Does Follower Score Matter?

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 20 Feb, 2013

One of the best ways to gain digital popularity is by marketing your brand on social networks like Twitter. 

Professionals and brands alike can leverage social sites to reach a large audience, foster relationships and gain free word-of-mouth advertising. Of course, obtaining an impressive Twitter following is easier said than done. The most common strategy is to follow people or companies in hopes they will return the favor. But how often do the Twitter elite actually use this tactic?

In order to find out, Website Magazine looked at the follower-to-following ratio of 20 popular Twitter handles -10 individual accounts with more than 10,000 followers each and 10 verified brand accounts. This ratio has been labeled as the Follower Score, and it shows whether or not some of Twitter's most successful handles lean on the people they follow in order to boost their own following. 

Check out the results of the Follower Score audit below:

Individuals - Average Follower Score: 33%

1. Lisa Taron @ThePetBookLady - Follower Score: 49%

2. Kacey @sparkliebarbie - Follower Score: 2%

3. Dora Woodrum @dorawoodrum - Follower Score: 42%

4. Justin Maudlin @friscofoodie - Follower Score: 29%

5. Lilach Bullock @lilachbullock - Follower Score: 42%

6. Tara Stiles @tarastiles - Follower Score: 3%

7. Lauren Berlingeri @lazaberlingeri - Follower Score: .7%

8. Harley Pasternak @harleypasternak - Follower Score: .2%

9. Kim Garst @kimgarst - Follower Score: 94%

10. Trisha Haas @MomDot following - Follower Score: 64%

Brands - Average Follower Score: 14%

1. Olive Garden @olivegarden - Follower Score: 2%

2. MailChimp @MailChimp - Follower Score: 18%

3. Tillamook Cheese @TillamookCheese - Follower Score: 47%

4. Sephora @Sephora - Follower Score: 33%

5. Urban Outfitters @UrbanOutfitters - Follower Score: .2%

6. Dominos @dominos - Follower Score: 7%

7. E! Online @eonline - Follower Score: 2%

8. Huffington Post @HuffingtonPost - Follower Score: .2%

9. Whole Foods Market @WholeFoods - Follower Score: 17%

10. DeVry University @DeVryUniv - Follower Score: 10%


While the results of the Follower Score audit varied greatly, the calculations do show that individuals who market themselves on Twitter typically follow a larger percentage of people than brands that are doing the same thing. This is most likely because these people don't already have a customer base and therefore need to depend on networking with others in order to increase their following.

That being said, there are many additional strategies one can use to obtain a larger audience on Twitter, including using trending topic hashtags on a regular basis, promoting a Twitter account on other digital properties, interacting with followers and, most importantly, posting a variety of intriguing content. After all, obtaining followers is only half the battle, because once that is achieved, you need to find a way to keep them engaged.