(Image by Josh Russell) What’s your real Twitter reach? People keep mistakenly promoting the tactic of getting tens of thousands of followers on Twitter by following everyone else, for the sake of having massive influence with any single tweet. But if everyone followed everyone else – the logical conclusion of this tactic – then the tactic dies. Because the attention given to any one tweet would be so tiny as to be meaningless.

Your Twitter stream would amount to a blur of tweets. In that case, no one would have very much broadcasting influence, even though everyone has millions of followers.

*So I came up with some simple math to calculate your true Twitter broadcasting reach / influence. *

**Broadcasting Reach and Influence (BRAIN) = Number of Followers (NoF) / ****Your Followers’ ****Average Number of People FollowedÂ (Attention Competitors). Your influence depends on people interested in what you have to say relative to others competing for your followers’ attention. **

Let’s suppose John has 30,000 followers. Each of them are mega-sheep and they follow 10,000 people on average. John has a BRAIN of 30,000 divided by 10000. John’s BRAIN = 3 (OMGz 3 brains?! Freak! )

A variation on this formula that might be useful would be Daily BRAIN. That is, how many people can you reach daily?

Of course, there are variations and other factors to add to this formula. It’s not perfect and there’s lots of room for improvement. Some factors I can think of offhand include:

- The
**comparative rate at which you tweet and the rate at which the other people your followers tweet**. If your followers follow only ghost accounts plus you, then you still have a monopoly on their attention despite them following thousands of other Tweeple. - The number of times your followers login daily.
- How long your followers stay logged-in for.
- The overlap between your logged-in time and that of your followers.
- How closely what you tweet relates to your followers’ interests.
- Whether you wear your followers out with too many tweets, or with tweet repetition, so that they develop ‘tweet blindness’ to what you post on Twitter.
- Whether other people your followers follow are including links in their tweets, taking your followers’ attention outside Twitter.

I’d love to hear any refinements you can make to this formula, or see you turn this into a program/tool for measuring reach and influence. But as I’m sharing this particular post and formula on an open source basis, I require that if you develop something derived from these ideas, that your tool be open source and free, too (not allowing even a free basic and paid premium tool).

Tags: Analytics, social
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