FollowerWonk is a wonderful little tool released by the brilliant minds at SEOMoz that will help you connect with the right people on Twitter.

Rand Fishkin did a great presentation on FollowerWonk for SEOs. I highly recommend watching it, even if your eyes glaze over every time the word SEO is used. Please note that he is discussing the paid version of FollowerWonk, although most of the features he discusses are free.

Every time he says “SEO” substitute it with “author.” You’ll end up with advice that, if taken, will set you far ahead of your peers.

If you can’t see the video, click here to open it up in a new window.

I’ve broken down some of what Rand has said into “author-ese.”

1. Bio Search Feature – FREE

FollowerWonk Search

Most authors would use this to find agents and other writers within their genre. Why not use it to connect with experts in the area you are interested in? You can use it to multiply your reach and get advice from people you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

For instance, using FollowerWonk, I can search for “Edwardian” in bios. There are 281 results, including The Victorian Society, Victorian Era Lovers, a few authors, numerous Edwardian estates/guest houses, and even some costumers. All of a sudden, I have access to people who know the Edwardian era inside and out. This would be great if I wrote novels set in this period.

You can make the search more advanced by adding parameters.  

FollowerWonk Advanced Search

The advanced search options make it easy to find the right people.

Like Rand says in the video, the search is pretty literal. You need to be a bit creative and come up with synonyms of what you are looking for because you don’t know what people will put in their bio. Make sure that you use a number of combinations. Have fun with it!

If you are going to an event in a certain city, figure out who to connect with there. If you are going to a family reunion in Atlanta, Georgia, maybe you double-up and see if there are any Edwardian/Victorian experts in the area that you can talk to about your latest WIP.

You can also use this section to find people who live in your hometown. This is a powerful way to connect with other writers if you aren’t currently in a writing group. Hack the system a bit and connect with other people.

Tweetables –

  • Learning all about FollowerWonk from Author Media today. What a powerful tool! – Click to tweet.
  • Why authors should use FollowerWonk. – Click to tweet.
  • Why didn’t anyone tell me about FollowerWonk sooner? – Click to tweet.
  • Using FollowerWonk might be overwhelming for the average author. Good think I’m not average! – Click to tweet.
  • Thanks to Author Media and FollowerWonk, I now know more about you. Yes, you. – Click to tweet.
  • I’m not a SEO but I love the idea of FollowerWonk. – Click to tweet.

2. Compare Users – Free…ish.

FollowerWonk Comparison

This tab shouldn’t take you back to your angsty high school days and popularity contests. Instead, it’s a great way to see who follows who and how to reach out to the audience you are looking for.

Just for fun, I compared mine (@ScribblingHappy) with Thomas Umstattd’s (@ThomasUmstattd). As you can see, he has a larger following while I have a greater influence.

I love drilling down into the user comparisons because it helps me see who people are being influenced by. If all my favorite tech experts are following the same user, the chances are that they are an expert and have something to say that I should be listening to.

If you write nonfiction, you’ll be able to see if there are other thought-leaders in your area of expertise that are following other writers. It makes connecting to people much easier.

There are more features on the paid version that are worth looking at.

3. Analyze Followers

Twitter can be a treasure trove of information. Plugging in to this feature lets you tap into some of it.

When I plugged in my personal account (@ScribblingHappy), I was able to look at my follower data and find out some surprising things. I could also look at the data of who I follow, but for this article, we’re sticking to the inbound data.

world wide twitter followers

At the time of writing, I had just over 1,000 followers – 1,111 to be exact. I wanted to see where my followers lived (something you can also do via Map My Followers). Because so many people don’t list where they live in their bio, I’m unable to get an accurate reading.

Zooming in allows me to see more data – I can zoom in to see areas of cities, which is fantastic or scary depending on your personal views on privacy.

Twitter Map

The bulk of my followers come from where I’ve lived: the Northwest, Texas, and the UK. But there’s quite a few in regions I’ve never been.

As a writer or speaker, this knowledge is incredibly valuable. Let’s say you have an event coming up – you’ll know who to connect with. You already have a team on the ground, waiting for you to reach out to them. So reach out.

With the free version you can also find –

  • Social Authority Scores of Followers
  • Gender of Followers
  • Follower Count of Followers
  • Following Count
  • Account Ages
  • Recency of Follower Tweets
  • Total Tweets of Followers
  • Languages
  • Percentages with URLS
  • Retweets as a Percentage of Timeline
  • @Contacts as Percentage of Timeline
  • Most Active Hours
  • Bio word Cloud
  • Two word Bio Cloud
  • Location Word Cloud

All of that information is incredibly valuable. It’s a gold mine for marketers.

Imagine what you could do with your follower information. If you want to use Twitter at a higher level, I suggest taking a look at who is listening to you. They want to have a conversation.

4. Track Followers – PAID


You must sign up to use this part of FollowerWonk. It allows you to see how your followers have grown, allowing you to track trends. The above photo is an example of the data you’ll be able to mine.

Did you gain followers when you were tweeting during the last Presidential election? Did you lose most of them? Is there a certain date where your followers became more engaged? Are the new follows clustered around a geographical location?

Unlocking this section of FollowerWonk will allow you to find the answers. It’s not as important for authors but it is yet another powerful tool that you can use.

5. Sort Followers – PAID


Rand doesn’t talk about this on his video but it’s still a valuable resource. This allows you to sort people into nice and neat little groups so you can analyze them better. It’s kind of like putting people in boxes, only not.

 FollowerWonk is powerful.

Use it.

If you’ve been on Twitter for awhile, I highly recommend using FollowerWonk. If you are just starting out, wait a few months.

FollowerWonk is a great way to get the big picture of your social footprint. You don’t need to use it every day but it should be part of your annual social media analytics review. Don’t just tweet. Tweet smart.

Have you ever tried FollowerWonk? What did you find out about your followers? 

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