I just ran across these two accounts on twitter:
The first one only has a single tweet, and its a sales pitch, yet 431 accounts are followers. The second account has 3 tweets.
At first, I felt like I was really missing something. I have 39 followers (oh wait, now its up to 42). I asked @CharlesMcKeever how you would get that many people to follow you without offering anything of value.
His response was, “That’s easy. They’re not worried about creating real value. They’re just accounts, not actual people. There are lots of tools that will automatically follow, unfollow, or tweet for you. It’s not uncommon for someone to automatically follow you if you follow them. Obama auto-followed people during his Presidential campaign. That means you can follow people, have them follow you and then unfollow them later. It’s less common for people to automatically unfollow so your follower numbers grow artificially.”
Wow. Ouch! So this person, scratch that, Account, most likely signed up and immediately started following other people just to get the automatic follow in return. Since managing thousands of followers takes up too much time, and since the tools for Twitter are so prolific, its faster, easier and more efficient, to just let your tools handle the madness. Using Tweetdeck, you can filter who you want to read and the rest of the people just tweet into oblivion. Following you is evidently just a tip of the cap or wink as they continue walking by.
I’m only following 41 people and I feel like I’m always reading (granted, one of the people I’m following is @lizstrauss and she’s probably tweeted the same number per day, that I did all week).
So, which is more valuable, a small number of people who read what you tweet, or a massive number of people who never read anything you tweet (that’s assuming you actually tweet)???
The difference, if you are looking at things from a marketing perspective (which the single tweet person seemed to be trying to do), is like creating a TV commercial and only airing that commercial at 3am on a Sunday, on cable channel 997, in Swahili. A commercial TV ad during the Superbowl 2010 is approximately $3.01 million. The price is high because there are a bazillion people awake and watching (I’m referring to half-time, before the booze kicks in).
During the Superbowl people are watching the screen. At 3am on an obscure channel, is anyone really going to pay attention. The person with 1 tweet is obviously trying to sell their services. Do you really think that this Twitter campaign is going to work for them? I’m honestly curious. I have some clients that still insist spam works.
I’ll admit, I’m new to Twitter. I haven’t figure out what to say or how to say it within 140 characters. But, my gut tells me that you need to offer something of value (good information, links to articles, good recommendations, putting people together whose needs and services match, etc.) or why would that person read what you have to say? I hear the phrase, “content is king” over and over yet, there seems to be a lot of individuals that aren’t hearing this.
Feel free to let me know if I’m totally off base on this one. There are many people who post phrases like “going to dinner, now” or “Just saw Fred”. Obviously, these folks are using Twitter as a conversation tool to connect with friends and have no need to marketing anything. I’ve been using Twitter to learn and share what I learn, so I guess its up to the user as to whether they are getting what they want out of it.
How are you using it?
P.S. Someone smarter than me just mentioned that I should probably put my Twitter account at the end of this post. @peddlewin