I had a bit of an experiment the other day. I threw some words out like iPad on my Twitter stream to see what type of followers I got, and I followed these new followers back. I also did a search for words like 'Golf' and 'Apple' and followed some accounts at random. Within a couple of days, I'd noticed a pattern:
These accounts, tweeted the same information several times throughout the day. Ezbonus and Ezdollor are linked accounts, as are Slim Recipe and Golf Tips, NoeEllsworth and SydneyPrieto. All transmit the same information across accounts. Why?
Well these bots are used for several reasons. Broadcasting from different Twitter names simultaneously gives them a much wider reach. You are less likely to report them for spam as their messages will be scattered throughout your timeline. I was lucky to see this bunch together in my stream. Each of these accounts have followers.
And followers = marketing impressions. Useful for your scorecard, useful for your metrics
- If your social media strategy revolves around quantity of Twitter followers, then you'd be delighted by the results.
- If you rely on click throughs, the short links will provide you with metrics showing you how many clicks have happened.
- If you rely on advertising revenue - look at the adverts on each of the destination pages
- If you're using someone else to market your product and don't keep a tight rein on what is going on - this might be happening to your campaigns
All these accounts are spam accounts. Unfortunately, many Twitter client apps have autofollow enabled. Which means that a bot could follow you and you autofollow back. You might autofollow accounts based on keywords.
I suspect that this Twitter user autofollows based on keywords. I followed both of these accounts based on the term 'Social Networking' Look at the number of following and followers he has which looks great for his stats and his business
But is this type of behaviour going to get you business? Is your behaviour really genuine?
- Do people actually read these multiple messages, do click throughs ever happen, do sales ever complete?
- Do people with thousands of followers actually have the time to interact with people who send them messages?
- Are users who are following massive numbers of people actually able to keep track of the conversation?
- If they have sorted out their columns in Tweetdeck to show only their 'Best friends', why are they following so many other accounts?
- Is it our fault, that by not managing our lists of people we follow, that we encourage this type of activity?
This type of marketing will never work. Blatant spamming will get you blocked, repeating the same links over and over again will turn your customers away. Authenticity rules. Human interaction wins.
Twitter isn't a broadcast tool - it's a listening engine - Especially if you really want to connect with your customers. Companies that don't connect with their customers or their audience will never be wholly successful, will never see the real value of this social interaction.
...And now I'm off to clean my Twitter stream - to get some quality conversations back into my feed