• Michael Weeding

The Currency of Followers

I am always concerned when I hear of anyone describing the number of followers or friends that they have as an asset. Considering that you can buy up to 20,000 followers on Twitter for under $100 on eBay the number of followers that you want can be achieved in a number of ways, the real question will be will these followers be worth anything to you or your organisation.

According to Augie Ray, a former analyst in Social Media at Forrester a follower is worth nothing. Using an analogy of kinetic energy the value is only realised once the company starts to engage with their fans or followers. If an individual or company spends time and money building their followers then the value comes not from the number of followers but the followers who will engage with the brand. It is therefore better to have 2 engaged followers than 200 porn stars or casinos who only followed you in the hope you will click on their link (not that this happens at all on the Internet)!

Another interesting case is Internet company PhoneDog LLC who is suing former employee Noah Kravitz for $340,000, saying he left the firm and took his 17,000 Twitter followers with him. If this is successful then the it is not the tweeter owns the follower but the employer and each one is worth about $2.50. If this is the true value of each follower it should be pretty easy to amass a fortune (at least on paper), you just need to agree in advance with your employer that it is you who owns the followers.


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