Twitter spamming: Internet marketing Q and A
Ian Lurie Apr 14 2010
As part of my internet marketing Q & A, M. Hall asked:
My question is specific to twitter. Someone just started following me who has posted 39 tweets and has 13,000+ followers. How did he do that? I know the short answer is “he’s topical” (topic – repairing ones credit, which seems like a spammy topic anyway). But what’s the longer answer?
That’s a relatively easy one: The person who started following you used one of many forms of auto-following software that are out there. These tools often call themselves ‘Twitter marketing tools’. They’ll promise to ‘Automate Twitter Promotion & Marketing’.
They’re also full of crap.
What these tools do is go to Twitter, grab the account names of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of people who may have, once in their lives, said something distantly related to keywords you enter. Then they auto-follow all of those people in the hopes that they’ll follow back.
Then, the really high quality ones unfollow most of the victims. That way, your account gets a great ratio of followers to follows.
The problem is, you have an audience of people who had zero intention to ever hear from you. They don’t know who the hell you are. They don’t care. Basically, you just barged into their living room, yelling “HEY THERE HOW ARE YA CAN I SELL YOU SOME VIAGRA?”.
One way to tell how much this software sucks: Most people use it to try to sell more of the same software. It’s a perpetual toilet bowl of spam.
The moral of the story: If someone has 13,000 followers and 39 Tweets, and they’re not world famous, don’t follow them back.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More