Get Twitter Followers My A**

Targeted Twitter Followers? My A**!

Get Twitter Followers. This phrase runs rampant in the social media world – at least the world that I play in. I see Tweets about this stuff all the time, and blog posts and ads ad nauseum. Seriously. If you came to this post thinking I’m going to tell you that it’s a good idea to get (which really means “buy” Twitter followers) – from anywhere – you need more than more Twitter followers – you need a brain.

“Targeted Twitter followers.” What exactly does that mean? I ran across one of those low-rent scam services (which is what inspired this post), and couldn’t resist digging deeper. As I did, I noticed a great call to action (e.g. “Buy Now”), but a lack of clarity when it came to explaining how it is that they really deliver. I suppose customers just have to trust that they know best.

Oh, and I’m sure they do. I’m sure that if you sign up for any one of those super duper, cost effective, pain-free services that they’ll go out and spend a whole lot of time finding just the right people for you to follow. Seriously people. This is the kind of crap that smart scammers dream up to try and hook people who either don’t know any better or who are – well, you guessed it – just plain too dumb to know any better.

Get Twitter Followers

This gig – and a ton of others just like it – is a scam. If you think that you can seriously buy followers on Twitter (or anywhere) and that that will do you one bit of good, you need a reality check. Here’s a newsflash: social media is no different than real life. You don’t buy followers, you earn them. And, if you’re the real deal, that can lead to credibility and even some influence. And you don’t buy credibility you prove you’re credible. You don’t buy influence, you do or say or contribute to the community in ways that allow you to build a reputation as an someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s influence. No matter what the Klout flouters say.

And by the way, you can go to Google and search “get targeted Twitter followers” and find these services out the wazoo. I’m not going to give them any help by mentioning or linking to them here, but I will admit to clicking on all their links multiple times, just to give their PPC campaigns a little spike. That’s the devil in me – it couldn’t be helped.

I can point you to a myriad of spammers (or just plain morons) who clearly buy followers and/or use bots to find people to follow on Twitter and build their numbers. Those are the accounts (I can’t call them “people” because I’m not convinced that they are) that are clearly on autopost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are the accounts that have 20K followers (or more) and a fairly equal number of folks they’re following in return, but that have an easily identifiable and disproportionately small number of tweets. Those are the accounts that you can scan for days on end and never once see an @reply to any other Twitter user or any kind of conversation whatsoever. These are accounts that are used as broadcast channels, which is the antithesis of what social media is all about.

Bottom line, quit thinking that social media can be gamed. That it can be done effectively in 10 minutes or less a week. No matter how many social media ninja, guru, rockstar experts tell you that – it’s just not true. If you buy into that crap, I’ll sell you some swamp land in Florida AND a set of Ginsu knives and toss in rock solid abs without any exercise to boot. If you want to integrate social media into your marketing strategy, that’s terrific. But the only way it’s going to be effective – and produce results – is if you build your channels intelligently. And if you don’t stand on a street corner asking for friends and handling out dollar bills in real life, why ever would you think that’s appropriate in the social media realm?

Wise up. Rarely do things that are worthwhile come without some kind of effort. And social media – well, I hate to tell you, but to really be effective, it requires that you not forget the “social” part. Relationships don’t usually get built overnight. Trust rarely happens that quickly either. Those things – they require work. Good, old-fashioned, hard work.

Rant over

  • http://twitter.com/karlkoelle Karl Koelle

    I could use the rock solid abs; the Ginsu I’ll pass on. ;-) Seriously, great post, great points. Stop spending so much time worrying about who you are influencing and get in the mix! If you actually want to influence people, that’s the only way to do it.

  • http://www.AlexGPR.com AlexanderG

    I’d still kinda like the rock hard abs, Shell.

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  • Shelly Kramer

    Knowing you, Alex, you’d really like the tushie in that pic.

  • Shelly Kramer

    Thanks Karl. I could use the abs, too. #dammit

  • http://www.skypulsemedia.com/ Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    All the networks have thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of dummy accounts. I used to go on some free lance sites seeking marketing work and would see offers where someone needs 50,000 Accounts set up with real friends. Facebook Fan Pages have plenty of Porn links from these dummy accounts. And how many bots do we see on Twitter. And companies like USocial are like the one you highlight. Then I had a prospective client who technically just needed real people as fans and followers paid a company in India to do it for him and they scored him 1200 Twitter followers in 1 month. Well he didn’t want to pay me to create a community and he thought posting 1 tweet a day for his online coffee shop would rake in the cash. 8 Months later he has 1218 followers. (always check in on people who made you jump through hoops then decide not to hire you because they want to go cheap in smug satisfaction!)

    I actually credit quite a few big companies who refused to take the fake route just to brag about Followers. You really need this to be organic and prove to each person who follows you why they should. Its a people play not a technology play. Some Businesses think the opposite.

    Great post Shelly!

  • Joyce Cherrier

    I think this post will be an eye opener for many people. It realy only takes a few seconds to read the signs of a scam. Along with looking at their number of tweets I also check out their number of lists. If an account has 50k followers and are on 200 hundred lists, that’s fishy to me. Great post Shelly. This is a really important info to get out there, especially for newer twitter users.

  • http://econsultancy.com Matt Owen

    Very nice post Shelley. One of the worrying points is that many companies still see follower numbers as the prime sucess metric for social. It’s really important that people realise that (for business at least) people realise that it’s quality, not quantity that count. One decent follower who is a real advocate is worth a lot more than 10,000 bots. Twitter isn’t about gaining hugenumbers, it’s about connecting with relevant people.

  • http://socialstrata.livecloud.com Rosemary

    You always put it right out there, and that’s what I love about you! The whole thing would be laughable if it weren’t for the poor gullible folks who pony up, thinking they are getting the magic beans. They are also out there sitting in the hotel banquet rooms, listening to seminars from these same shills. We need to keep trying to get the message out there that humans matter so much more than statistics (in any scenario).

  • blogomomma

    HA! Good post Shelly – reminds me one of our old dm’versations when I clicked to investigate how it all worked too! #birdsofafeather. Danger Will Robinson! There will always be a way to increase followers, gaining influence – well that takes substance.

  • Al Bonner

    Great post! I just started my account two weeks or so ago and (with your help and advice Shelly), have built my follower count by just rolling up my sleeves and connecting with people interested in the same thing I am, that are related to my business and are just plain interesting. I’ve made some solid connections that I know will help down the road as I build my business and a follower base that’s real and interested. Weeding out a bunch of crap from some spam list would take far too much time and energy to manage. Just work at it!

  • http://abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com Erin Margolin

    DO people really PAY to get more Twitter followers? WTF?
    And btw, you need to ask my permission before posting my ass on your blog.

  • Anonymous

    I love your long hair almost as much as your ass, baby. And yes, they do. Morons :))

  • Anonymous

    Al, where’s your Gravatar? No, I will never quit nagging you. EVer. Thanks for the comment – and yes, working it works.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks momma, and yes, I remember some of those days. Substance – a novel idea! Thanks for coming by.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Rosemary. And you’re right. Those are the people who are thinking there’s an “easy button” when it comes to work, making money, etc. Humans matter so much more than ust about anything – ain’t it the truth? Thanks for coming by – it’s always a pleasure to see your smile.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Matt. I know about those companies. Some of them want to be clients. Typically, those are the ones we say ‘thanks but no thanks” to. And you’re right – an evangelist is infinitely better – and more valuable – than huge numbers. Spot on!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Joycie, funny, it still amazes me that people think there’s a shortcut – or that there should be. And once you dive in, it’s really easy to spot the fishy ones, isn’t it. Thanks for the kudos – always nice to see your abs in my house. #hag

  • Anonymous

    You need ‘em.

  • Anonymous

    You and Alex can fight over the abs, I’ll take the knives. Thanks for the kudos – and you’re right. Getting in the mix is the only way to do it!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Howie, you’re preaching to the choir. I’ve dealt with many of those same people and prospects who think I can just go out and find fans and followers without any content, engagement, etc. Grrrrr. “It’s a people play, not a technology play” … I love that. And am going to steal it, consider yourself duly advised.

    Thanks for showing up. You know I heart ya.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Steve,

    You’re preaching to the choir. We build communities and engage on behalf of our clients on a regular basis – that’s why this stuff gets me crazy from time to time and inspires a good rant. These sites are so spammy, it’s always amazing to me that people don’t see through them more than they do.

    Sigh. Thanks for coming by!!

  • Anonymous

    WOW that quite a caboose. Does that thing have its own zip code?

  • Anonymous

    WOW..that’s quite the caboose. Does that thing have its own zip code? Seriously paying to increase your following? Whats like New Kids on the Block paying people to go to their shows… oh wait..they do… Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Why yes, Tommy. Yes it most certainly does.

  • http://twitter.com/Krazy_Kris Kris M O’Connor

    Thank You! But, uh… how did you get all your followers? I mean – you are kick ass funny and all – but there must have been scandal involved, right? High heels? Promise of cookies? Lipgloss?

  • http://twitter.com/BrentPohlman Brent Pohlman

    Wow! One of the best Twitter Posts I have ever read!!! Great Stuff Marking it as an all time favorite.

  • http://katjaibur.posterous.com/ Kat Jaibur

    We think people know this already… but there are always new folks here who are led to believe this is how it’s done. Nobody can set them straight better than you, Miss Shelly. LOVE the photo, too!

    Folks, if you’re just discovering Shelly Kramer, she’s kind, as well as smart and funny. And if you haven’t guessed, no B.S. Stick around.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. Thanks Kat. Yes, those of us who have been around for awhile often
    forget that there are lots of newbies out there. This is my way of trying to
    remember that. You just made me laugh – really – out loud! Thank you – mwah.

  • Anonymous

    Haha! Thanks Brent. Methinks you might’ve just made my day. Thanks for
    coming by.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Kris, I don’t kiss and tell. And how gauche of you to ask.

  • http://misssld2u.blogspot.com/ Miss Sara

    Yes! I see these all the time, ppl tweet about “get a ton of followers” & well, they don’t have any. *snicker* SCAM/SPAM it’s all the same! ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Yessireeebob .. scam/spam it’s all the same. You said it, sistah!

  • http://www.salesrescueteam.com/social-media-measurement-tools/ TJ McCue

    Raise a glass to Shelly!! Hear, hear.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks TJ .. to you, too!

  • http://twitter.com/barryrsilver Barry R. Silver

    Hey Shelly, Stop trying to change those that view SM as the newest latest cheapest form of direct mail mktg. As long as they continue to look for quick and easy, the easier it is for the rest of us to stand out. The world is full of folks looking for an easy button. You can’t change them, you can only decide if you want to sell them your magic beans. (If so, don’t sell cheaply. Take them for every penny you can.) Am I cynical, yes. But I’m also right. On another unrelated note, love the picture.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Richard,

    You misunderstood my post. It wasn’t a “how to” or a “you should change” plea. It was a full on “I’m sick of stupid bullshit” rant. Not intended to change a thing – only to make me feel better.

    I’m very aware of the magic beans I sell. And trust me, there’s nothing cheap about them. They are, however, effective as hell. But then, that’s what 20 years of marketing experience will get you. Someone who effing knows how to market. Using a variety of channels, not just the latest, greatest ones.

    Thanks for coming by – it’s always a pleasure. And I’m glad you like the pic – she’s a beauty.

  • http://www.attunementsforthesoul.com/ Sophie Lhoste

    So… is that a new package where I can buy abs without exercise, friends who habitually handle money on street corners AND more Twitter followers? How much is that? $9.97 a month?
    I love your rants Shelley. You say out loud what I think quietly.

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