Earlier this week I wrote a post about follower-building services on Twitter, warning about the dangers and how people may perceive you if you use them.
It felt a little bit like preaching to the choir.
Amy Mengel made an excellent point in the comments to that post:
"Unfortunately the people on Twitter who promote these schemes and have tweet streams full of nothing but the garbage you outlined above probably won't be reading this post and getting the message!"
This made me think - did I target the post correctly? I came to the conclusion that in that case, no, I didn't. If the people reading this site already view follower-building services that way, they're more likely to be the people talking others out of these tools than the ones using them.
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on how to approach people using follower-building services and help them to re-think their approach to their followers (which, it seems, we all agree isn't a good one).
How to approach
- Approach delicately: No-one likes to be backed into a corner publicly. Consider approaching them privately.
- Give them a way out: Ask questions instead of pointing the finger.
- Benefits: What benefit do you get from using this follower-building tool?
- Relationships: Do you think they the people following you through this tool care about what you say? Do you care about them?
- Spam: Do you know this tool is filling your Twitter stream with spam messages? Have you looked at your stream recently?
- Noise: Have you noticed any change in the value provided by the people you follow (if they're using an auto-follow-back tool)?
- Perceptions: Have you thought about how the people who see those messages perceive you?
- Trust: Given that they're already spamming your Twitter account, do you really think you can trust this service with your login?
As I said before, you really aren't hurting anyone but yourself if you use these tools, so if self-reflection doesn't get the point across, I would likely leave the conversation there. Still, hopefully these points will be helpful.
What other talking points would you suggest?
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