Social media site Twitter has become the yardstick for online popularity and business acumen. If you don’t have a Twitter following, you aren’t plugged into the network and you aren’t reaching your full business potential. According to author and social network guru Kristen Lamb, social networking is key in developing a brand. Writers, artists, musicians, blue and white collar workers strive to build their Twitter following, and that isn’t always easy. To find followers, you need to grab Twitter users’ interest. The more followers you have, the more you get.
But how to start?
Traditional social networking can make it a slow and painful process. You must be witty. Consistent. Knowledgeable. Entertaining. It’s a lot to ask a busy professional or someone just building their business. Some take the simpler path and buy blocks of Twitter followers. It’s easy enough. USocial.net and Intertwitter.com are just two companies that provide twitter followers for a fee. Simply click on the link to a site such as Fanmenow.com, choose Twitter, and buy followers at $10 per one thousand. The payoff? A large following makes a great impression, giving Twitter users that buy these services false credibility. It seems everyone’s doing it, even celebrities, according to Forbes.
The problem with buying Twitter followers
The reason Twitter is considered such a strong and dependable means of building a brand is the interest of the followers. If you’re an author striving to build your brand, a large following can indicate dedicated readers or possible future readers. The rest grew from word of mouth and through connections with other Twitter users. Standard social networking. But bought followers may have little to no interest in your business and therefore aren’t likely to help build your brand.
One Twitter follower experiment showed that many of the newly purchased followers aren’t real people at all, insofar as real people are interested and active in the same markets in which the buyer sells. They won’t interact with the buyer, they won’t post any tweets of their own and they certainly won’t spread the word about your brand. In short, you’ll still be Tweeting to an empty room.
Bots are sometimes used to find real followers, seeking out others in the Twitterverse with similar interests and following them on the buyer’s behalf. Twitter is known for reciprocal action, so they often follow back. Since bots are not always accurate, these reciprocal follows often result in later unfollows by active Twitter users, which does the buyer no good in the long run.
Followers give new Twitter users a jump start.
Some twitter users won’t follow anyone with only a few followers of their own. An egg profile picture and a poor following indicate newness to Twitter, which sometimes indicates a bot or a lack of social networking savvy. A few thousand followers purchased for pennies per follower give new users a boost.
The word is out about fake followers
That boost may be short-lived if followers employ counter measures, such as Statuspeople.com, a site offering to help weed out fake followers.
Even twitter does not approve. According to the New York Times, Twitter filed suit against spammers, “including those who create fake followers.” It’s hard to blame them for taking action. Twitters thrives on real human interaction, not Lady Gaga’s millions of fake followers.