How Many Birdies Does Twitter Bring You?


The Gambler has everyone talking right now over the value of Twitter traffic, specifically traffic resulting from being featured in Twitter’s Suggested Users list. I’m not going to run down the benefits of being one of the special few who get placement there, that should be pretty clear. In fact we were talking about it last month as soon as that little box appeared.

Twitter will no doubt offer that real estate to sponsors, its just too prime. Really it comes down to them doing that or putting “Twittersense” into their search results pages. Maybe both.

But how much traffic does Twitter bring for content producers? One way to find out is to compare that traffic against your follower numbers. TechCrunch shared some of their data from before and after being featured. Its interesting because the featured placement didn’t yield a ridiculus amount of traffic. Mike points out the value of those followers against his original 60,000. I’ll go into more detail on why these new suggested friends don’t click through as much.

The Three Main Types of Twitter Users:

  • Organic Follower: For one of a million reasons you caught their eye. Maybe a friend @replied you, or they were driven to your profile from your web page. Maybe they have a crush on you. These are obviously the most valuable, and if they follow a small amount of people they will click almost any link you post. Don’t worry, even those crushes will keep clicking your links after they get bored of you.
  • Suggested Friends Follower: Droves of new users who have no idea what Twitter is and probably wont stay around. You see them in the many brown O_o faces throughout the site. People either become addicts or never use the site again, there is little in between. So with all those huge follower numbers, you are getting plenty of dead profiles. Dead things don’t click links.
  • Bot From Hell: Some idiot somewhere setup an account that spits out 5+ links every 30 mins from random sites and generally annoys the shit out of everyone. That doesn’t really relate to this topic, I just wanted to rant about them. In anycase these assholes never click anything.

So wrapping up, the follow numbers are great but their returns are not. However, there is something to be said for investing now in the future of Twitter. Eventually we may start talking about millions of followers. Even with the O_o factor, that’s enticing.

Here is my February data, as you can see Twitter is nice, but this birdie is no Google. 🙂


If you’d like to share your own experiences with referral traffic from Twitter, please link back to this post and let me know your results.

Sean Percival

Sean Percival is an American author, investor and entrepreneur.