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Recently there has been a number of posts about who owns an employee's Twitter followers.  This was sparked by a recent case where PhoneDog.com sued Noah Kravitz for his Twitter followers after he quit.   There have been a number of stories written on it.

NY Times - A Dispute Over Who Owns A Twitter Account

Mashable  - Meet the Write Being Sued For His 17,000 Twitter Followers 

Social Media Today - Why Owning Your Employee's Twitter Followers Is Foolish

This just shows how much companies still don't get it.  It is not about followers.  What matters in social is relationships.  No matter how much a company wants your followers the reason that the other person is following is because of the relationship.  If a brand can replicate this exactly then no problem but that is highly unlikely especially when the Twitter account represents a person and not a brand.

This is why brands must take a team approach to social media.  It is not just about the brand account but also the team that you have officially representing the brand in social channels.  There are many roles to play and as I have talked about in the past - people want to build relationships with people not brands.

So PLEASE focus on relationships and not followers.  Followers just mean that for now they allow you to be in your stream but if your followers are not responding to you (reply, RT or click) then you are just part of the noise.  Relationships lead to the ability to achieve business objectives in social by getting your message heard and reacted to by utilizing the foundation of social networks.