twitter-logo-100x100If you’re one of those who don’t think Twitter is a waste of time, a study that Sysomos did recently about popular Twitter users and the shape of their social graph might interest you. It seems that while celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Spears and Ellen DeGeneres have a lot of followers, the average “authority” Twitter ranking of their followers is relatively low in comparison with, say, that of President Obama’s Twitter followers. One exception seems to be Lady Gaga, who has less followers than the aforementioned celebs but whose followers have a higher average authority ranking – though not quite as high as President Obama’s followers, as the Sysomo table below shows.

snap-table-sysomos-twitter-celebs-500w

Now given that this so-called authority ranking is based on the number of followers and that celebs probably attract people from all walks of life, it’s not surprise, at least mathematically, that average follower authority is low for celebs. On the other hand, people who are social media and Web authorities, such as Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang and Steve Rubel, seem to have an average follower authority that is much much higher. The same goes for news/ media sources: the broader the appeal, the lower the average follower authority. But of course, social media influencers will have the advantage when it comes to the social media arena. That is, it’s not a surprise that their followers have a higher average authority ranking.

What can you take away from these findings? Just that the quantity of a Twitter user’s followers doesn’t necessarily matter, depending your objective in connecting or interacting with him or her. Influence is important, but sometimes depth of social graph is just as valuable as breadth of social graph.

If you’re interested in finding out more, Sysomos has a detailed, charted & mapped breakdown of the 15 influencers that they studied.

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