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5 reasons why Twitter auto-follow is bad marketing

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by blackma, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. blackma

    blackma Power Member

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    As much as I would like to take credit for this golden nugget of advice, I can't.

    From what i am reading n this forum the methodology on Twitter marketing is follow people and hopefully they follow you back. No apparently.

    This is an article from John Reese's blog, income.com.

    Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know: John Reese is an infamous internet marketer.
    He was the first to break the million dollar day in sales. (August 2004)

    5 reasons why Twitter auto-follow is bad marketing

    Let me start by saying this post isn?t going to be very popular with some people. In fact, it?s probably going to ruffle a few feathers. But that?s okay.
    I?m here to help people make more money with their marketing, and sometimes the truth hurts.
    There are certainly exceptions to everything, and some marketers may find a way to make auto-follow effective, but I?ve personally seen the light and believe it?s a doomed technique for long-term success with Twitter.


    A couple of days ago, I unfollowed over 30,000 people on Twitter. Many people are wondering WHY. And this blog post explains why I am no long auto-following people on Twitter (i.e. auto-following anyone that starts following me.)
    After using Twitter for the past several months, and running several marketing tests with it, I?ve learned many things about it. I think Twitter has great long-term marketing potential, but there are definitely some powerful do?s and don?ts to making it work for your business.


    Here Are Five Reasons Not To Auto-Follow People On Twitter

    1. Twitter Auto-Follow Is The New Email ?Safe List?
    Do you remember email opt-in safe lists?
    Someone came up with an idea to help other marketers get more opt-in email subscribers. So they created a system where anyone who joined would get the ?right? to be able to send emails to all the other members.
    Thousands upon thousands of marketers joined these ?safe lists? so they could instantly have access to a large opt-in email list to send their marketing to. Sounds great, right?
    There was only one small problem? barely anyone would actually read the emails that the system sent out. In fact, it became a known technique to join a safe list and use a throw-away email address that you never used.
    This made safe lists worthless for marketing.
    Twitter auto-follow is producing similar results. Think about it?
    No one can possibly follow the tweets from thousands of people. NO ONE. Trust me, I know.
    I was following so many people that I barely saw tweets from anyone. Heck, I?d ?refresh? my timeline and instantly see an entirely new page of tweets. It was just too overwhelming for me to pay attention to.
    If Twitter is to be used as a RESPONSIVE marketing tool for your business then you?re going to need people to read your tweets and to take action when you want them to take action - such as to read blog posts links that you post, visit links to special offers for your business, etc.
    AUTO-FOLLOW ATTRACTS OTHERS THAT AUTO-FOLLOW.
    It?s an incestuous cycle. If you auto-follow others you?re going to be attracting Twitter users that also auto-follow others. Let?s face it, most are using auto-follow to get more Twitter followers. But getting more Twitter followers this way comes at a price ? you attract others that WILL RARELY (IF EVER) READ YOUR TWEETS. It?s just like the safe list model.
    Good marketing is all about RESPONSE. It?s definitely a QUALITY not QUANTITY scenario. There?s a reason that an opt-in email list of 5,000 highly targeted and responsive people can make 100 TIMES MORE than a lower quality opt-in list of 500,000.


    2. ?It?s Not Show-Friends It?s Show-Business?
    That?s a great quote from the movie Jerry Maquire and it really applies to using Twitter for your business.
    Something you need to quickly realize is that ego doesn?t pay the bills. Most people want high follower counts for ego purposes. Heck, I do and I?m willing to admit it.
    Twitter is fun and your follower count is like the scoreboard of a video game. Who wouldn?t want a gazillion followers just for bragging rights?
    But at the same time, it really has to come down to MAKING MONEY. Do you want a big ego or do you want to make maximum money from your marketing efforts?
    If you want to make more money, then don?t auto-follow. The followers you do attract will be people that only want to read what you have to say and actively follow what your up to. Wow, what an amazing concept. (It?s actually why Twitter was created in the first place.)
    Your ?@? replies and conversations will be much more valuable to your business and will yield much higher returns - because you?ll be eliminating a lot of other auto-follow marketers that will be wasting your time trying to get exposure for their own accounts by starting pseudo-conversations with you.
    Keep in mind that many conversations on Twitter don?t happen from just follower-to-follower connections.
    ?But Is Not Following Someone Back Rude??
    Not at all. Again, that?s not what Twitter was created for. If you want reciprocal communication then use an Instant Messenger service. Would you add all of your Twitter followers to your IM list? Of course not.
    People should follow you on Twitter because they want to read what you have to say. Period. If you want to make money from Twitter then you need to be saying and attracting YOUR TARGET MARKET. You need to be giving enough value to your ideal prospect that they?ll WANT to follow you. If you don?t, you?re not going to make much money from Twitter; regardless of what tricks and techniques you try and use.


    3. You?ll Get Bombarded With Direct Messages That Aren?t Worth Your Time
    When you follow someone you give them the right to send you a direct message. Rest assured, you?ll start to get all sorts of spam and worthless DMs. I know, I was up to over 6,000 DMs before I nuked my account.
    You also run the risk of hurting your reputation with certain prospects and customers if you aren?t extremely attentive to their DMs. You?ll quickly discover it?s very hard (nearly impossible) to reply to all the DMs you?ll receive, and as a result you?re going to upset some folks that contacted you. This can hurt your business and lose you a lot of money.
    There are different methods to keep people from sending you Direct Messages on Twitter, but most are unaware of them and it can still create a problem for most marketers.

    4. Auto-Follow Destroys The Twitter Experience
    As I?ve already mentioned, when you follow too many people it becomes impossible to keep up with all the tweets. You?ll end up discovering, like I did, that it takes the fun out of Twitter. Twitter ends up becoming just a bunch of NOISE.
    And, sure, there are more and more tools being created where you can ?sub-list? your followers so you can keep up with just a select group of Twitter users, but to me that?s really DISINGENUOUS. When you follow someone on Twitter (automated or not) you?re basically saying, ?I?m going to read what you have to say.?
    So if you auto-follow too many people that really does become just a big LIE. Because, again, it?s nearly impossible to follow so many tweets.


    5. Twitter Users That Auto-Follow Will Lose Credibility
    If you?ve paid attention to everything I?ve stated so far then you?ll understand why most people on Twitter will eventually realize the same things.
    I believe Twitter users will begin to look at others that auto-follow (which is obvious when the ?following? and ?followers? numbers are very close to each other) as POOR QUALITY USERS. Auto-follow users will be looked at like safe list marketers. People will look at them (whether it?s true or not) as someone that?s just trying to get as many followers at all costs, and not really caring about what those people tweet about.
    Think about it? what?s more impressive? someone with 10,000 followers that follows only a few people, or someone with 10,000 followers that also follows 10,000 people? Twitter users know that the first person in this example must really be someone worth listening to because all those people that follow them stand to gain nothing in return. (Except for the great value of their tweets.)
    There?s a reason 99% of the most influential Twitter users in the world don?t auto-follow thousands of people.
    This is exactly what will lead to HIGHER RESPONSE for your Twitter marketing. Higher response will make you more money. This is a PROVEN FACT in marketing.
     
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  2. Michael Rivero

    Michael Rivero Newbie

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    I like this.

    You are correct in many ways, Twitter can be very powerful however still need to know the ropes of it.
     
  3. poisonsembrace

    poisonsembrace Registered Member

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    Ed Dale has been saying this for a long time before John Reese (not a competition). Twitter is so powerful, i'm not sure how autofollowing ever got so big to begin with.
     
  4. blackma

    blackma Power Member

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    Think it got popular with spammers who wanted to reacha bigger audience. There would be no other reason.
     
  5. Michael Rivero

    Michael Rivero Newbie

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    I would say that the best way to get legit Twitter followers is by manually following them yourselves.

    When you use an autofollow program then the system will make you follow accounts which probably aren't active or have interested people or an audience.

    When you manually follow people you get to see which ones have photos, which ones are active on Twitter and plus it makes your profile look good by having pictures of actual people on it rather than brands or no picture at all.

    Hope this helped.

    Peace