Beware the trap of the Twitter follower count

Sheer Twitter numbers might feed your ego, but getting results for your brand requires much more—starting with diligent effort.

Twitter is a community—a vibrant one—and it’s a relatively judgmental system, at least in terms of getting people to really and truly notice you.

If you’re going to seek connection, attention, and engagement through this medium, there are a few things you need to understand about why striving for the follow alone isn’t going to get you where you need to go. You must be willing to put in some additional effort.

1. It’s too easy to automate and game.

There are scores of spammers, people who auto-follow without a second thought, and people who follow others to get a return follow and inflate their numbers—any number of games. Please hear this clearly: Your follower number alone means nothing. It’s just a (grossly inflated and inaccurate) view of the potential of your audience in aggregate, not even for a given tweet or moment. Period. End of story.

2. You’re easy to unfollow or ignore.

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