The real zombie uprising is online (or, How you can get more out of Twitter)
By the time you read this, I’m hoping to have fewer Twitter followers.
A couple of weeks ago I pointed you over to Atomic Tango, and Freddy’s wonderful tongue-in-cheek post about scoring more Twitter followers. If you haven’t read it yet, do so. It’s one of the truest, funniest and most interesting things I’ve ever read about Twitter.
It was funny at the time, and it made sense, but I wanted to put Freddy to the test. See, his contention is that you score more Twitter followers by doing slimy little things…and really, you do them to accomplish one slimy big thing — amass scores of fake Twitter followers so you can, well, brag about how many Twitter followers you have. And then get more Twitter followers.
Step one, according to Freddy: Keywords. Use enough of the right ones, and you draw the attention of Twitter zombies and spammers. The right keywords? Things like “MLM,” “network marketing,” “downline,” and “wealth.” And you can throw in SEO, SMM, SEM and any other buzzword used by the slimiest spammers on the net.
So I tried it out. I posted one simple tweet, packing it with keywords. I was in my office at the time, it was the end of the day, and I was headed home. Between posting that tweet and getting into my car, I gained seven new followers. On the drive home, I gained three more. Over the next couple of days, I posted five more tweets, packing each with keywords. I’ll add here that none of the tweets could have been construed as serious. In fact, I was brazen about calling out “my zombie friends” to make sure the follow process was automated. In short order I picked up about 60 new followers. I say “about” because I screwed up at first, and didn’t follow the zombies back. Those I didn’t follow dumped me within 24 hours. Lesson learned.
Those I did follow sent me automated direct messages almost immediately, offering to sell something. Awesome.
Then I realized what I had done. I ruined Twitter.
Now my stream is polluted with SEO experts, get-rich-quick schemes, automated tweets about blog posts from months ago and lots of ways I can use the Law of Attraction to make my life better. I don’t need Twitter for that; I already have an e-mail account.
Before this little experiment, Twitter was a pretty good news feed. I follow news outlets, tech journalists, local people and folks I consider experts (not people who call themselves experts) in fields that interest me. Sure, I’ve built a couple of lists to pull them from the haystack I created, but that just didn’t work for me.
So now I’m going to tell you the real secret of Twitter: Follower counts don’t mean anything. Nothing.?The only folks who have a lot of followers are celebrities and liars. That’s it. Why? Because everyone on Twitter believes they’re a leader; nobody wants to be a follower. We’re obsessed with our own follower counts because, well, what’s the sense in posting anything at all if there are only three people listening?
The sense is here: If you use the methods above and score 97 more followers than the three you used to have, there are still only three people listening. Zombies can’t hear you and won’t respond.
Want to get the most out of Twitter? Stop thinking about who’s following you and start concentrating on who you follow. There are brilliant people (like Freddy) posting brilliant things. And don’t worry about whether they’re following you back; follow them because you’re interested.
You get the most out of Twitter not by talking, but by listening. And if you’ve got engaging content to put up, do it. Talk to your followers. Respond to those you follow. Have a conversation. But don’t do any of it for the numbers. That’s the secret.
I’m headed over to my Twitter account. And I’m unfollowing all the spammers, zombies and slimeballs.
I’m better company than that.
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