What Is Twitter Influence and How Do You Get It?

Table of Contents

So many within the Twitter community are focused on the number of followers. Periodically, I see people posting their newest round number high; 1000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, etc. To each their own on touting their list size but the size of someone's list can be very misleading. Many Twitter users are building their lists as quickly as they can and totally ignoring those who follow them. They are not taking time to acknowledge their DM's, connect with people personally on any level or even be concerned about who is following them. News flash, those who are following this style of Tweeter ARE NOT FOLLOWING them on any level that really counts. The number of followers that one has is not a measure of one's influence on Twitter! For example, Lady Gaga has over 7 million followers and her influence score is only 41. Compare that to Peter Cashmore @mashable who has only about 2 million followers and yet his influence score is 70.

Below are a few things that indicate and impact your Twitter influence.

1. Lists

When you are added to someone's list it does two things; one, it gives you more visibility, which is definitely a plus and two, the way people categorize or name their lists indicates how people perceive your and your brand. This is known as “topical” influence and it is weighed very heavily as a factor in the influence rating system.


Tweets are a huge indicator of how your content is impacting those who follow you. If they are willing to share your content this can only benefit your business. Basically, a retweet is a personal recommendation that your content is valuable and worthy of someone else's attention.

3. @Replies

A @yourtwittername is an indication of how much others talk to you and intentionally share your name. This is a reciprocal affair because the more you are willing to engage others, the more likely others will do the same for you. If you have a low number of @yourtwitternames, this is an indication that you need to create more social interaction and broadcast more content.

4. Follower Ratio

As a general rule, if a Twitter user shows a disproportionate number of followers versus their following ratio, this normally signals a desire to simply acquire a lot of followers. This isn't always the case but it can be an indicator. Twitter users who have more followers than they are following indicate some level of selection process and are a more desirable from a following perspective than someone who might be identified as a spammer by having a disproportionate number between those that they are following and their followers.

There has been a movement in recent months by some to only follow a small select group of people or brands versus following the masses. They want the masses to follow them but they only want to follow a select group of people. While I understand the reasoning behind their decision to do this, I feel this projects the image of many on one and does not promote a sense of community and connection. With that said, I don't feel that you should follow everyone who follows you. Be selective and connect with people that hold similar interests or that you are interested in receiving their tweets. 

5. Tweet Volume

Tweet volume is how often you tweet. Those tweeters who tweet good content often are more likely to have a higher level of engagement among their followers, their list count is normally higher, others retweet their tweets and a ratio that is fairly balanced will provide value to your influence rating.

6. Quality of Your Connections

This is the most important measurement of your influence and it is also very hard to measure in any qualitative way. Connecting with your target audience and forming connections with influencers within your niche should be the most important goal of your Twitter campaign. Gaining the attention of your target audience and building TRUST therein is the ultimate test of your influence. With this said, RESPOND to your DM's, talk to people! If someone asks you a question, ANSWER them. It is extremely rude to ignore people and if you do, they will do the same. More people will engage with you if they know you are listening to them.

Want to know your Twitter influence score? Visit http://www.klout.com to view your Klout influence summary.

If you have any tips on increasing your score, please feel free to share in the comments sections below.

Thanks so much for dropping in!

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Jeannette Webb
Jeannette Webb
12 years ago

Kim,  I have so much to learn in this area.  This was very helpful!

11 years ago

Thank you, honestly this helps alot as I do not understand twitter at all. I would love to be better at it. I am still learning

Reply to  Don
11 years ago

Anytime! If you have specific questions, please let me know.


10 years ago

I too, still have so much learn.  This post is very informative.  Thanks for sharing!

Reply to  Monica
10 years ago

You are most welcome Monica!

Kim Garst
10 years ago

Thanks Ana!

Kim Garst
10 years ago

Glad you stopped in!

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