How many followers do you have on Twitter? How many people are you following? You can find the answer to those two questions on your profile page pretty easily. But how many of the people you follow are following you? There’s no easy way to answer that question on the main Twitter page, but there are tools that can help you out.
Friend or Follow offers an easy way to determine your audience. It separates the people you follow and your followers into three tabs: following, fans and friends. Following is the group of people that you’re following but aren’t following you. Fans are the people who are following you but you aren’t following. Friends are people you’re following who are following you.
This is useful for determining your audience. Large, nationally known brands will likely have are larger fan base than friend base. If you’re looking to cultivate a more interactive, engaging experience, you’ll likely want more friends than fans.
You can also track the effectiveness of your tweets with the tool Tweet Effect. It analyzes your follower count over the last several dozen tweets you’ve made and shows you how the number changed on specific tweets. There may not always be a direct correlation of your follower count to the message sent out, but it’s useful to track.
Making sure you follow someone who follows you allows the person to send you direct messages (if it’s allowed on your account), and keeps you up-to-date on what they’re doing. Knowing whom you’re following and who’s following you can also help if you’re planning a social media strategy. Additionally, having a grasp on what messages you’ve sent and how it’s affected your follower count will also help. The important aspect to your social media audience is making sure your messages are beneficial in some way. If they’re not, your audience will shrink and then you’ll be tweeting to yourself.