Well, yes, in a nutshell, you have to be stupid buying followers. Which is why, in the interests of science or something quite like science…I went ahead and bought some.
The ad says: I can add 10,000+ real Twitter followers to increase your social media presence for £10.
And it continues: THERE ARE NO BOTS, NO FAKE ACCOUNTS, JUST REAL PEOPLE.
In capitals no less. So I could be sure that buying followers here was kosher.
We’re all interested in getting our stuff out there, getting more coverage so we can sell our beloved works of art to the unsuspecting public. It’s great to have more Twitter followers to help you promote yourself. And aren’t we one big happy family, hanging out in the twitter-verse, only too happy to promote each other? Passing on the good news? We’re an altruistic bunch of feckers, us writing types.
“Hey, @nitpicker has got a new book out, why don’t you buy it here: http://spuriouslinktoobscurebook.”
Follow. Follow back. It’s one big social media game.
And, as with any game, there are ways to cheat. It’s tempting to cheat isn’t it? Marketing has always been good at that sort of thing. Most of us like a good old-fashioned short cut. Don’t we? A few quid for buying followers…and so many…phew!
Those of you who have read the Feckless these last couple of weeks will know that I’ve been looking at a few things. Recently, I had a gander at increasing your followers by paid tweets. (By the way, I still haven’t had a response from the fraudsters at paidpertweet.com. Who’d have thought, huh?).
This week, I joined freelancing site paidperhour.com. I’m still working on my review of them as a company, but in the meantime I came across a couple of promotions claiming I can add thousands of followers I don’t even have to follow back. For ten quid.
That’s got to be worth a punt. Hasn’t it? I’ve got £10 to burn. After all, I would be getting thousands of REAL PEOPLE to follow me.
How could buying followers go wrong?
At the beginning of today I had just over 12,000 followers, mostly writers or people with an artistic bent. I’ve garnered them over the last four or five years I’ve been on Twitter. Working on the old I-follow-and-you-follow-back way of doing things. You know, trying to engage, trying to reciprocate. Trying to be real.
But it’s time consuming. And I love a short cut to fame as much as the next guy. So I paid my tenner to a nice young man who says his name is Danny and he lives in Dagenham. Danny from Dagenham. Perfect. Money paid, time for a bacon sandwich and a wander while Mr D works his magic. Make me famous, Danny. Make me shine in the Twitterverse.
Fast forward a few hours…
Soon I have 30,200 followers. For ten quid! Whoot! Whoot! Jeeeze, Louise, ain’t that great? I’m suddenly popular and all it cost me was a tenner. I’m a made man. Yes I am. Aren’t I?
My twitter followers have risen by about 20,000 eggs from all across the world. (You’ll note that Danny from Dagenham did me an extra special deal for my ten quid, bless him. Maybe he pressed the wrong button or something). Anyway, you know what the egg avatar means on the Twitterverse, don’t you people?
Buying followers means buying eggs
Most of these dubious accounts are following around 200 people and are only being followed by 0, 1, 2 people, give or take. Most of them have tweeted a few times but nothing that makes sense and often mentioning Viagra or advertising how to get 10,000 followers for next to nothing.
There’s 20,000 of the feckers for fecks sake!
Okay, okay, I knew it was a con when I did it but, hell in a handcart people, 20,000?
Take a deep breath Ziggy, have a think. Is there any benefit to them?
Will people say: Look at all those bods following old Ziggy. He must be interesting. He’s a serious player. I’ll follow him too. Is that the case? Does that work?
I only have to look at my own tweeting behaviour to find the answer. If I see someone with a lot more followers than they’re following I rarely press the follow button. The likelihood is that they are not going to follow me and therefore they’re not going to spread the word about me.
Sorry, they’re just not useful.
The only value they have is if they’re famous or informative. I’ll follow @stephenfry or @bbcnews because I’m interested in what they say but I won’t follow @geoffmugginslandscapingbusiness.
Anyway, I’m sure you sensible bods figured this out already. For those of you who are tempted, take my advice and don’t do it. Learn by my example. Buying followers is stupid. End of story.
Now I’m stuck with a load of eggs.
I wonder if there’s a way to make a record-breaking omelet.