The following is a guest post by Josh Becerra @joshbecerra.
Recently the New York Times published and article entitled Buying Their Way to Twitter Fame. I have to admit that – as an advocate and evangelist for how Twitter can be a powerful tool for business – this article rubbed me the wrong way.
You see, I believe that anyone with the “Get Twitter Followers Fast” mentality completely misunderstands where the real power of Twitter lies. It doesn’t matter if you are a web-based business, a business with a storefront, a politician, an entertainer, or some sort of expert or thought leader – your goal should be to have as many following/follower relationships that are reciprocal as possible. Reciprocal following/follower relationships with other Twitter users who are active and interested in what you are publishing are the building blocks for stronger long-term customer relationships – relationships that can lead to first time business, repeat business and increased spending.
Fake, inactive followers aren’t worth anything. Here is an excerpt from the NYTimes article which highlights this “Get Twitter Followers Fast” mentality:
“There’s a tremendous cachet associated with having a large number,” said Mr. Nainan, 31, adding later, “When people see that you have that many followers, they’re like: ‘Oh, my goodness, this guy is popular. I might want to book him.’ ”
Really? This logic is built on the assumption that Twitter users are mindless idiots who will jump at whatever shiny object is placed in front of them. Building your personal or business’ brand on the assumption that you’re smarter than your customers or that you can somehow trick your customers, is a recipe for disaster. The sooner people get over the idea that Twitter is some sort of popularity contest, the better.
Unfortunately, a plethora of “get Twitter followers fast” scams and services are out there in the marketplace pushing this popularity contest idea. Honestly the reason why these scams and services get traction is because building an engaged, relevant, targeted audience is hard work – if you want to do it right.
Best practices for building an engaged audience on Twitter would dictate that you 1) have to find the right people to follow 2) have to track if they follow you back and unfollow those that don’t 3) have to track who you have already followed so you don’t follow the same person twice. Virtually all of the get Twitter followers fast scams and services don’t take any of these best practices into consideration. They fill your account with followers who are both fake and inactive. Building an audience with followers obtained using “Get Twitter Followers Fast” methods is like building castles in the sky.
Let’s take a look at how the get Twitter followers fast scams or solutions stack up.
Best Practice: Follow users you would like to have as followers; users who are relevant to your Twitter goals and your overall business goals.
Example #1 – Find other Twitter users who self-proclaim their interest in what you do, or what you have to say, in their own bio.
If you are an online retailer that drop-ships specialized dirt-bike equipment throughout the US – then you would want to build an audience of self-proclaimed dirt-bike enthusiasts.
Example #2 – Find other Twitter users who live or work near your place of business.
If you are a local pizza shop that tweets specials and discounts – then you would want to build an audience by location. Connecting with others who have their location set close to yours – people who can drive over, walk in the door and put money in your till.
Get Twitter Followers Fast solutions don’t take this best practice into consideration at all. Your Twitter account is filled with fake or inactive accounts that will likely never engage with your brand and almost certainly will not become a customer.
If you are going to spend time developing a presence for your business on Twitter you might as well focus on these best practices that will increase your Twitter ROI. So go out and find Twitter users that are more likely to:
- be engaged in what you are talking about
- have a conversation with you
- become a customer
So as you can tell, I firmly believe that the “Get Twitter Followers Fast” scams and services are detrimental to your brand, your Twitter ROI, and they make no sense if you are interested in connecting with real customers. Bottom line, they are a recipe for disaster.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Josh Becerra @joshbecerra is a startup entrepreneur and builder of tools that help businesses have more success on Twitter.
His latest launch is called tweepwise - a smart Twitter follower acquisition and management tool designed for Social Media Management Agencies.
Link to NYT Article: Buying Their Way to Twitter Fame
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