Twitter Users - Beware Of Advice About How To Get Followers

36 replies
Hi Warriors,

As well as the mass of people getting their twitter accounts closed for using automated tools and creating lots of accounts, Twitter are also clamping down on the strategy many IMers are getting told for increasing followers.

You know - where you follow a bunch of people then after a few days unfollow all the ones who didn't follow you back, then rinse and repeat.

It's a pretty common way for marketers to try and raise their profile numbers rather than just being interesting and having people follow them.

Well it looks like Twitter are looking for people doing that now too.

So if anyone tries to sell you a completely automated tool, or a strategy for 'gaining xxx followers in xx days' etc... Be very careful - especially if you value your Twitter account.

You can read an article talking it this here: Dear Wanna-bes, Your Twitter Stardom is Coming to an End

Andy
#advice #beware #followers #twitter #users
  • Profile picture of the author ramkarthik
    Thanks for posting this. I don't use tools to follow or unfollow people in twitter.

    I'm glad twitter is doing such a thing. Twitter is not full fledged marketing tool. It is for connecting with people. If you are interesting, people will follow you. If you are helpful, people will follow you. And if you are good enough keep them interested in you, they'll visit your blog/site and take a look at what you have got to offer. But then, this is just my opinion on using twitter.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post



        I didn't see that. Oh well, there are so many people trying to flog these dodgy systems that it probably needs repeating

        I keep seeing tweets saying "find out how I get XXXXX followers in a week" and they're buy people with a few hundred followers (just affiliate links for something they haven't used or used and got their 'previous' account banned with but still want the commission), and there are quite a lot of marketers trying to sell tools to abuse the system because they know people will buy them.

        It's only natural Twitter will stop people gaming the system in due course and shutting down accounts where this stuff is going on means you don't even get the benefit when the tool stops working because you have no account left to access the followers you got.

        Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author oleskool
    Thanks for this valuable information.

    I have seen that information but have not used it. I like to read the bio of must of the people I follow. I know it takes time but I find out about people and different valuable information that I may not have come across using an automated program.
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  • Profile picture of the author gacott
    Well, people can say it's gaming the system but I think differently. I think it's the natural progression more than anything. The fact it that Twitter would be MUCH less than it is now of people we not trying to use it for their own gain.

    ANYTIME somebody develops something as large and viral as Twitter, other will try to fill in the gaps and capitalize on it, that's natural. It's also natural that the same service will 1. Try to stop others from doing so, and 2. Try to fill in those gaps themselves at some level . . . especially if they are trying to monetize.

    So anyway, I don't know that I would be getting down on those who have been trying to capitalize on the success of Twitter. Like all of us, they are trying to use their God given abilities and talent to create an income. IMO as long as it's not against the stated rules at the time I don't see any issues.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by gacott View Post

      Well, people can say it's gaming the system but I think differently. I think it's the natural progression more than anything. The fact it that Twitter would be MUCH less than it is now of people we not trying to use it for their own gain.
      If it's just Twitter Spam, less is better than more. Legitimate users and Twitter don't want the network filled up with Twitter spam. Spammers have made services like Craigslist practically impossible to use legitimately .... they spew spam where ever they go and it is always to the detriment of the service that is under attack from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheFlash
    Twitter are not correct about all this stuff.

    They should clearly allow or ban the tools for accessing their system.

    To let somebody do an action, allow him through your system, and then ban him will FIRST OF ALL decrease any believability in your own system (TWITTER in this case)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Well, I'm clearly biased on this subject, but I see nothing wrong with unfollowing people who don't follow me back. And as for the advice on how to build up Twitter followers - I have almost 19,000 followers now, so I'm fairly confident my advice is good.

    I ALSO advise that people use Twitter to interact with others, and that people never use Twitter to just post link after link to their products, or someone else's products. Part of the beauty of Twitter is it's incredibly easy to unfollow people if you dislike what they have to say, if they fill up the Tweetstream with garbage , or for any reason at all.

    As for this statement from the Twitter guy, I'm still not completely clear on the implications - "There is no limit to the number of unfollows. Using software to constantly churn followers in a repeated pattern of following and unfollowing will however risk suspension."

    Is he referring to dumping EVERYONE that follows you the second that they have followed you, in an effort to make yourself look important by showing that thousands of people are following you and you're too cool to follow more than a few dozen back? Or is he saying that if you use software to unfollow those who don't follow you back, your account risks suspension? Hard to tell exactly from what he said.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Gould
      That douchebag graphic = awesome.

      I look at it like e-mail marketing... do you want 10,000 subscribers (or followers) who played along for the sake of reciprocation/who don't give a shit or 1,000 that truly care about you and your message? I say quality over quantity.

      I've tried to block all of the spammy followers across all of my accounts but there's a TON. Good move for Twitter IMO.
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    • Profile picture of the author melanied
      Yeah, following and immediately unfollowing someone (to inform them of your presence yet not actually be following them) is called "pinging" and it's blackhat...

      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      As for this statement from the Twitter guy, I'm still not completely clear on the implications - "There is no limit to the number of unfollows. Using software to constantly churn followers in a repeated pattern of following and unfollowing will however risk suspension."

      Is he referring to dumping EVERYONE that follows you the second that they have followed you, in an effort to make yourself look important by showing that thousands of people are following you and you're too cool to follow more than a few dozen back? Or is he saying that if you use software to unfollow those who don't follow you back, your account risks suspension? Hard to tell exactly from what he said.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      Well, I'm clearly biased on this subject, but I see nothing wrong with unfollowing people who don't follow me back. And as for the advice on how to build up Twitter followers - I have almost 19,000 followers now, so I'm fairly confident my advice is good.
      Hate to burst your bubble Dana, but I am positive you have no more then 500 real followers.

      What you really have is a cesspool of thousands upon thousands of other marketers who leverage each other like a simple digit to increase their "perceived" popularity.

      I understand the strategy has done well for you, but let's all understand that just because your account reads that you have XXX number of followers, the real truth is usually about 95% less (if not more).

      For most marketers Twitter is not a communication tool, it's a ego booster and a way to make a quick buck. I'm not saying that's entirely bad, but it is what it is.

      I don't mean to pick on you about this, but I hope some Warriors out there see how this really dilutes and minimizes Twitter's overall effectiveness.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
        Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

        Hate to burst your bubble Dana, but I am positive you have no more then 500 real followers.

        What you really have is a cesspool of thousands upon thousands of other marketers who leverage each other like a simple digit to increase their "perceived" popularity.

        I understand the strategy has done well for you, but let's all understand that just because your account reads that you have XXX number of followers, the real truth is usually about 95% less (if not more).

        For most marketers Twitter is not a communication tool, it's a ego booster and a way to make a quick buck. I'm not saying that's entirely bad, but it is what it is.

        I don't mean to pick on you about this, but I hope some Warriors out there see how this really dilutes and minimizes Twitter's overall effectiveness.
        I don't for a second think that 18,000-plus people are actually paying attention to what I say. I have no idea if the number is what you are estimating, or less, or more. But I'm sure a lot of the people who are following me, and who I'm following, don't participate in Twitter that often.

        All I can tell you is - the more followers I get, the more orders I get for my press release services. So a percentage of people ARE following and paying attention and as my number of followers grows, even if

        Also - I'm sure that not everyone on my email list pays attention to what I'm saying either. Or anyone else's email list either, for that matter. That doesn't mean I should try to shrink my email list down to 20 or 30 people.
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        • Profile picture of the author abelacts
          Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

          I don't for a second think that 18,000-plus people are actually paying attention to what I say. I have no idea if the number is what you are estimating, or less, or more. But I'm sure a lot of the people who are following me, and who I'm following, don't participate in Twitter that often.

          All I can tell you is - the more followers I get, the more orders I get for my press release services. So a percentage of people ARE following and paying attention and as my number of followers grows, even if

          Also - I'm sure that not everyone on my email list pays attention to what I'm saying either. Or anyone else's email list either, for that matter. That doesn't mean I should try to shrink my email list down to 20 or 30 people.
          It's so easy for others to comment from the sidelines but how many times are they correct? It's good that you clarify and prove some critics wrong - no matter who they are. I like people who speak from their own experiences - just like what you did.
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      • Profile picture of the author traceye
        Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

        Hate to burst your bubble Dana, but I am positive you have no more then 500 real followers.

        What you really have is a cesspool of thousands upon thousands of other marketers who leverage each other like a simple digit to increase their "perceived" popularity.
        That's what I can't get my head around with Twitter. I really think most people follow me just so I'll follow them. Does anyone actually even read what anyone else says (unless you are a celebrity of course).

        I swear I only have one person who actually reads my tweets. But even then I wonder why. Who cares about little ol' me? I certainly wouldn't if I wasn't me. Did that make sense? Arggh it's getting late, I'm rambling. Time for bed me thinks.

        Tracey
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    And p.s. I know that a lot of people use Twitter to be spammy and annoying. I know that a lot of people mis-use it. I know that a lot of people use Twitter in a way that makes people dislike internet marketers.

    For that matter, I'm sure that some people use my Twitter ebook just to build up lots of followers, and then go on to ignore my advice that they contribute value to Twitter, that they give away free good information on Twitter, that they regularly enter into conversations on Twitter.

    BUT - that's the same for ALL internet marketers. You've got your ethical marketers who promote good products (either theirs or other peoples) and who don't promise things they can't deliver, and who only communicate with people who want to hear from them - and then you've got all levels of bad internet marketers, selling garbage and using every kind of system they can find to reach people, including unsolicited spam emails - and Twitter.

    The fact that SOME people build up a big Twitter following just to flood Twitter with affiliate links, doesn't mean that building up a big Twitter following is bad, or harmful. It's all in how you use the system.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbode
    Yeah, I don't see the problem in unfollowing people, if you do it correctly...

    Give them some time to follow you, if they don't, then you should unfollow them (unless you really like what they are tweeting about)
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    • Profile picture of the author Alice Seba
      Originally Posted by jbode View Post

      Yeah, I don't see the problem in unfollowing people, if you do it correctly...

      Give them some time to follow you, if they don't, then you should unfollow them (unless you really like what they are tweeting about)
      For real? You don't think you should follow people who interest you to begin with? Why follow someone who doesn't interest you?
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  • Profile picture of the author darrin_cooper
    I think the best way to get follows is not directly through Twitter.
    It's through traditional means, of navigating people to you directly.

    Just adding people & following them ends up having non-targeted people on your group.
    So, if you end up tweeting them or re-tweeting people not interested in your stuff, you could end up being spammed.
    Make people come to you, vs. you going out & getting people is the real way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    I have been on twitter since 2006...

    I have tweeted about a dozen times...

    I have no clue how many followers I have... maybe a couple hundred.

    I follow only people I am interested in. I won't follow anyone who follows me because they are following me.

    I guess being a sucky tweeter and not following the popular IM trends (which is how I approach everything in IM) has its benefits ;-)

    Though my affiliates do make me some nice cash sending traffic from twitter...

    One of my affiliates who produces the most sales from twitter has tens of thousands of followers. It appears he follows more people than are following him so I guess the key to his success is that he is not unfollowing people.
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  • Profile picture of the author ken_p
    i've been hearing about this, a few weeks back, that's why i've slowed down on my tweeting lately. they might think im a robot, with the amount of people i follow online. I just cant stop, if i see a tweet, thats interesting , i follow him/her right away.. i havent started with unfollowing yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Craig Davidson
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Originally Posted by Craig Davidson View Post

      Thanks for posting this Andy. I am just on the horizon of expanding my Twitter career and will take this into consideration.

      Does anybody have any good advice when it comes to using Twitter?

      Should I post like I send out e-mail blasts?

      Here's what I do, that works wonders: The majority of my tweets are conversational tweets. However, at least once in the morning, afternoon, and evening, I tweet links back to my blog: "Here's why your press release got rejected (link to blog post)", "Here's my list of free press release distribution sites (link to blog post". I try to do at least half a dozen conversational tweets, if not more, for every tweet that links back to my blog.

      I've started using bit.ly, a simple url shortener to track how many people click on those links, and it's usually hundreds. And they're very targeted; nobody is going to visit my site unless they're interested in press releases.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    I have an autoDM when people follow me, and it is interesting to see who the people are who gets them. In the last month, I had dozens of followers who have followed, unfollowed, followed, unfollowed, and yesterday sent them the same message for the 3rd time in one month.

    That is crazy, people are using bots to follow/unfollow and they assume you want to follow them, and do so in their time scale.

    If I haven't followed you once, twice what makes you think I will follow you when you follow me the third time?

    Try talking rather than follow/unfollow using bots.
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  • Profile picture of the author scorpio7
    Again, imo, Twitter is over-rated. I grew tired of people following me only to send some crap. Direct twitter is even worst.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      I'm doing my own clamp down too. Anyone who starts autoposting their 101 damn blog posts in Twitter gets an immediate unfollow. I like following people like Dana, Moffatt, Andy, and Bev (here in this thread) along with a bunch of others who are mainly on Twitter to interact. I cringe when I see the bozos pumping more of those new Follow Me services in Twitter. I'll be glad to see Twitter slam them.
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      • Profile picture of the author gianne2705
        Thanks for the warning message.It's becoming as one of the most known social site which are used in marketing as strategy to get traffics through the followers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nisip
    Banned
    probably twitter will soon not allow to be links posted anymore through its system. then they will cut out all the spam that was taking over twitter
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    I do not use any mass follow tools or anything... Matter fact my twitter account is only on 2 twitter directories. I use no auto tools at all, all DM's are sent by me, All post are made by me, all RT are made by me...

    I do not get the auto follow thing, what ever happen to finding interesting people that share a common interest in something and building a relationship ????

    Sure I only have 400 some followers but I have only had twitter for a few weeks and as stated I do everything manually...

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
    As long as you're not violating Twitter terms or risking your account as per the article Andy linked to--there is no one way to use Twitter. Use it how it works for you. Maybe the way you use Twitter will lose you followers but it will also gain others so who cares. You can't please everyone. Do what works for you even if it pisses or annoys others. Now if all you do is tweet affiliate links you're not going to get far but that's your journey.
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    • Profile picture of the author bigbearmarketer
      Hey thanks for the heads up Andy. Now its common sense not to use these blackhat methods on your main account, but as far as the whole follow unfollow method its hard to break the 2000 mark if you do not unfollow the people who are not following you.

      You are only allowed to follow up to 2000 people at a time until you get 1800 followers and then 10% more on top of that so really to build your followers you have to unfollow or it can take a long time. I don't see this as being blackhat as long as you are not using automated tools for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
      We each have our own way of using Twitter ... it's what works for us.
      I don't do automatic messages.
      I don't use mass follow/unfollow

      I use my main account for interaction and kind of like a RSS feed of information.
      Every so often I will toss out an affiliate link or such. However, my list of followers are not targeted to those niches I affiliate for. I am setting up a 2nd twitter account for those things though.

      While I'm careful on who I follow, and try not to abuse those that follow me, I do understand how people can get miffed by constant spam messages (public and automatic). And since the culprit of many of those spam messages are from those who abuse the following feature ... I can understand Twitter targetting mass follow/unfollow programs/bots/etc. They are trying to do something. Unfortunately, thanks to a few rotten apples, they ruin it for others who ARE being responsible, like Dana.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackWaterBlog
    Most automation website promising thousands of twitter followers automatically are most likely a phishing scam in an attempt to hijack your account information.

    I manually follow people, and only unfollow those that try to auto DM spam me and/or do massive update spamming.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
      Originally Posted by BlackWaterBlog View Post

      Most automation website promising thousands of twitter followers automatically are most likely a phishing scam in an attempt to hijack your account information.

      I manually follow people, and only unfollow those that try to auto DM spam me and/or do massive update spamming.
      I say they're most likely not. Although of course it's possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    Twitter has no problems changing the rules "as they go" and caught everybody by surprise. I would be careful. Any strategy that as a potential to become a nuisance to users is certainly going to put down by them.

    Marketers are pretty much universally disliked, and sometimes we forget that and get too comfortable with what we do, expecting that nothing bad would ever happen. Mainstream views on what we do are definitely different from what we think.

    Tyrus
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    If you're using desktop tools like Seesmic DESKTOP or TweetDeck then it's extremely easy to keep on top of posts, by creating groups. I use Seesmic to manage 3 accounts and love how configurable it is.

    As for people reading your Tweets, there will always be people who are interested in what you have to say, as long as your Tweets don't consist of 'just had a coffee' or 'just walked the dog'. You can check things like clickthrough rates on links you post using tools like tr.im your URLs

    Hope this helps,

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Roy
    When people follow me, I MANUALLY look over their account and decide to follow back or not.

    -Nothing but quotes from famous people + occasional sales links: NO FOLLOW
    -Nothing but links to your blog posts: NO FOLLOW
    -Repeated "I got XXXX followers in YYYY days and you can too": NO FOLLOW
    -Profile that reads: You can make 10,000,000 in 3 hours click here! : NO FOLLOW

    I'm looking for people that actually interact on Twitter. If I don't see you talking back and forth with people, discussing what they said or responding to their comments, I'm not very interested in following you.
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