Group Therapy for a Twitter Spammer

What is Twitter Spam? The term is thrown around loosely today, even massive friend adding is considered spamming. I might disagree a little with this. Other then the bacon email they generate, they are hardly spamming me. In fact if anything they are helping by increasing my follower numbers, extending my reach further and so forth. Lord knows how us, the attention generation loves this. However the community has long spoken on the matter, its a clear annoyance to many.

Following someone on Twitter is probably one of the best examples of an “Opt-In” process. If I don’t want it, I don’t have to see it. Never the less, the technique of doing a massive follow of thousands, hoping, oh so desperately hoping that you’ll get a small return of followers is spammy. Twitter recently announced some ways they are trying to curb this.

So when I noticed a new site Topic5 creating several profiles for fake people like Julia Allison, Jimbo Whales and countless others I just couldn’t resist sending the above picture twit. Yes “you’re doing it wrong” as the kids like to say today. Tonight I find the following email in my Inbox:

“Name: Jeremy ——-
Email Address: topic5@——.com
Comments: Hi Sean. I was intrigued by your tweet. Can you give me a hint what we’re doing wrong. Just a tiny hint?”

Jeremy, I’d be glad to give you a few hints. In fact we can have a little group therapy sessions right here. Hopefully others will join the conversation and give their own hints as well. That’s kinda what this whole social media thing is about.

What You’re Doing Wrong:

  • Setting Up Fake People: Unless you are Darth Vader this isn’t going to work. Following one Julia Allison is enough, please don’t make more. The technique makes me question the class of your operation in general.
  • Massive Following: This technique is so tired, you are annoying more than you are engaging users with this. Finally, those few followers you get back are utter shit, they probably following everyone and will never see your twits. Advertise your Twitter account(s) on your site and try to drive incoming follows instead.
  • Pump and Dumb: Twitter is not a pump and dump for your links. You have to be more creative than that. For one use Twitter as its intended, reach out and chat with others before blasting your profiles full of links. Second don’t send the same link out over and over again. If you are running a UGS site feed RSS into Twitter via TwitterFeed. Within reason, have it feed updates from your site to your account, at least this is refreshing and new content.

Final Thoughts:

I see what you are doing, an open forum where people can gather around a person or topic. You should have some type of presence on Twitter but for now narrow your output. You can’t possibly make an account for each topic you want to push, please tell me you don’t plan to! For a product like yours shift your focus from social media to search engine optimization. For example if you had editors build out topics based on Google Trends alone you’d see a much greater traffic return.

Either way best of luck, readers please share your throughts as well.

Update:

Shel weighs in! Also he said “social media tools”

Sean Percival

Sean Percival is an American author, investor and entrepreneur.