Twitter Ratios & Profile Builders: A Message Thread

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low angle view of a road sign saying follow your heartEditor’s Note: As some of you know the PRBC founding bloggers exchange e-mails quite a bit. On most workdays we trade between 150-200 msgs per day. We talk about everything – potential posts (seeking input and conflict checking), insight on an outlet, formal PRBC events, informal area events all the way to dinner plans and what one should wear to one of these events. It’s really a bit scary.

This entire post started with a brainstorming e-mail after I happened to see a GMail ad for a twitter profile builder. This one happened to intrigue me (the ad was well written). And so … in most of its glory, most of its ‘rough around the edgedness’ and edited for readability, part of our message thread.  From the first message to the last one included here a total of 1 hour and 1 minute passed.~Cog

PR Cog:
Hey folks, anyone want to do a ‘software review?’ I just got a google ad for a twitter profile builder. The ad was intriguing so I clicked.

Then I became nauseated. Part of the “features” are the worst practices we all hear about [edited to protect the…..well…y’know]:

  • Unfollow ALL except your “special list”
  • Logs those you have unfollowed so you don’t add them again.
  • Auto Unfollows: Unfollow by #, follower to follow ratios, users who do not follow back with time frames
  • Random Time Delay Settings- You choose the intervals between follows, unfollows, tweets, and direct messages
  • “special list”: Create a list of twitter users to never unfollow

One of the people who provides a testimonial is also an affiliate, and another doesn’t even list his twitter username.

I think a thorough use and review of effectiveness would make an interesting post.

Happy to handle this one, but may be better suited to [removed] since [s/he] actually does SM tracking, etc. and can provide some kind of statistics.  All I’d be able to compare to is my own experience.

May also be up Keith’s alley. Just not sure how active y’all are on the numbers, etc.

# # #

Keith Trivitt:
Well, considering I think auto-following people and follower ratios (huge BS that is!) are a huge bunch of bullshit, I’m going to refrain from this one because honestly, I would not go into this with an open mind about the product.

It’s interesting that you thought of us, Cog. We actually have an ongoing discussion about follower ratios. One side of the conversation can’t quite grasp that it’s so much more about the quality of content that builds a strong following, rather than the “perfect” ratio.

BTW … what is the *ideal* follower ratio that so many SM gurus try to get people to pay good money for?

# # #

TJ Dietderich:
I dunno exactly, but I’ve heard 1:3 is the magic number.

Me, I just try and do the right thing. Man, why can’t all PR people learn lessons from Mos Def films?

(Or is it Spike Jonez?)

# # #

PR Cog:
I’m not sure on the ratio. For a long time I watched my numbers (the lack of ‘identity’ was a thing, I was curious if it would get traction, be disregarded, etc.). Esp. before setting up the other platforms (my personal blog, FB) and starting to actually engage with people IRL.

When real relationships developed that all changed and I haven’t been concerned since. Usually someone else tells me if I’ve passed/approaching a -00 number.

I do remember passing the 1:1 ratio tho. Initially I think there was a lot of ‘why would I follow this PRJackass back’ sentiment/concern when I’d start following PR folks and journos. But it quickly faded as a milestone for the same reasons. Your ‘twitter life’ doesn’t become better or different, they’re just numbers.

It’s so much more (at least for me) important/cherished that I know I’ve got those ‘extra’ (i.e. in addition to those connections started in real life) people out there I can reach out to in times of joy, hardship, glee, sorrow…

# # #

TJ Dietderich:
Aaaaaand we just wrote a post about Twitter ratios. Way to go, guys. Let’s get this up next week?

# # #

Keith Trivitt:
And if you want, keep my snarkiness about the whole “follower ratio” debate in there. Seriously, I think it’s a bunch of horseshit that really bad PR and marketing folks try to stuff down clients’ faces.

Look, let’s be honest: It doesn’t matter at all how many people are following you or how many you are following. All that matters – in my mind – is the value each party is adding to the other and how strong your engagement is with your followers. Simple as that.

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