Most businesses are on Twitter these days.Â Twitter is a great way to sell products, create reach and build strong relationships with other companies.Â In order to make the most of Twitter, businesses need to work consistently to create more followers.
However, too many businesses want to find an easy way to create followers, which becomes counterproductive.Â Lazy and spammy tactics are rarely successful in social media and they probably work less on platforms such as Twitter because it only takes a single click to unfollow someone who practices an unethical or immature tactic.
Unfortunately, the naïve and lazy often fall victim to a variety of scams that end up not only costing them their social media leverage, but often their hard earned cash as well.Â There are a few services out there that actually offer to sell Twitter followers.Â There is another that agrees to get you free Twitter followers every day, but with the stipulation that you must allow the application to send a spam tweet every few hours encouraging Twitter users to participate.
There are a number of obvious problems with these tactics.Â However, I will enumerate a couple of them anyways just for kicks.
Social Media is About Collaboration and Relationships, Not Spam or Deception
Anyone who tries to use cheap tricks to get ahead in social media will not last long.Â These tricks may work for scam artists who intend to create a bogus account that they will close down in a few days, but legitimate users who apply them will end up kicking themselves.
If you want to make the most of social media, you must contribute.Â You need to retweet your follower's content if you want them to do the same for you.Â You must give them favors before asking for any yourself.Â You must actively network and maintain social relationships.
Otherwise, you have not only wasted your time but alienated yourself from your potential customers.Â Try to maintain a positive image offline when you have tried to market yourself with spam through social networks where people wanted to trust you.
Real Followers Have Minds of Their Own
I find it hard to understand how people can be crazy enough to think they can buy followers and put them to work for them.Â Real people can simply unfollow you if they want or just ignore your tweets.Â So what are you getting when you buy Twitter followers?
Some Twitter sales campaigns may work by offering kickbacks to unscrupulous Twitter users to follow someone.Â The campaign manager then keeps the rest of the proceeds from the "sale" for himself.Â Obviously, when you pay a onetime fee for a follower, they are not exactly inclined to help you much.Â You can never buy loyalty but you can inflate your follower stats just before they decide to stop following you.
Most campaigns probably work by using automated accounts to follow you.Â Of course, these bots may or may not be as likely to unfollow you, but they are probably less likely to actually retweet anything you actually say.Â Some Twitter scam artists may have taken the time to program their automated accounts to randomly retweet for their "clients" but I laugh thinking if that has actually happened.Â Even if they do, they really have no followers of their own anyways.
So what is the real secret to getting great Twitter followers?Â It's no secret at all.Â You simply must contribute, be persistent and give back to the community.Â If you follow these lessons, you will gain followers and make your social media plan a success.
Kalen Smith is the founder of Engineer-a-Business, a provider of business-to-business services and informational products for developing technology businesses. Read more about Kalen here. (Twitter: @Engineerbiz)