Sometimes size does matter… in this case… it does not.

The debate over quality vs. quantity in social media is one to consider when using Twitter. The amount of influence a user has on Twitter is not a direct reflection of the amount of followers. So the debate favors quality. According to Mashable a study done by Northwestern University indicates that celebrities with millions of followers are mostly ignored on social media sites, which results in little influence, if any at all. Social media isn’t a popularity contest (though some may disagree) and size does not equal influence, engagement or action. What creates influence is amount of quality content. Popularity doesn’t do anything but allow for bragging rights.

The researchers from Northwestern applied their mathematical algorithm to the countless tweets that appear on Twitter each day and found that experts in certain fields were much more likely to influence topics to become trends. Thus meaning the quality of content shared on Twitter is what matters not the quantity. Social media enthusiasts turn to Twitter for substance and to engage with other users who share the same insight. Therefore, a big named celebrity may have millions of followers but they are not necessarily reaching their audience in a meaningful way. Numbers mean nothing in the big spectrum of Twitter influence.

However, celebrities can have great influence with the advantage of being a prominent figure.A case of celebrity and influence done right is in the case of LeBron James . He has hundreds of thousands of followers as well as influence. He tweets about basketball, what he knows, what people following him want to know. If he chose to tweet about politics he may not generate as much influence as a politician would… tweeting on the subject. James’ influence is a direct result of him tweeting quality content related to what he is well known and respected for.

Next time you get discouraged when thinking about how few followers have. Don’t. Keep tweeting quality content and with your loyal following. In the end it doesn’t matter how popular you are…what matters are the relationships you’ve built….and the discussions of substance you’ve had.