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.
Level 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.
Level 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.Â Click here to learn more about it.