Did You Get Caught Trying to Boost Your Follower Count?

punkdTwitter is gaining popularity, attracting people of all types. They talked about Twitter on The View. George Stephanopoulos interviewed twitterviewed John McCain. P. Diddy has jumped in with both feet, keeping us updated and motivated (Let’s Go!!!). As always, with great power comes great responsibility…wait…I mean when a social service’s numbers blow up, most of them are probably just spammers and other types of marketers.

There is nothing wrong with marketing in social media. It’s a good place to establish your brand and make connections. The problems arise when the marketers start Doing It Wrong(tm). It’s almost disrespectful. Maybe I’m just sensitive.

Twitter Isn’t a Mailing List

We could go back and forth on this point all day long, but you’d still be wrong. Twitter is not your own personal mailing list. Let me restrict the parameters to make this more clear:

  • A standard network or Internet marketer sets up a mailing list attached to some kind of auto-responder.
  • The auto-responder is stuffed with a bunch of emails scheduled to fire off at specified intervals.
  • The goal here is to move your target to action without you lifting a finger.

Problem with that is, when someone subscribes to your mailing list, they usually expect this will be the case. When someone follows you on Twitter, they expect to see you updating your status. Not pitching them on your product.

The proliferation of services that will schedule tweets and shoot out automated messages to Twitter just illustrates my point here. We all know how I feel about social media automation.

Your Followers Aren’t Following You

Many network marketers and “small-business” owners have purchased leads before. The selling point on these always mentions something like “pre-qualified” or “targetted.” Anything that makes you think the the people on these lists are interested in what you have.

Once you start contacting these leads, you quickly realize that these people mostly want nothing to do with you. They were probably careless with their email address, or filled out some survey where one of the questions asked them if they had an interest in making money from home. Who doesn’t want to make money from home?

There are a bunch of services popping up which allow you to build your followers list automatically. Now, anyone can have thousands of followers without investing any time in Twitter at all. All they have to do is signup or opt-in and all the other people that have signed up and opted-in follow you just as you follow them.

Am I the only one that sees a pattern here? Nobody who signs up for these follower-generation services cares what you have to say. They don’t want to buy your crap or join your business. Just like you, they’re trying to get a bunch of followers on their “list” so that they can pitch their crap.

You Just Got Punk’d

So, you’ve signed up with this service, probably given up your Twitter credentials and the whole nine, and the only connections you’re going to make are with people who want to sell you something. Not only that, guess who makes out like a bandit? The service you signed up for. They played on your greed and now they have your contact info and twitter credentials. Not only that, but I bet they will turn around and sell you out to the highest bidder.

You might as well start looking around for Ashton, cuz you have definitely been had. Is that a camera hidden in the corner there?

There are people who just don’t know any better. They just wanted a bunch of followers because that’s supposed to be the thing to do in social media. It’s supposed to increase your status and make you somebody. Well, it doesn’t and I’m sorry you were misinformed.

For you marketer-types, you need to step your game up and start doing things the right way. If you’re going to be lazy about it and try to take shortcuts, you may as well quit now. You’ll never last. Also, you won’t make any money.

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  • Nice way of putting it. Too funny though, “You just got punk'd.” Just too funny.

  • This is fantastic and well said. I'm always on a rampage about these automatic “systems” and it's just getting out of hand. But, since there are so many who just don't know better, it's our job as responsible social media marketers to spread the word and help to bury these spam techniques.

    So true, there are no shortcuts.


  • Rah, I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Very well said, & just posted your great “when the marketers start Doing It Wrong(tm)” quote to Twitter. Which brings me to the question, where is the link to your Twitter account (on this blog, or otherwise… :).


    Follow me on Twitter, I follow back:

  • Chris

    I'd love to read this post but the black background makes it nearly impossible.

  • Sorry, just increased the font size. Maybe that will help.

  • Yeah, I got heat for having platinum fonts on black background too. But hey, you are at a point where your CONTENT eclipses your aesthetics, I love what you did with the place…

  • Gwen

    To each his own, but I like the background and it's easy for me to see, even without my good glasses. G

  • Glad you like it. Honor to see you around these parts 🙂

  • RAH, you are 100% correct about these Internet Marketers

  • app

    It's not just those follower matching services that are flooding their users with the marketing spammers, as followers.

    There are certain “keywords” that if you tweet them, you will attract them like flies to a pile of crap. They do searches for them and follow anyone that uses them. It's the most effective way to get a bunch of people to follow you.

    On a brand new twitter account related to one of my software applications, I had about 6 followers, who were all users of my software. I accidentally discovered one of the “keywords” and within 2 days I had over 100 followers, almost all of which had no clue what my new twitter account was about, nor did they care.

    It wasn't fun weeding them out and unfollowing them all, since they were mixed in with people that were genuinely interested in my tweets. (others that found me through a search of keywords related to the content I tweet).

    Now I am not going to announce what those keywords are, because I don't want to encourage anyone to do any searches for them, looking for people to follow.

    HINT: those keywords are indicators that you may be using a service that autofollows anyone that follows you. I have since shut off autofollow because if it. So if you are signed up anywhere that offers autofollow, either turn it off or watch what you say and who you say it to, very carefully.

  • This was a funny read. I am a tech geek and enjoy developing applications which automate task (that are useful), but this really takes the social right OUT of social media. But we live in a microwave society everything is quick fast and in a hurry, but like microwaves those opt-in automated twitter aps nuke the nutrients out of the food 😉

  • This was a funny read. I am a tech geek and enjoy developing applications which automate task (that are useful), but this really takes the social right OUT of social media. But we live in a microwave society everything is quick fast and in a hurry, but like microwaves those opt-in automated twitter aps nuke the nutrients out of the food 😉

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