Does the Follower / Following Ratio Matter in Terms of True Influence on Twitter? [POLL]

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There are Twitter users that have 25,000 followers, but they follow 24,870. Do they have true influence or does the person that has 5000 followers and follows 230 people have more influence?

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There are a lot of people out there are “teaching” others how to use Twitter and they brag about their Twitter followers, but their follower / following ration is equal. I have to admit that I personally am not impressed by users such as these.

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Melissa Fach

Melissa Fach

Melissa is the owner of SEO Aware, LLC. She is a consultant and trainer helping companies make the most of their content marketing and SEO. She specializes is the Psychology behind blogging and content marketing. Melissa is also an associate on the Community team at Moz, an associate and writer at CopyPress and an editor at Authority Labs. She is a self-proclaimed Star Wars and Internet geek and volunteers with big cats at
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  • Technique

    I think it depends, I actually wrote a blog post on the Twitter follow incentive technique, which many people employ to gain lots of followers fast, but how does anybody get any value out of blindly following people, but some people legitimately have lots of followers, the ratio doesn’t matter to me, its what they tweet that does.

  • James Dunn

    Follower/following ratio means nothing without engagement. Do these ratios show significant retweets or actual, and quite importantly, regular conversations? If not then true influence cannot be calculated correctly.

  • Pedro Matias

    My view is also that ratios are more important than the number of followers.

    You managed to have more followers than you follow. You get it!
    As many followers than you follow. You don’t get it, you look like a bot!
    Less followers than you follow. You just don’t get it, looks like desperation and could be bordering on spam aggressive following.

    Another interesting pool would be on how many people read /skimmed

  • Keir Harness (@YodelayKeir)

    Big question this one for me there are two layers of influence this ratio can have.

    Firstly it is viable to argue that it only makes a difference if you are concerned by Klout, Kred & Peerindex score, no doubt somewhere in the algorithm of each service this ratio plays it’s part in a users score.

    Secondly (you touch on this here yourself) is Perception how do you perceive the different follower ratios you come across

    “…but their follower / following ration is equal. I have to admit that I personally am not impressed by users such as these.”

    I view this differently if the ratio is equal I take this to be a democratic use of Twitter However….
    Celebs, Topic Celebs and Industry Leading voices face the problem of engaging massive followings as James suggests and so have a lower ratio.

    • Shawn Roberts

      Hi Keir, It’s Shawn from Kred.

      We do not count follow-follower count in Kred scores. The vast majority of points earned are for interactions – replies, mentions and retweets. Our guide shows our entire scoring system at

      • Shawn Roberts

        The link to the Kred Scoring Guide looks like its been redacted.
        The place to go is Kred dot Com slash Rules

      • Keir Harness (@yodelaykeir)

        Hi Shawn,

        Really interested to see how things develop at Kred will keep an eye out

  • Angela Dunn

    Influence is in the eye of the beholder. Numbers are irrelevant and methodologies vary by strategy. Any tactic not aligned to a strategy is negligible. Following relevant people plus adding diversity brings serendipity to your mix. Content “curators” who follow many topic spheres usually have follower/following counts that are equal (that does NOT mean they follow everyone who follows them back, they just read a lot.) Those who don’t follow curators back lose the opportunity to be contacted via DM. (I know I like to increase, not decrease my opportunities.) Curators connect ideas and people, and not always through public channels. I know I usually request an interview or connect two people that could benefit from each other via DM. Most times with no direct benefit for me–except building relationships. I may also want to write a blog post on a person. If that person isn’t following me, I may choose someone else as I don’t want my ideas to be scooped before I can write about them. One can easily manage their “select” following via a Twitter list. I think people should do what is best for them. The best strategy depends on many factors and a deep understanding of using social media for desired outcomes and building community. It is not a one size fits all answer!

  • Alexander Holl

    But often you see this weired accounts were you have similar amounts of followers and following. It is about true reach in the end. But i bet that algorytmically these numbers and to define real influence is one of the easiest task for social networks

  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis, IN

    I firmly believe that listening is as important as speaking (if not more so). I am leery about someone who’s Twitter ratio indicates they are more interested blessing us with their thoughts than trying to take something from the Twitter feeds as well. I think that the concept of re-tweeting is a proof that there are others who believe the same thing.