What is a Twitter Rank and How Much Does it Matter?

What is a Twitter Rank and How Much Does it Matter? image 83What is a Twitter Rank and How Much Does it Matter?First of all, what is a Twitter rank?

Well, that’s admittedly kind of a trick question: there is no well-defined, official Twitter rank. Many websites have taken a stab at it, including HubSpot’s Tweet Grader, Twitaholic, Retweet Rank, TunkRank, TwitterCounter, and to a certain extent, Klout. But if you look at who these websites consider to be the top Tweeter, they bring up Justin Bieber, Eminem, Barack Obama, and – as you all might have guessed – Personal Argentina, a South American telecom provider.

Clearly, these sites all have different algorithms up their sleeves. For instance, Twitaholic ranks purely by number of followers on default, though you can switch to sorting by number of people the user follows and number of updates. Retweet Rank uses more sets of statistics, with retweets, number of followers/following, and lists included in the calculations. Tweet Grader has all of the above plus number of updates and their recency, a follower-to-following ratio, and what they call the “power of followers,” i.e. having popular friends.

With all these scattered sites putting a claim on the Twitter rank, how much should a user take it into consideration?

Judging from the plight of Klout, people don’t respond well when a number is authoritatively put next to their name, especially when that number isn’t as high as they were so confident they merited. However, their agony and spite can often be put down to a simple fact: they’re interpreting the number wrong.

Now, I’m not saying that a person with a low Twitter rank should get their hopes up that the various algorithms are just underestimating them. Rather, users should take the rank as an indication of what they’re doing right and where they can improve. Are they spamming posts that generate few retweets or interactions? Are they following or being followed by dead, spammy accounts? Are they simply following way more accounts than are following back?

Few people care enough about a rank that they’ll look you up on one of these sites and unfollow you if your rank doesn’t pass a certain threshold. Instead, the focus of the user should remain on producing fresh and quality content and gaining a meaningful fanbase that truly cares about the topics you speak about – the only surefire way to remain relevant, please followers, and increase your rank at the same time.

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