It has been an online debate about if it’ss more important quality or quantity on Twitter, in reference to the followers you have. The answer surely must be that both are important for different reasons.
Having quality followers is important, in the same way to offer quality tweets to your followers. In fact, both things are related.
But be aware because no matter how good they are your tweets, it is very difficult to significantly increase your followers (in large quantities).
Just talking about this subject, Likeable wrote that “quality alone does not scale“.
Quality followers ensure that your contribution will reach more people through their retweets. This is important even for the SEO of your website or blog, because Google assigns a score to twitter accounts, and the more relevant the higher the number. This means that if a relevant person uses in his tweet any of your links, it becomes a strong reliable information. That helps your PageRank.
On the other hand, the amount is important mainly for image or branding, either a personal or company account. That is as true in real life as in social networks. If you have more followers, you assume a level of “something” (experience, professionalism, whatever you want) better than having less, even reality is quite different.
Imagine you see someone’s account, and you see he follows few people but has lots of followers. You’d think its tweets are valuable for many people, so maybe you would follow or at least be interested in its tweets.
Now if you run into the same account but in this case you see it has very few followers, you’d think that is a newbie, or won’t add value to you or your account.
Although don’t forget that having many fans involves having to maintain them. We must have an active account. At least give a sense of life releasing tweets regularly and answering to the interest of your followers. Otherwise, they will fly away.
If you have a business, the importance of building a bigger bunch of followers is greater. No one in any company can tell you that a small community in a social network, even if they are the most enthusiastic and quality followers, is comparable to a great community.
Some success stories of what it means to move masses on twitter:
1) Dell: More than a million followers of @DellOutlet meant $6.5 million in sales.
2) Jet Blue: @JetBlueCheeps has about 230,000 followers and have used their account to generate thousands of flash sales.
3) Ashton Kutcher: Has mobilized its more than 6 million followers to get hundred thousands dollars to various causes.
The question left open and that I will be testing in the coming days is if having so many followers is really a decisive factor for people to start following you on Twitter. And also, if these new followers would be quality ones, people really interested in what you say.