Sunday, November 11, 2012

Twitter: Followers vs. People You're Leading

How do you measure your online leadership?

An Interesting but Misguided Idea about Leadership on Twitter

I went to a mini-seminar about leadership, and the speaker mentioned something that did not settle well with me.

Amongst other things, she started to ask how many people are following us on Twitter.  She explained that you are leading your Twitter Followers.

Honestly, I think that she is onto an intriguing concept.  However, there is something missing here.

The Flaw with That Leadership Idea and Twitter

Have you ever used Twitter?

How many people do YOU follow?  (Hundreds...possibly Thousands, if not 10s of Thousands?)

How many of THESE PEOPLE do you think actually READ your Tweets?

In most cases, nearly NONE!

Most people are posting--not reading, unless they are finding info to "share" with their Twitter Followers, Facebook Fans or Friends, LinkedIn Connections or Group Members, etc.

For the most part, people are posting to be heard--not to hear.

How do we really find the leaders on Twitter?

If you follow enough people and read enough Tweets, you will notice that some people are very good at using Twitter.  They load their Tweets on something like Hootsuite in the morning (or previous evening), and they make sure that posts--bearing their name--show throughout the day, helping brand them.

This is a good idea, but these are seldom "the leaders."

So I asked myself, which people make Tweets that cause people to respond?  How are people "responding" to them on Twitter?
  • Leaders have a lot of Followers.
  • Followers ReTweet the Tweets from these Leaders.
  • Followers mark the Tweets from these Leaders in their Favorites.
  • Followers try to initiate conversation with Leaders by...
    • Starting a conversation directed TO the leader (Hey, @Leader, what do you think...?)
    • Responding to a Leader's Tweet by sending a Reply.
See Also: 3 Reasons I Like the ReTweet Button on Twitter

As Seth Godin like to call these people as the Tribe, and these Follwers are active members of your Tribe.  This is the group of people who are your "real" Followers.  THAT is a MUCH better measurement of your Leadership on Twitter.

How many people are Following you?  How many of them are you LEADING?

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