Twitter Account Growth and the Impact It Has on Subscriber Count

@Kevin | Social

One of the enjoyable things about launching Social Media Answers is that I can use my own blog to experiment and test some different theories out. Currently one of the topics that I am fascinated about is the idea that people can use Twitter to build some sort of authority and following. I talked about the idea of people aiming to get to the broadcast position in social media before and I wanted to test out what would happen if I primarily focused building an audience on Twitter.

So I decided to set out and add people to my Twitter account that were specifically involved in the social media space. (I wanted to make it targeted.) I gave myself six weeks to get to the fabled 2,000-follower mark. Over that period of time I wanted to track the impact it had on my subscriber base. There were a couple of other rules that I self imposed on myself the biggest being that I will use my Twitter account like a normal person (well except for the adding); I wasn’t going to be overly promotional. I was just going to post links to new posts and that was about the extent of my self-promotion.

Also I have to say before I show some of the numbers that this was unscientific. I didn’t really set up individual tracking systems or goal in analytics programs to see who was referring the subscribers but knowing a few things like the days I guest posted on blogs and the days that I added a large group of people to Twitter I can infer the impact that Twitter actually had. In the future if I really want to push this I am going to bend this a little more into shape as far as tracking goes.

Here are my Twitter stats taken from Twitterholic:



Data Points:


Here is my subscriber count from Feedburner:


(The red hashes are days that I guest posted on other blogs.)

I have 175 subscribers to my blog, which happened for the most part over a six-week period.

Here are some of the assumptions that I am going to make:

1) Judging by the bumps I received when I guest posted I received around 35 subscribers from posting on other blogs. (Probably a low number.)

2) Search engine traffic also had to account for some new subscribers. I will say that it conservatively lead to another 20 people subscribing to my blog.

3) I am going to assign another 20 subscribers to social networking traffic, links, etc. This is kind of a catchall overflow for some of the other traffic sources that I have.

So out of 175 subscribers, 100 came from Twitter that means 5% of my Twitter followers (2,000 at the time I started writing this) are estimated subscribers to my blog, which I am assuming the found through Twitter. (Granted that is a big assumption.) Something else I noticed when I grew was that the amount my content was being retweeted increased as well.

The questions that this raises for me are:

1) Assuming that 5% is within the ballpark of accuracy does that hold true as an account grows? Or because it looks like you have more authority because you have 5,10,20K followers does the ratio of subscribers increase?

2) Does the ratio of retweets increase as you grow? Is perceived authority a key in how often something gets retweeted?

I don’t know if this really provided any hard answers but I think it has given me more to think about. Personally I find the idea of social proof, authority, and the impact both of these have on creating a voice on the internet.

What impact have you witnessed Twitter have on your numbers?