Here, then, is my list of the 11 types of Twitter followers (and thoughts about ones who matter most):
The Recipro-pal – they follow you after you follow them, no questions asked.
The Friend or Family Follower (FFF) – this is someone who genuinely cares about the question “what are you doing?” because they know you and can put it in context.
The “Me, Too!” – they love what you love, and follow you because you share a passion.
The Aggressor – out of the blue, they follow you. You haven’t a clue why, as there don’t seem to be common interests or connections, but they appear to be a real person. They’re probably using an automated program to garner followers, but maybe, just maybe, they saw your name fly by and liked what you had to say.
The Howdy – just a friendly sort who enjoys the social interaction Twitter offers.
The Bot – they also follow out of the blue, but there’s not a real person on that Twitter account as their tweets (or lack thereof) show.
The Kiss-My-Bot – a large enough subset of bots to deserve their own listing, this group features highly attractive and scantily clad Twitterers with “private sites” you can check out.
The Short-timer – they follow you. You follow back. They unfollow shortly thereafter.
The Seller – they follow you so you see what they’re selling. They don’t care if you follow back as long as they’ve made their impression.
The Lather, Rinse, Repeater (LRR) – they follow you. You don’t follow back. They unfollow… but days or weeks later… they follow you again.
The Fan – while celebrities clearly have this type of follower, everyone can get them: someone likes what you tweet so they follow you, even though they might never say hello. (The darker side is that a “fan” might have too big an interest in “what are you doing”… but most of us won’t experience this.)
The Searcher – constantly scanning tweets using an automated program, they will follow you if you tweet their keyword. As one example, try tweeting about tennis and see how many followers you pick up.
Those are the 11 types of Twitter followers I’ve found so far, but in the end, there’s one set of followers that matters most – your own list. Whether you’ve got millions or a small handful, those are your tweeps, and you shouldn’t spend too much time wondering why they’re there. Instead, take care of what you can control, and treat your followers well by tweeting well.
Did I miss a type (or ten)? Feel free to let me know!
Twitter birds by Spoon Graphics