The reasons why people follow me on Twitter

In the previous post, I started to answer the question “Why people follow me on Twitter.” I went through some background, reviewed my tweet history, and wrote a bit about my experience using Twitter’s Direct Message (DM) to ask the question.

This follow-on post gets into the actual reasons and numbers.

Over the three months I conducted my highly informal research,  I’d asked new followers the following question:

Hi (follower name here), thanks for following me. This is NOT an auto-DM, I’m live :)and tracking ‘reach’ and was wondering how you ‘found’ me in Twitter?

Over that time, I’d gained about 300 followers, many of them ‘business‘ accounts with ‘great money making opportunities‘ or people looking for ‘others who are motivated to be successful‘.

Other were the gems I was hoping for. These new followers add value daily, offering new and insightful opinions. They’re the reason I check ever new follower, reading their profile and reviewing their tweets. I want to be exposed to this new perspective or new information, who wouldn’t?

But enough background and preamble, on to the data 🙂

There were many reasons people follow me, and I’ve paraphrased and categorized them to make measurement easier. But, in a few cases, I’m also including some of the comments (unattributed, sorry, I didn’t capture that data) as I found the response particularly enlightening.

Common Follower: 30
eg:I follow @ChrisBrogan, my new follower found me by stalking Chris’ followers:

  • Followed a fake SethGodin together 🙂
  • Listen to FIR
  • I found you through the aidg twitter page and i thought your stuff looked interesting.
  • Most times my new follows are from people I see my friends having cool conversations with.

I tweeted mentioning their company or organization or industry (via Twitscoop, keyword search,  etc): 14

  • Red Cross
  • Twitter search for Canadian Space Agency
  • I found your blog through the post “Tools to tame twitter”. Then did a search on social mention and twitter for bradgrier
  • You mentioned social media monitoring, a topic that I track. I’m CEO of Radian6 – we provide such a monitoring platform.
  • First I found you on a keyword search. Something creative like “social media”. Then you seemed funny, so I was sold 😉
  • I saw your post about the US Embassy in Ottawa, thought it was interesting they are getting into social media — that is my area of interest
  • found a tweet you had about an article on CIO.com

Friend/interest alignment: 11
We have common friends or interest

  • I was reading/tracking an interesting conversation which led to you. So I followed.
  • Searched on Wii
  • I found you because you are following a coffee roaster professional, who in turn, is linked to gimmecoffee
  • Application (twautor.com) found and auto added me.

Looking for people using twitter in my/specific City/Geographic Region of interest: 11

  • Listed on Edmonton twitter elite

Found me in a directory: 9
Twellow, Twitter Grader, Mr. Tweet etc

  • found you at http://twannabe.com where my influence was joywang and your name came up.
  • @bgrier i found you by punching MrsTweet in the stomach until MrTweet coughed up your info @SaltyDroid

Reciprocal: 6
following me back after I follow them

Friday Follow (recommend someone to follow): 6
#FridayFollow is a Twitter meme where you recommend to your followers, other Twitter members that you think your followers should follow.

Added me because we participated in the same online activity / chat etc: 5

Random: 3
Stumbled, etc

Forgot / not sure: 3

Visited my blog and then followed me: 2

  • I have a Google alert for “asus eeepc”. Your blog post about Easy Peasy on the eeepc came up. I read the article, liked it, and followed you

Retweet pickup: 2
These are people who said they follow me because I retweeted (RT) their tweet.

Added via Webinar signup (for their product) with my Twitter account requested: 1

  • SM2 – techrigy

Since I’m such a sucker for charts, here’s another look at the data

So, what do I conclude from that?

Well, it’s interesting that the largest segment (twice the size of the next segment) consisted of 30 followers who found me by stalking other people’s follower list. Heck, it’s how I find interesting people, so it makes sense that other use the same tactic.

Conversely, I find it interesting that only 2 respondents followed me after visiting my blog. Does that mean that Blog readers are not necessarily inclined to be twitter users? Or do blog readers have different needs?

Other large groups include people in my geographic region and people with shared interest who found me via directories. Those two seem rather self explanatory.

But what do  you think? Does the data above make sense to you? Or not..and why? Your comments and opinions are appreciated.

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