One of the most common questions we get about social media is why and how some Twitter profiles have so many followers. So I thought I’d write up a little something for those of you who often longingly look at @bieberfeverforever and wonder why your business profile can’t have just as many followers.

Keep It in Perspective:

First, it’s important to keep your comparison in context. Look at the description of the profile, the followers, who that profile follows and the types of tweets. Don’t compare your profile to that of a company/individual that is outside of your industry or scope. Now, that doesn’t mean you cannot look to those profiles for ideas and inspiration. Learning from others is incredibly valuable and will often give you the push you need to do something bigger, better and different that allows you to be the one in your industry that others aspire to.

Learn from Your Competitors:

Take a look at your top three competitors. Look at their profiles, followers, who they follow and their tweets. Look at their engagement -- what is being shared, retweeted and commented on? How long have they been on Twitter? Look at how they are promoting their Twitter profile -- is there a link on their site and all content? Are they active on other social media platforms, as well? Are they guest blogging and participating in the industry in other ways that help build their community on Twitter? See what they are doing and compare it to what you are doing. Learn from it.

Quantity Versus Quality:

The age old (well, Twitter-age old) question is that of quality versus quantity. There are some in the industry that say the quality of your followers is what matters. Others say how many followers you have is most important. The truth is, they both matter. In order to build a true community on Twitter, you need to interact with people who are your target audience. So you do need to focus on gaining followers who are relevant. They will be more likely to find your content useful, share it and turn into customers (if they aren’t already). But the more followers you have, the bigger your reach. It doesn’t mean they will all actually always read your tweets, but you have a better chance when you have more followers. You never know when some bit of content will tickle the fancy of one of your followers who ordinarily skims your tweets but doesn't interact. She shares it and your tweet goes big.

In my next blog post, I'll provide some tips on how to build your following. In the meantime, check out the landscape and see what others in your industry are doing on Twitter.