Is There A Benefit To Paying for Twitter Followers?

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  1. Jon February 16, 2012 at 3:57 am

    To my mind buying twitter followers, facebook fans or backlinks all comes under the ‘contrived’ heading.

    Obviously google’s emphasis on backlinks spawned the schemes that provide automated links at a price and allowed people to build profitable businesses at our expense. That’s something we have to live with on the information highways just as we live with breathing fumes in congested traffic.

    As for twitter followers I think that’s more of an ego trip for some. If the objective of your websites is to produce revenue then which would you rather have – 500 genuine followers who buy through your affiliate links or 50,000 unknowns 95% of whom will probably never even visit your sites?

  2. The Hook February 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I suppose it’s okay to pay for friends if you want to call it a “marketing expense”!

  3. Stan Faryna February 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I have neither purchased nor jumped on the follow trains to get follows, etc. on Twitter, Facebook, etc. The preceding sentence may read righteous and indignant. [grin] But, honestly, do what you need to do.

    I’m doing what feels right for what I do online.

    Yeah, I’ll know what’s up (because I do pay attention) and, for the most part, I see what’s going on and I’m ok with cheats and hacks.

    I have recommended buying followers as one of several things to do for specific online strategies and outcomes. Count can be considered persuasive. It can leverage deals. That said, I will recommend it in the future – depending on the problem to be solved.

    Purchased count does not buy you direct attention, engagement, traffic (that’s a separate purchase), direct marketshare., direct sales, feedback, or evangelists (also a separate purchase). And purchased count that doesn’t ramp “naturally” can come off kinda yucky.

    All of us in Triberr now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a reach of one or many millions doesn’t mean much – if your offer/message doesn’t have wild, fast, and hard appeal.

    But if you want to experiment with purchased followers, have fun with it. Don’t sweat the perceptions of people who don’t pay your bills and don’t answer to your kids.

    • Jack February 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Hi Stan,

      I don’t care what people think about what I do. You have read enough of these posts to see that, just as I know that you do what you feel is right too. That is at should be.

      But I do value the opinions and thoughts of others because there isn’t one way to skin a cat. It would be foolish not to engage in conversations with others, especially when you know that some of them have particular expertise that you can draw upon.

      To me that is the beauty of age. I don’t feel the need to prove myself or to reinvent the wheel. If someone has a successful model for me to follow…

      • Stan Faryna February 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

        My last chat with a publisher led me to understand 20k Twitter followers, 5,000 FB friends, and 10,000 FB fans/subscribers will help you leverage a better contract. If you can swing it all for $2,000, do it.

  4. Hajra February 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Hey Jack,

    I don’t know why people will do that; yes the pain for followers is a huge thing. But isn’t the point of being on twitter is that you have people to listen to you. And when you buy those tweets, how many will be actually listening and actually making sense of what you’ve got to say.

    Really, what is with this number obsession thing? I have about 250 followers and hardly bothers me. I don’t why it doesn’t… maybe I ain’t a Twitter slave yet.

    But if I had money for that I would be busy doing something better… but yes, Like I said, I am going to charge from now on 😉

    • Jack February 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Hajra,

      I suspect it is mix of things. Some people are competitive and they see value in having more followers than everyone else because of that.

      Others hope it will serve as an easy way to expand their platforms or make more money.

  5. Janet Callaway February 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Jack, aloha. Both Scott Stratten (Unmarketing) and Jason Yormark said that initially they used a follow service (not sure there whether it was paid or not)and thy both regretted it.

    Supposedly 1f 100 people sign up for twitter at the end of 30 or s0 days, only 20 of those people are still actively using twitter. Thus, if 100 people followed you in one day, a month later you only have 20 real followers left. You can’t engage with people if they aren’t there to respond.

    Just checked and I have 6,600 followers built organically. There is no way I interact with 20% of them on any kind of regular basis. Yes, they see tweets, however, that’s it. For me, I say I “know” and actively engage with about 5% of them.

    All that aside, if the purpose in building your base is for book promotion, why not spend some time targeting the specific type of person you want? Actively reach out and see how those relationships build.

    When I was still fairly new to twitter about 8 months ago, I conducted an experiment. Each time a person followed me, I sent them a tweet thanking them, saying I looked forward to getting to know them and, if possible, I included a reference to something in their bio.

    Now remember, these were tweets, not DMs. Jack, I doubt even 5% ever responded back. My messages were engaging. Even though they followed me, they did not seem to have an interested in developing the relationship.

    Loved listening to you explore this topic and I will follow this thread with interest.

    Enjoy a wonderful weekend. Aloha. Janet

    • Jack February 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Janet,

      Every six months or so I try to run my Twitter experiment in which I attempt to have at least one interaction with every single follower.

      In the early days it was relatively easy. Part of that is obvious, there was a much smaller group to work with.

      As time passed and the numbers grew it has become more difficult but I also think that there has been a change in Twitter.

      I see more people using to broadcast messages and less dialogue. I don’t know if that is just my perception or if that is a real change.

      I think your method of engaging with people by commenting on something in their bio is very smart.

      At the moment I am playing around with a few ideas about how I want to use Twitter and what I hope to get out of it.

      That is in part how this particular discussion evolved. I appreciate your feedback and your participation. Thank you for it.

  6. Jack February 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I used Sponsored Tweets. Here is an affiliate link:

    I mixed emotions about buying followers. Part of me is curious to see what would happen. How long much would it cost? How many do I need to buy to make an impact? How many would I retain?

    But it also feels a bit like cheating “the system” to me. There is something kind of cool about doing it organically.

    Not only do you create better relationships but it feels like more of an accomplishment to me.

  7. Christian Fictoor ( February 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hey jack,

    Interesting audio-blog. As I am a social media strategist I’ve also used my personal twitter account (@chrisfictoor) to try out bought followers. Altough my follower-numbers did rise I did not see significantly more engagement or so. Further more the followers did not stay long. When you are organicly growing people are attracked to your posts (eg. Via hastag) and they stick around (mostly).

    Might be helpfull for a quick branding campaign (for a new brand to get better know fast) or a smashing offer (the type that no one can refuse).

    Btw you were talking about sponsored tweets what service are you using?

    Kind regards
    Christian fictoor

  8. Mark Harai February 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Build organically Jack.

    Buying followers who don’t know you exist is a bad investment of money.

    You can always spot these accounts too – thousands of followers/ fans and very little to zero interaction.

    I’ll take 100 real organic connections over 100K bought followers any day of the week.

    These people connect with you for a purpose – to get something that’s beneficial to their life that they receive from you; and visa versa.

    This is worthwhile social media activity at its finest – and the stuff great businesses and many success stories will be built upon.

    Just my 2 cents sir…

    • Jack February 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I have never done it and only had minimal interest in doing so, curiosity really. It seems like a less effective way to build the relationships that I want to create with others.

      That connection you speak of is important to me.

  9. Bill Dorman February 11, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I don’t pro-actively seek followers, hence the low number. However, even though I cull who I will follow when they show up, most I will never engage with unless they reach out.

    I guess it depends on what you are trying to do. I find it interesting that some have shed their followers; because you can have ‘lists’ I wondered, why would you do something like that. Because some ‘A’ listers have done it, it was humorous to see who jumped on that bandwagon too.

    I guess there is no right way or wrong way, just your way, huh?

    • Jack February 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

      Overall I agree. The only thing that makes me scratch my head are the people who don’t make any effort to talk to others.

      Or maybe they do and I just don’t see it, but perception does play its role in this.

  10. Bruce Sallan February 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Jack, you raise a question I’ve been wondering about the whole 2+ years I’ve been on Twitter.

    I see and know people with 6-figure numbers of followers and most are pretty engaged with SM, but how the hell did they do that?

    I spend a good deal of time tweeting, writing, and “engaging” but the idea of 100K followers seems impossible to me.

    I know one “kid” – literally maybe 22, who just celebrated passing 100,000 followers or so. He’s legitimate, smart, and makes money online. But, is he 20 times smarter and better than I am?

    I wonder about this? I’m NOT making the money the hours I put in deserve. I’m having a GREAT time so I don’t really care, but I sometimes feel like Sisyphus – pushing that rock up the mountain only to have it come crashing down on me, over and over again…

    • Jack February 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      It would be interesting to sit down and speak with some people and ask them how they got their followers.

      Some of them definitely did so “naturally.” Once you start to reach a certain level you can’t help but gain buckets of followers each week.

      But there are others who I don’t believe got to be where they are at without using one of the ‘services’ to do so.

      The question of whether that will help or hurt them is one that I think the jury is out on.

      But in theory it would be nice to have a media kit that says you have 100k followers. It seems to me like it would open up opportunities.

    • Janet Callaway February 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      Bruce, “assuming” the kid you mean is Christian, I believe he has been on twitter longer than you. And, I believe his generation embraced the use of twitter faster than ours.

      Also, again, assuming you’re refereneicng Christian, his sled dog site/following was significant so I imagine there is much cross-pollination.

      Actually, I think he recently turned 21.

      And, no, Bruce, he is not 20 times smarter or better than you though he is an amazing young man. What a talent. What a voice–reminds me of you!

  11. Adrienne February 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Hey Jack,

    I don’t really see the benefit to buying Twitter followers unless people are just lazy and of course they’re guaranteed that the followers that they get will be niche relevant.

    Now we know that’s not always possible but I’m sure that’s what some of these services have to promise right!

    Like you said it could benefit you if your niche is something specific and you need your Twitter account to reflect that people are interested in following you, etc.

    Me, I prefer getting them organically because I have a much better chance that a lot of them are actually interested in what I have to share.

    I guess the jury is still out on that one.

    Nice audio!

    • Jack February 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      I am not an advocate of buying followers but I “understand” why some people might try it.

      I try not to wish ill upon people, but I sort of hope this buying bots backfires.

      It just seems wrong to try and camouflage your true influence.

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