Today, as I watched my list of Twitter followers go through half an hour or so of rapid growth, I had something of an insight!!
Or maybe even a revelation if that’s not overstating it too much
And the revelation was all about the effect of compounding
Now you’ll all know by know that I am clearly a strong fan of blending social media activities with other forms of marketing, so I guess I really should have thought about compounding before – right ?
Well actually and a little disappointingly – WRONG, I hadn’t really ever stopped to think about the potential ‘viral’ power of growing follower lists.
So I started to think as I literally watched my list of followers growing in front of my eyes, about their own ability to spread my message to all of their followers in turn and then the on-going potential viral possibilities of followers influencing their own followers & in turn those followers influencing the people who followed them
And so on … down the chain !
So, although I admit my math and thinking was very unscientific AND statistically inaccurate, just for a moment take the trouble to get excited about this, as this effect could propel your product or service from just being a ‘humdrum’ commodity lost in all of the noise of a million competitors, to being a SUPERSTAR in the world of similar products or services.
So imagine for a moment that you have just set up a new Twitter account and on Day One have reached the grand total of now having 20 new followers and then say on average each of those followers has 100 followers of their own.
Then that’s a potential initial network of:
20 (followers who are now following you) x 100 (their own number of personal followers)
= 2000 potential followers in your new contact network (presuming these people have re-tweeted your content to their own followers who have now become aware of you)
AND this is where it can start to get exciting!!
Say 10% of the followers of your new followers also decide to engage with you?
Then this is:
20 (your new followers) x 100 (their total number of followers) x a further 10% (the proportion of followers of your new followers who also follow back just because of the ‘viral’ effect)
= 2200 potential followers in terms of a 1st & 2nd generation following.
Now we all know of course that in reality it doesn’t work like this
Clearly just as with your own followers, some of these people in your new network will be engaged and active, some will not be and some will rarely use Twitter and you may have got them to follow you just as ‘one time hits’.
But this is just an example of compounding working in the real world and really this is more about demonstrating the potential power of social media then setting a scenario for a statistical math exam!
So, to continue the example – say by the end of a busy week or two of tweeting that you have only managed to increase your number of Twitter followers from 20 followers in Week 1 to a new total of 200 followers by the end of Week 3 – which is eminently achievable – and let’s assume that all of the other follower ratios that I outlined in the example above stay the same
NOW your potential network, even keeping it simple and not compounding it into 3rd & 4th generation followers could have grown to something like:
200 x 100 x additional 10%
= 20000 + 2000
So just by increasing your total number of followers from 20 followers in Week 1 to 200 followers by Week 3 and accepting all of the caveats and assumptions & flaws in the math above, you have now increased your potential reach from
Week 1 2,200 potential contacts
Week 3 22,000 potential contacts
So let’s remind ourselves of a few things:
- Of course it doesn’t happen like this in the real world and I KNOW that my math is overly simplistic
- Of course not all of those 22,000 people will be actively engaged or interested in what you have to say or have to offer
- Of course this is presuming that each of your new followers finds your content sufficiently worthwhile to re-tweet to their own followers, and so on
But consider this:
- Where else, outside of social media can you potentially increase your following exponentially and at such a nominal cost ( other than the costs of your time and potentially any automation software)
- Where else can you start creating something, that can ,just like compound interest in a savings account, pay massive dividends in the weeks and years to come.
And this is why…
- When I feel too tired
- When I feel I really can’t be bothered
- When I feel I have nothing new to say
I will still be focusing on consistently communicating valuable information to my followers across all of my accounts each and every day