Winning the Twitter Popularity Contest

Growth in the microblogging website Twitter has been astounding. It is estimated that more than 7 million unique visitors a month use Twitter, and total Twitter users will grow by 200% for 2009. Twitter represents an early market opportunity for individuals and businesses that want to establish a presence and following in this social media space. And, there appears to be a payoff for those able to attract a large following. According to research by Rapleaf, Twitter users with the largest followings tend to experience the greatest increases in followers. As new users adopt Twitter, many of them follow users with the large numbers of followers. In short, the popular become more popular.

The Rapleaf study compared three groups of Twitter users based on their number of followers: the top 0.1%, the top 1% and the top 10%. The average number of followers jumped 275% between March and June of this year for the top 0.1% compared to gains of 146% for the top 1% and 126% for the top 10%. These findings suggest that the payoff for establishing a highly visible Twitter presence may be greatest for those that have already arrived.

Twitter users not in the upper echelons of popularity could become disheartened by the survey numbers. Not so fast! These numbers are primarily a measure of popularity (how many followers can I garner). In the long-run, relevant content will be important in retaining followers. Growing a following on Twitter is beneficial for brand building, but for any brand the ultimate measure is how well the brand delivers on a regular basis.

eMarketer Daily - "Twitter Power Users Solidify Dominance"

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