7 Levels of Twitter Followers

All Twitter followers are not created equally. I would be fooling you if I convinced you otherwise. This morning as I was driving back from an early morning breakfast meeting I was thinking about how we don’t usually rank our friendships “Jack is my number 4 friend” or “John is definitely in the top 10.” We can certainly put Twitter followers on different levels though. I think this is especially appropriate for today, Follow Friday.

Level 1: The Bots These are automated Twitter accounts. They follow blindly, never engage, and sometimes spout out spam messages which get them quickly un-followed. These followers are useless, except to pad your stats.

robotLevel 2: The Sleepers These are the silent Twitter followers. They never say anything, they have 10 updates total- but they are following you, even though they no longer spend any time on Twitter.

Level 3: Word Searchers These followers have followed you based on a word in your bio, or a term you have used in tweets. For example, when I mentioned that I like to wakeboard in a 22 Tweets interview, I was immediately followed by 2 wakeboard companies. These are only slightly more valuable than Level 1 or 2, because they are at least interested in something about you.

Level 4: Readers These are extremely valuable followers because they read your blog posts, read your tweets, and pass them on to others. Readers often times keep a low profile, but they can make a huge impact in helping you become a name in your industry.

youngreaders_getty_400Level 5: Engagers These are engaging Twitter users that will have a conversation with you about your tweets or blog posts. These people may be lawyers that like my articles about social media for lawyers, or social media junkies. Whoever they are, they are extremely important to me, because they help create the conversations on Twitter and on my blog. It doesn’t matter if these people agree or disagree with me, the important thing is that they create a buzz. Engagers is what makes Twitter so much fun. These should be highly valued.

Level 6: Contacts Level 6 followers are those who leave the mystic world of Twitter and become real contacts. The best was to turn an engaging follower into a contact is by setting up an appointment to have breakfast, or to have a phone call. Business people generally don’t understand Twitter, because they don’t understand how easy it is to take an engager on Twitter and turn them into a contact.

Level 7: Friend The holy grail of Twitter is turning online relationships that seem somehow less real, and turning them into offline friendships, partnerships, and (best of all) paying clients. I have had the opportunity to create Level 7 relationships all over the country thanks to Twitter. Whenever I stop in a different city, I try and meet up in person with the contacts I have built up on Twitter.

Whether it was meeting up with Melanie Green in the Minneapolis Airport, Gini Dietrich in downtown Chicago, or Tyson Snow for curry in Salt Lake City. Meeting contacts in person has helped me create some great friendships that have enriched my life, and helped my business.

Want to connect with a potential client on Twitter? Start by engaging, then you can move your way up. Its not that hard, give it a try.  I love engagers, so feel free to shoot me a message @adriandayton or leave a comment on my blog.

Adrian Dayton is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New York.  His latest book, Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition will be published internationally on September 4th, 2009.  Click here to learn more about it.


31 Responses to “7 Levels of Twitter Followers”

  1. I hope this encourages more people to be active in Twitter. I am meeting more and more people here. If you have a website, a blog, a cause or many causes…Twitter will connect you with people you want to talk to.

  2. Level 7 is an amazing accomplishment and I encourage others to try to get to Level 7. You won’t be disappointed. Great post, Adrian!

  3. I love the 7 levels blog. Haven’t met anyone in person from Twitter yet but I have through LinkedIn. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  4. Gerald Weber says:

    This is a great article that puts things into perspective probably mostly for people that don’t “get it” when it comes to twitter. I think often times people look at online relationships and social media as sort of a fantasy and waste of time. When you see how online relationship can become real business or personal (IRL) relationships it puts a new perspective on the value of Twitter and social media in general. At the end of the day readers, engagers, contacts and friends are what make Twitter, and social media so great.

    • Gerald: Absolutely, we need to get rid of that stigmatization of relationships that started online. They are no different than any other relationship- once they are appropriately taken to the next level.

      • Connie says:

        I have had ‘cultivating relationships’ at the center of my personal and professional core my entire life, so social media is a great way to open your world even more and to engage, listen and respond with people. I wonder how many people are stigmatized by. their marriage which essentially started online. Folks this is NOW of the future. I don’t think the numbers lie.
        Facebook: Billion users
        Twitter: 182 million users
        Pinterest: 104 million users
        LinkedIn: 86 million users
        Google+: 61 million users
        I’ve given several presentations as of late to the federal government cabinet level agencies and am amazed at how they think they are operating a social media policy. A big part of my business will be social media online courses that are a quick in and out where people can pay as they go and either get a lay of the landscape or a deep dive into one of the social media tools. I truly believe the uneducated crowd are the quickest to dismiss the power of social media to build brand awareness and keeping it sustainable.

        • Thanks for the comment Connie. I think we are well past the time that social media is overlooked. Now people are just figuring out what to do with it.

  5. Reuben says:

    I’m certainly a ‘reader’. Lol..thanks for that post

  6. Excellent post. Just like real life, there are people you avoid (bots), people you’re indifferent about (sleepers, word searchers) and people that you make real connections with and help to define you (readers, engagers, contacts, friends). I’m happy to say I have a couple level 7 followers!

  7. wniizzati says:

    i`m on what follower level? mm… mey be level 3 n upper.. 🙂

  8. Karina says:

    Great summary Adrian – thank you!

  9. Excellent article I’m so glad to have been following twitter tips and found this through that account, i have given you a follow and hoping to learn more. I’am definately changing my list of followers from description names to levels.

    • Thanks, the levels of Twitter followers was really an idea I came up with to show how valuable Twitter b Twitter can be to create REAL relationships- level 6 and 7. Glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope to speak with you someday.

  10. Pippa Sandford says:

    Paying clients best of all, over friendships? An interesting viewpoint.

  11. Joe says:

    Great post. Hope more people would read this and be encouraged to be more active and participate in the conversation. Wonder where you would put the people who follow only celebrities? Level 0: Stalker.

    • Thanks for the post Joe. I don’t think you can be so critical of those who follow celebrities. They would be more than willing to engage the celebrities- its the celebrities that are stuck at level 0. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  12. Nate says:

    Level 8: The overthinkers

  13. Brian Carey says:

    Thanks for the insights!

  14. Antinomodes says:

    I only started Tweeting six weeks ago. I have put out over 250 Tweets. I have only two interesting followers. Very depressing really. I think that I will give up.

  15. Scott says:

    This couldn’t be more true.


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