Social media: Twitter may be scripted, but it’s still better than the rest

If you’re involved in a social media effort using Twitter, you know how literate the tweeting landscape is. The Twitter garbage collection problem is primarily related to surrounding space junk and debris from spam marketing agencies and similar automated sources of tweets.

For various reasons unknown to me, search engine optimization and search engine marketing companies believe that if you automatically generate a Twitter following, combined with an aggregate of retweets and RSS or news feeds, you will somehow achieve a utopia of social networks. However, that is far from the truth.

However, let’s go back to the basics of social media. By employing social media, you are effectively telling a client that you will put in the effort in a social atmosphere. In that environment, you’re also committing to maintaining some online presence.

Also, you have to reach a target audience. For example, if you are participating in a social media effort dealing with a customer selling freshly baked bread. Obviously, you’d need to engage chefs, bakers, and similar bakeries on Twitter, wouldn’t you?

However, here’s the problem with that. Aside from Twitter’s efforts to improve its user experience, many so-called social media campaigns employ the use of auto-follow tactics. There are countless auto-follow lists out there, of say 500 or more Twitter users or ‘tweeples’ that will follow you automatically, once you’ve followed them.

What is the problem with what you say? Well, social media is about respect and real information, at least at its core. If I generate a following of 50,000 users, using an autofollow list, how many of those tweeters will participate in what is said in my tweets? The answer? A handful or none at all.

There is a real dilemma with Twitter followers. Automatic followers get paid in full, when the tweeter they follow ends up unfollowing them, several days after the fact. What does this? Well, it’s a clever social media tactic aimed at increasing the number of followers of the user who unfollowed you, while cleverly reducing your followers. Why does this tactic work? The use of automatic tracking, of course. If you are going to employ autofollow tactics, you are effectively setting yourself up for this defollow tactic.

Automatic following on Twitter can be used effectively. Once you’ve built up a reasonable set of followers, autofollowing can be valuable. If you think people are interested in what you have to say on Twitter, like the bakery example above, you can use auto-follow effectively. Think of your Twitter account, having built up a reasonable number of followers, as a well-oiled machine. Once people take notice of you, you’ll start gaining a following that can relate to your industry, topic, and conversation. With auto-tracking enabled, you’ll be able to track them, quickly and easily. This is the correct way to use it.

It’s obvious that you can unfollow anyone on Twitter: it’s in the functionality. However, if you’ve built a real, active Twitter following, you won’t have to deal with sneaky defollow tactics. If someone unfollows your handcrafted and constructed follower list, chances are you know who it was and possibly why they did it.

The basics for earning respect on Twitter and actively participating are as follows:

  • Start by following active friends who are interested in your company.
  • Reach More: Follow industry relationships and the companies you know. Make sure they are actively engaged on Twitter.
  • Increase your Twitter following by actively engaging, promoting, and staying up to date with current trends and news in your industry.
  • Stay away from employing auto-follow tactics, RSS/news feeds that link to Twitter, etc.
  • Keep the information real and provide brief status updates: “We just did this…” or “Employee x thinks…”
  • Never let go of your followers. Twitter is about consistency, so keep it that way if you can.

It is important to maintain efforts with a social media campaign. While some social media experts may think that Twitter is a numbers game, it’s not. While popularity is important, at least for any sales-driven business, it must be built with an overall goal in mind. And that is providing a real source of information about your product and business. Therefore, Twitter, like other social networking sites, can be used to build a brand. With real followers listening to your tweets, you’ll be able to send a message quickly, effectively, and to a wide and interested audience. That is the goal.

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