A guide to the best free social media tools – Followerwonk

followerwonk-logoHaving the right tools to support your social media programme is essential, whether developing a new social media account, driving greater levels of engagement or simply seeking deeper insight into your following.

While there are a plethora of services out there, some can easily cost upwards of £20k per month for just medium-sized accounts.

The first in a series of guides to the very best of free resources to help you track, grow and, ultimately, profit from your Twitter account, today we will look at Followerwonk.


This is the ideal tool for a social media audit and can be used prior to the creation of an account, all the way through to enhancing even the most prominent communities.

Followerwonk has a broad range of uses and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have outlined some of the best applications below:

  • Searching Twitter bios – perfect for creating a snapshot of other accounts, especially competitors or those you want to emulate. This provides you with basic info on their following/followers, number of tweets, and social authority
  • Compare users – great for comparing competitor accounts to your own and finding where they overlap. Again all the basic information is present; following/followers, days on Twitter, social authority, retweets, etc
  • Analyse followers – this is where followerwonk comes into its own. There is so much to point out that one bullet point can’t encapsulate it all…

…so here it is:

Analyse Followers

The “Analyse Followers” tab allows you to either assess the accounts that someone followers, or the followers of their account.

This can be invaluable in identifying where a competitor has the jump on you; are they connected with and regularly communicating with, someone who has a very high social authority, or an industry figurehead? Are they just being followed by spam accounts, and therefore does their high number of followers actually mean anything?

However, beyond the corporate espionage possibilities lies a wealth of data that can help your account to transcend the competitors and become an essential business channel.

Mapped follower locations

Is your business global? It could be without you realising!

Followerwonk maps the geographic location of your followers, helping you to understand who is following you and where. This is great for tailoring content.


Most active follower hours

This is the golden goose, the piece de resistance and the coup de grace all rolled into one.

Ever wondered why your well written tweet hasn’t been shared or why those around you seem to be getting great interaction when you’re not? It could be as simple as sending your tweets at the wrong time – and Followerwonk is here to help!

The simple table below shows the time ranges when your followers are most active. In order to make the most of your followerbase you need to match their habits. For example, I can see that @ThisisPRable needs to issue the majority of its tweets at either 10am or 5pm to get maximum reach.

Be sure to review this regularly as it can change overnight.


Your most active hours

To make the most of the information above, Followerwonk kindly provides you with data on your most active hours. The information is broken down into when you are most likely to tweet, retweet or engage in coversations.

Clearly I need to make sure that I issue more at 10am to be inline with my followers’ needs (and I should also stop tweeting at 1am to avoid my eyebags getting darker still).


Follower social authority score

Are your followers the ones that you want? Those with a higher social authority score carry a greater weight and are key influencers online.

The score is composed of the retweet rate of the users’ last few hundred tweet; how recently and regularly those tweets are posted; and based on their own user profile data.

Ultimately you want the darker sections to be as big as possible, but if you have a larger segment in the middle then you’re doing pretty well.4

Clicking on one of the score categories (e.g. 21-30) will open a pop-up with information on all followers in that score window – ideal for seeing who you need to connect with more often.

5Follower gender

You may be targeting a particular gender for your product or service, and this simple graph helps you to better understand the gender balance of followers. If I were promoting a male-only product right now, I’d be doing pretty badly


Followers’ follower counts

When you content is being retweeted you want it to reach as wide an audience as possible. Much like the social authority score above, the larger the dark segments the better.


Follower following counts

Not as useful as the graph above, analysing the following counts of your followers can show their social value. Those who follow everyone are usually less useful than those who have a more targeted approach – remember that specificity is a real benefit on Twitter.


Account ages

Are your followers long-term users or recent adopters. While newbies are still valuable, those who have been present on Twitter for longer are much more likely to have a higher social authority and to be genuine accounts.


Tweet frequency

We all want followers who are regularly online and engaging with us. Therefore, if your followers haven’t tweeted in three years, they probably aren’t going to buy anything you’re selling any time soon.


Regularity of retweets

Sharing is caring. Followers with a higher percentage of regular retweets are going to be much more valuable to your account. While it may be difficult to change their behaviour patterns, it may highlight that you need to change your approach to grab their attention.


Direct contact

Creating conversations and keeping engaged with your audience is fundamental to longevity, popularity and success.

Those followers with a greater disposition to engaging in conversations are considerably more valuable and they are more likely to speak with you, provide feedback and recommend your account.


Bio word cloud

Saying the right thing is key when so many accounts are competing for our attention. The bio word count draws out the most common terms from your followers’ biographies and can help you to identify the words that you need to use most often to get noticed.


Final thoughts

There are a number of other analytics available through Followerwonk, but I believe that those listed above have both the greatest number of applications and the greatest power to change your social media work for the better.

You can be as in-depth as you wish, by clicking though to the various hyperlinked subsections, or simply use it as an overview tool.

Followerwork does have pay options and can be connected with other Moz offerings, but as a free tool it should be an essential part of your everyday social media routine.


Any questions?

Please leave a comment, query or complaint below. Feel free to share any other tools that your use or would like to know more about, and I will aim to cover them later in the series.


One thought on “A guide to the best free social media tools – Followerwonk

  1. I’ve been using Followerwonk for nearly two years now and it has been one of the most important tools that I use on a daily basis. As a social media community manager these tools are invaluable in the building of a successful twitter community as well as making sure your content is being viewed by the right people at the right time. Kudos, PRable!

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