Total Twitter Follower Value: A Formula for Calculating the Value of your Twitter Followers

As of this morning, Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki) has 223,631 followers (including me). With that many followers, wouldn’t it be great if you could get Guy to follow you? On the face of it, it seems like it would lend a lot of credibility to your account and if you could get his attention, he might retweet one of your tweets to all of his followers!  Now wouldn’t that be awesome!

But it’s not likely to happen.  Guy is following 245,897 people (his followees), which basically means he’s not following anyone or he follows a small subset of his followees using lists or some other tool.

I’ve been using Twitter for a little more than a year.  I currently follow 110 people and I find it very hard to keep up.

Assuming my followees have the same difficulty, I figure that they’re not paying attention to my tweets if I’m one of a thousand people they’re following.  Furthermore, if they have a ton of followers, but about the same number of followees, I figure they’re just playing “I’ll follow you if you follow me,” which seems silly to me though I know a lot of “social media gurus” consider it good practice.

Why do we want Followers?

If you’re in business, then presumably the reason you want followers is so that you can communicate to them for one of two reasons:

  1. Add value to your services through providing support or useful information.
  2. Sell more either directly through some kind of special offer or indirectly through building your brand.

In either case, you need your followers to actually be paying attention to your tweets, which I’m assuming they can’t do if they are following a zillion people.

Twitter Follower Value (TFV)

So I’ve come up with this simple formula for the value of a follower:

Follower Value = #Followers / #Followees

I’m not sure that it’s original. It seems unlikely to me that it is, but just in case I’m going to call it the Why-it-does-not-matter-if-Guy-Kawasaki is-following-you formula or the Twitter Follower Value (TFV) formula for short.

Let’s take Guy as an example:

  • #Followers: 223,631
  • #Followees: 245,897
  • TFV: 0.91

That’s not a great TFV.

Take Tim O’Reilly (@timOReilly) as another example.  He wrote a book on Twitter, which is mostly geared towards using Twitter for staying in touch with family and friends, but has some business tips in it. Here’s what his TFV looks like:

  • #Followers: 1,428,799
  • #Followees: 644
  • TFV: 2,218.6

Can you see the difference?  Is it really almost 2,500 times more valuable to have Tim O’Reilly follow you than it is to have Guy Kawasaki follow you?  I think it is, because I think Tim O’Reilly may actually follow his followers, whereas I can’t imagine that Guy Kawasaki does.

Twitter Follower Value (TTFV)

The value of all your followers or your Total Twitter Follower Value (TTFV) would be the sum of your followers’ TFVs.  So, if both Guy Kawasaki and Tim O’Reilly are following you and they are your only followers, your TTFV would be:

0.91 + 2,218.6 = 2,219.51

So there it is.  Anyone want to build a tool that calculates TTFV?  That would be cool!

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