Don't Be A Sheep

There are generally three big reasons that people use Twitter in their social media marketing campaigns. Firstly, monetizing Twitter users through either recommending a product or a service or being able to get those back links- this is a pretty big reason. Secondly, as with any social marketing- it’s all about reputation and building a better one, you can then turn around, use Facebook and other social media sites to really bring this to full potential- so for this, it’s really intelligent. Lastly, some businesses like to use Twitter because it is a great way to get more traffic- the more followers you have, the more traffic you can direct to your web site, and the big goal there is to create viral marketing campaigns. These are all very valid reasons, but, there is one big mistake that I see pretty consistently in both Twitter and Facebook: Overfollow.

What I mean by overfollow is that businesses will add up just as many people as they can- without much thought to how this comes across. This has become known as “follow spam” and unfortunately is a practice that far, far too many people engage in without remembering, the point of a social media campaign is “social”. Have you ever been to a party where someone who wasn’t invited showed up and started to loudly make an annoyance of themselves? Don’t be that guy. Twitter addresses this by instituting a limit on the amount of followers you can add per day- and Facebook has a tendency to “pink box” those who they suspect are spamming. Pink boxing means you’ve got one warning, one strike, and next, you’re getting your account suspended on suspect of spam. Sounds serious? It could be, if social media marketing program time is important to you- and it should be. Your time is money, after all.

Now, it is understandable why this misconception is still being practiced- you need more followers or friends/fans to distribute your links and content. The problem is when you get into social media, you get into socialization and that’s something to consider. If you’re going to run a social media marketing campaign, you have to commit to actually being social in a way that doesn’t annoy people. However, the other part of this is quality versus quantity- if you have 12 thousand followers and only two of them  have not gotten annoyed- and only those two share your links, versus 100 followers who aren’t annoyed and who are sharing your links…well, you get the idea.

What happens is this- there are a bunch of applications geared towards making your online marketing easier. This applies to everything, from Twitter automatons, to those awful programs that spin articles that make no sense for content, to link swap programs- and these things aren’t out to help your business, they are out to help their business- so bear this in mind. When you use the automatons on Twitter, you get a serious issue with low value followers. This is where you run into having tons of followers, and yes, you look so popular- but the truth of the matter is your average internet user will know that you’re not interacting with each and every follower. They’ll probably spot the spam tactic, too. Remember, you’re looking for conversions, not trying to win a popularity contest.