze which outlets you should invest more time and money into, and which ones are not as important. Some platforms that work well for one company, yield little to no results for another. You need to find the one that suits your business goals the best. Digital Marketing is all very specific to your brand, and you need to plan your budget accordingly. Determining what each platform is going to do for your specific advertising efforts should be the basis for the decisions you make with your campaigns, explains Hitesh Sahni, Marketing Consultant at Smemark:

“It’s imperative to understand the value each channel offers. Search advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new an…

Does SEO Actually Work?

I wrote this for my new Doctor Digital column over at Results Driven Marketing's Blog. But I wanted to share it here too.

It's the most basic question of all: Does SEO Actually Work?

Yes it does! But not like you think it does.

This graphic should explain it pretty well:

Tips to Improve Digital Marketing: Tip 1

Digital advertising has become a major component of modern day marketing strategies. Here are tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy:

1. Be Creative Your business has visual elements that make it stand out from your competition. Use that to your advantage in your marketing efforts. Whether it is a logo, mascot, font, or color scheme, having it included can help make your brand recognizable. You want to catch the eye of the audience, but you also want to maintain their attention and have them remember your brand. Incorporating unique and creative visual elements into your ads is crucial to the success the ads will bring you. Sarah Maloy, Content Marketing Manager at Shutterstock points out that you want a variety of creative images, but they should be consistent: "When advertising on social media, it's important to refresh your creative often so that it is relevant and so that users aren't seeing the same post more than once. When testing variations and tryi…

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!