Recently I have been looking for an application that could show me follower overlap between two Twitter accounts. A number of uses came to mind for this feature, but the most pressing was around @free. While I knew that @universifree our student focused account had gotten followers beyond the @free audience, I didn’t have a way to easily measure this. My expectation was that I would have to pay for a product that did this.
I was quite surprised to find Follower Wonk, which not only shows you the overlap between two accounts, but actually will show this for three accounts. And best of all, it is free.
Follower Wonk breaks down these overlaps by raw numbers, individual users and a visually compelling Venn diagram. You can see an example of this when the three largest @free accounts are used as sources.
The more I use Follower Wonk, the more potential uses I am finding. The ability to profile accounts by triangulating interests is quite powerful, and I provide some example uses below. I also recorded a quick video that walks you through the process of using the app.
Potential uses for Follower Wonk’s Compare Users feature
Check for organic growth
Are you gaining any traction outside of your already existing network? Enter a few accounts either that you run or are related to you. Are your followers all coming from one place?
Determine overall audience reach
If you run multiple accounts by topic, you can use this app to determine what your overall reach is. This is made much easier as Follower Wonk lists all variations of followers without duplication.
Identify super users
If you maintain multiple accounts for business use, Follower Wonk can show you what people are following all three of your accounts.
Look for introductions
You know you can offer something valuable to someone, but you don’t have any way to contact them. Use Wonk to see who follows you and who is also followed by this individual. Depending on how close you are to the connecting individual, you can contact them and see if they have the type of relationship that could lead to an introduction.
Recruit potential employees
You could look at three accounts to create a more targeted list.
- Your followers.
- Followers of a poplar job account (either national or in your area).
- Pick an industry leading account in your field. If you think that Twitter account X best alligns with the the values and skills that you want a potential employee to have, choose it.
Now you have narrowed your search down to people who are interested enough to follow you, are following a job account (may be looking), and who appreciate a certain industry approach enough to follow an account.
Certainly anyone can follow any account, but the ability to essentially use Twitter follows as signal and then combine those three signals to segment is rather impressive.
This really can be a profiling tool, and as such it potentially has negative connotations. As with anything powerful someone else has likely automated the process and it is selling it, so try messing around with this app to understand what type of profiling is possible.
Useful, Functional & Free
Follower Wonk adds to its usefulness by creating specific results and then also ranking them using their “Wonk Score” (sort of like Klout). From limited use and spot checking, I can confirm that the score is relevant.
I should note that I only covered the account comparison feature of this product. They have gotten excellent reviews for their other features (see this Hubspot article).
Follower Wonk is free to use. They operate under a freemium model where you receive a certain number of credits to use when doing searches, but those credits are refreshed every two hours. They also have some added features that you can get by upgrading. I haven’t upgraded, and I find their free version very useful. If you end up trying Follower Wonk and find an interesting use for it, I would love to hear about it.
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