Celebrities such as Kanye West and Louis C.K. are famous for having millions of followers on Twitter while only following a single handle each (they follow Kim Kardashian and Colin Quinn respectively if you’re keeping score).

While a celebrity’s follower-versus-following ratio can be a strong barometer of their popularity (and ego), what does this same ratio say about a brand?

We took a look at a Canada’s Top Brands (2013) to see how companies like BlackBerry, Scotiabank and Canadian Tire compared. Some follow a select few, while others follow thousands upon thousands of handles.

What’s a community manager to do? “Brands and their community managers need to discuss how many handles they want to follow on Twitter,” says Joe Peters, our national practice leader for social, digital and public engagement. “Following many handles can publically convey that a brand is attentive and listening to their fans. Following only a small number of handles may convey exclusivity. Whatever approach a brand chooses, it should definitely be considered in a strategic fashion that aligns with other marketing and perception goals. There is no right answer to the question: to follow or not to follow.”