Would you buy Twitter followers?

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We all know that… Twitter is moving away from a friend to friend communication tool towards a company message catalyst. With this development in mind, a question may be raised that I stumbled upon this week.

Is social media spam the next big list rental business?

Some days ago, I wrote a post on Dell and their social media activities and compared the Dell Twitter account activity with email push marketing – and thought about how close this is to social media spam.

Now, these thoughts become even more relevance when we see the latest development in Australia where the social media marketing company uSocial is offering Twitter followers, next to their Twitter marketing offers. Followers can be bought in blocks for a cpm price of $87 (£53) – and blocks are available up to 100,000 people.

And the system of this concept sounds like in the (email) address broking industry. Or like a snowball system effect?

USocial finds potential followers by searching Twitter, categorizing user interest, profiling where people are and then matching users with those they might want to follow. Then, USocial sends messages to potential followers telling them about the new Twitter user they could follow.

So, USocial is monetizing its business by selling Twitterati to anyone who wants to buy them – for 10 cents and less. Nice idea… but is this not close to social media spam? It is like with any other media in the past. Where there is a huge target group option, new business finds an access to ‚abnormal‘ conversion.

What users probably won’t be happy about…: USocial already has about 150 customers that bought followers and are about to roll out 80-90 campaigns, reports BBC UK.

Spot On!
The list rental business or address broking is moving to another level. When we have been happy to get away from spam in our mailboxes, we are approaching a new level which I call ’social media profile broking‘. And it will only take a short while, when we will face company’s product or service offers that we have never given a ‚follower‘ or ‚friend‘ opt-in for. And this is definitely against all kinds of social media netiquette.

Interested in how you think about this…

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Kommentare

20 Kommentare zu "Would you buy Twitter followers?"

  1. Breakdown: How Brands Are Buying –and Earning– Followers on Twitter « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing am 03.07.2009 16:39 

    […] marketers buying email lists of prospects that have similiar demographic or affinity information.  Martin agrees.  Kevin Marks makes a good point that it’s not like email, as you can’t make folks […]

  2. Mike Schnoor am 03.07.2009 17:45 

    I’d never ever buy followers. What’s that for? Empty accounts following my daily yadda yadda? That doesn’t make sense – especially if you want to push out a message to people in order to get the message along.

  3. Wealth Hunters News: Breakdown: 3 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter am 04.07.2009 07:07 

    […] marketers buying email lists of prospects that have similar demographic or affinity information. Martin agrees. Kevin Marks makes a good point that it’s not like email, as you can’t make folks follow them […]

  4. Breakdown: 3 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter. | GAby Menta am 05.07.2009 13:03 

    […] marketers buying email lists of prospects that have similar demographic or affinity information. Martin agrees. Kevin Marks makes a good point that it’s not like email, as you can’t make folks follow them […]

  5. Mario Grobholz, myON-ID am 06.07.2009 11:07 

    I wouldn´t buy Followers for myself, as I prefer to be authentic and this is what I expect from my followers as well. So I prefer not to follow advertising accounts and machines already.

    But there might be a market for companies and advertisers, as there are markets for dealing with addresses and personal data already in the field of e-mail marketing and newsletters. Personally I don´t expect big business in this area. On top of that – Twitter should try to keep the service as clean as possible from spam, otherwise other services could make the race.

    May be sponsoring of interesting and relevant persons could be a marketing idea which might work on twitter and other social media platforms for the future.

  6. Richard Joerges am 06.07.2009 12:00 

    I would never buy followers. They are absolutly worthless and not authentic. Only good for spammers.

  7. Twitter, Live-Berichterstattung & Co. « atilla yücel am 07.07.2009 03:04 

    […] Artikel: “Would you buy Twitter followers?” (thestrategyweb.com) […]

  8. Martin Meyer-Gossner am 09.07.2009 09:38 

    Thanks for all your replies. Staying authentic is definitely a ‚No Go!‘ for buying Twitter followers. However as Mario pointed out… the market for dealing with addresses exists and gets bigger. The benefit of Twitter is the asymmetry of the ‚follower theory‘ – just because somebody follows me, I don’t have to follow this person. Up to now, twitter did a good job keeping the business model free from spam… or at least Twitter is doing it’s best…

  9. John E Lincoln am 09.07.2009 22:52 

    I would buy twitter followers if it was a qualified list and the purchase was for a client, I don’t see why not. It would be similar to an email list purchase.

    Many companies without a large email database have issues jump starting their social campaigns, selling followers would be a good way to do this.

    Of course on the other hand this could have a seriously damaging effect on the social medium. If I was placed on a list and sold to a company, then a third party app I subscribed to automatically made me follow a company I did not want to follow this would be an issue.

    One of the advantages of Twitter right now is that it has not been tainted by the all mighty $ quite yet to too extreme of a degree. Of course you have companies spamming you with sales pitches, etc. but for the most part it is still a relatively clean social engine.

    To sum up, buying followers has potential to be good for marketing, but bad for the average recreational user. Good post.

    Thanks

  10. Martin Meyer-Gossner am 10.07.2009 11:31 

    This reaction by John came via LinkedIn – http://bit.ly/MDXfS (you have to be logged on LinkedIn to see this) – where I posted the question as well. I agree with Eric Bryant“s opinion…

    „Quick buck artists come with every bull market. It’s the real [entrepreneurs] who know how to survive in the bear markets.“

    John, your view and your LinkedIn threat with SEO expert Eric Bryant is very much appreciated.

  11. Breakdown: 4 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter » A Day in the Life of Jonathan “Jon” Gillardi… aka “Johnny Montana” am 26.07.2009 02:29 

    […] marketers buying email lists of prospects that have similar demographic or affinity information.  Martin agrees.  Kevin Marks makes a good point that it’s not like email, as you can’t make folks […]

  12. The top seven indicators your twitter followers are worthless | youserblog - we know, we share, we blog am 02.08.2009 11:47 

    […] You bought them. Honestly, this does not get you anywhere. No matter how “specific” the “target group” has been chosen, you will receive a lot of trash. […]

  13. Breakdown: 4 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter | CopyWriting-AutoResponder EXPERT am 17.08.2009 20:31 

    […] marketers buying email lists of prospects that have similar demographic or affinity information.  Martin agrees.  Kevin Marks makes a good point that it’s not like email, as you can’t make folks […]

  14. Hey, Twitter wants to make money… am 11.09.2009 18:55 

    […] for the reputation of your business. And it is not allowed to sell followers (probably as of the uSocial business). All sanctions resulting in a […]

  15. deogen am 05.08.2010 17:35 

    I’d buy this. I think it’s a good alternative way for people traffic. For example: music events (dj,artist, cinema), sales with big discount, even sale your old car. Twitter-people are very interactive.

  16. Twitter Followers am 01.06.2011 10:05 

    There is a lot of benefit in allowing a marketing company to get the Twitter followers for you as long as the service is genuine, especially for those less computer literate. Finding followers can be a tedious hit and miss task and letting someone with experience help you through the process will reap benefits in the end.

  17. Martin Meyer-Gossner am 01.06.2011 14:20 

    If Twitter was just seen as a marketing and PR channel to generate reach, then I would agree with you. If it is about creating relevance via conversations to drive business outcome, then I doubt it. However I would strongly advice that comapnies have a strategy in place before they start engaing in their Twitter activities. Then users will follow if execution is based on the right communication tactics.

  18. How to get more Retweets…. am 27.07.2011 12:11 

    […] Schreiben Sie einen Kommentar Tweet Dan Zarrella has done some research on Retweets. Buying Twitter followers is probably not the right approach. Some of my followers and I would not recomment it. […]

  19. Twitter Promoter am 13.05.2012 18:40 

    Now That’s a Quality Page…

    With So Much Junk Out There These Days, When We Stumble Across a Quality Article or Website, We Like to Honor it by Linking to it from Our Blog…

  20. terryjoseph am 06.08.2014 08:17 

    thanks for great information.

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