If you are planning to use Twitter to help raise buzz for your company, there are some things you do need to note. Many Twitter users use Autofollow – but many do not, and fake following is quickly becoming a scourge of Twitter, meaning you will be blocked by some users.
As some folks know I run a startup selling hard to find independent comic books under the Alternating Reality Moniker and one of the ways we have been using to share information with the community has been the use of twitter and FriendFeed. Twitter has some interesting side effects as noted in the side picture here.
I don’t mind twitter followers, but odds are likely that the SEO Social Networking “Guru” who decided to link my happy little comic book startup to their “make millions of twitter followers” and “are you ready for an emergency in international travel” are hitting on the wrong audience. Better yet, it makes the company or person that they are doing this for, or for themselves look scummy. This is SEO and Social Networking gone wrong; people who are doing this actually do more damage to their reputation online than they do by constructing a careful and appropriate twitter following.
This is a lot like Spam e-mail – it all reflects badly when you are simply blindly engaging with people who could care less about you, your company, or what you are doing.
When I built my twitter following, the people I wanted to follow, I was careful with my image. I followed people who publish the kinds of comic books I carry. I followed the authors of the comic books I carry, and in some cases other comic book stores that carry similar items because if I can’t find it, odds are likely that they might have it and I can send a customer their way so that the customer can get what they wanted.
I sell comic books; I sell many comic books, and have seen some phenomenal growth this year in my startup. This does not mean that I care about “hawtoes” or the Renaissance Hotel in England, or Chris Yelland who is talking about slaughtering bulls in a stadium, or Cyberwar, or Global Air Rescue, or a host of hot lonely women who are pining away on a Friday night looking for some luv. This is brand damaging in the longer run because there will a negative response rather than the engagement that companies should be looking for online.
Folks who engage in twitter spamming reflect negatively on the companies they are working for. It is time for Twitter spammers to start looking at the twitter campaigns that they are running and understand that they could do more damage to the brands they work for than the positive spin they are looking to generate. Relying on autofollow is a mistake, and much like playing Russian roulette. For me I am seriously considering a wall of shame article on Social Networking Marketing gone wrong as a way to close out the year.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag)