Sunday, May 08, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

QUESTION ::: Is it okay to use a personal twitter account as a PR tool? Such a tool could be for promoting one's blog or websiste, marketing a particular product or service, or just making a little extra cash on the side. Is there any way to "keep it real?"

In my own case, I agree with one Sarah Baird Knight, in that for me twitter is "a balance being a part of the conversation, a glimpse into the personality of the artist/organization and being a resource."

Time and time again, we read that the key to social media “success” is to be more personal. But what happens when people take advantage of a social networking service, like the microblogging phenom twitter, and turn it into a marketing/popularity crutch? Whether or not the value of twitter as an indicator of social media success can be defined remains up for debate, but we do know that readers want to hear from real people on social media. Life's A Pitch blogger
Amanda Ameer raises serious issues and cites two recent posts on the topic: read the article here, and the come on back!

Warning sign?: when you see someone "Following 61" with 2,296 followers, and they are not a major superstar, and this is not their main twitter account, and most of their tweets are "RT" (re-tweets) - you may wonder how they managed to rack up such a mighty following?

I'm not for a moment suggesting that the twitter account associated with the image you see here is handled in this manner. (The practice of buying followers is regarded as "generally dishonest.") People like the character behind MPG might step up to defend the acts of buying followers, if that's what they're doing, and persistent re-tweeting by simply explaining that these accounts are just channels which are potential for buying and selling. That's OK. I can tell you how to get from 0-3000 twitter followers within 3 or days! Decide for yourself whether it is ethical or not!

(STEP ONE) Go to and sign up for two or three services that provide you with 1000 or more followers within three days.
Want to learn the best place to buy Twitter followers? You’ll find all the information you need on where tobuy Twitter followers from here.

(STEP TWO) Wait for your order(s) to be filled.

(STEP THREE) either manually, or via a "social vetting tool" immediatley UNfollow everyone who has followed you in the timespan since you place your order for followers. Most of these people (and many of them are bots) won't bother to check to see if you are still following them!

I've personally capped off the number of people I feel I can realistically follow at 300. Every week I un-follow tweeters who seem to have abandoned the service or tweet a bunch of crap.

I scrutinize new followers carefully: anybody with 6 tweets, following 1,237 and followed by 12 sets off warning bells (there are a rash of fake twitter accounts that are 100% advertising driven: usually a young woman's photo with a bio that says she's a happy mom having fun social networking - but the NAME associaited with the account is "weird.")

Here's one example: notice no new tweets since April 18, most of the 32 existing tweets are RTs. Here's another that seems to have no purpose, the last tweet having been posted April 19. And this one is a headscratcher also... this one makes no sense, other than it could be someone taking a test-drive on twitter? But why would 565 people follow this individual? Could it be this is one of thousands of phony accounts created for the purpose of being sold as part of a package of followers???

As I searched back farther in my twittermail, I found ALMOST 75 "recent followers" whose tweets were 100% Retweeted adverts, now holding SUSPENDED accounts, like dear Trula below:

There are a handful of people I follow who tweet once in a blue moon, but when they DO use the service, you know it is something really important they're SMSing about!

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