Why do I need 10,000 followers?

Photo credit: I don’t know. Probably some porn site. This is an actual Twitter follower of the guy mentioned in the article. If this is a picture of you and you’re not in the porn industry, I apologize. I was just trying to make a point. Now go put on a tee shirt.

The other day I received a direct message on my Twitter account that gave me pause:

Mark – why so few followers when it seems you have great content? Is that part of your strategy? Just looked-thought it would be more …

At first I felt defensive. Well — I LIKE my 400 followers. I’ve only been doing this a few weeks. That seems pretty good. Right??

So I decided to check out the guy who sent me the message. He has over 12,000 followers and 700 connections on Linked-in. I felt Twitter Envy swelling in my chest. Is it possible to exhibit alpha male behavior on Twitter?

I looked over his list of followers and what I found astounded me. Many of them had names like “HelpYouMakeCash” or “Psychic123.” Tons of them had names like “pS5bo1g6” with no photos. And a very high number featured icon photos with women baring their chest, or nearly so. Who would brag about a community filled with this stuff?

When I get followers bearing (baring?) those attributes I knock ’em out. First, I’m not in the same game that they are. Second, I would not want any one in my Twitter community I would not proudly introduce to my kids.

What’s the point of all of this social media stuff anyway? I’m writing this blog and Twittering on a regular basis to contribute to the dialogue with a group of insanely cool people. I have learned SO MUCH from you guys out there. I like my new online peeps. I get excited when you respond to a blog post or RT one of my Tweets.

I genuinely want to CONNECT with my growing community but already have some concerns as the followers grow each week. At some point I think it will become too much and I haven’t thought of a next step. I want to be a good community member. Is that possible with a thousand followers? How do we build a sustainable, manageable community with a meaningful dialogue?

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