Twitter followers seems to be one of the metrics that blog success is measured on. In this post I discuss two simple way you can get massive numbers of twitter followers. Hopefully, this will also make a convincing case of why twitter followers is a poor way to measure the success of a blog. I will wrap up by discussing why you shouldn’t bother with this.
What Do I Mean By Gaming?
Gaming is a term that means to manipulate something, usually in an unfair or unscrupulous way. Twitter intends for people to gain followers by posting useful content and growing organically. In this post I’m talking about “tricks” you can use to get followers without having to put this work in.
Get Followers By Following Others
Back when he was single a friend of mine was fairly successful on OkCupid. He would simply search for women in the area, and give each one a 5 star rating – without looking at their profile or pictures. Once any woman gave him 4 or 5 stars back, he would be notified that they were interested in him. He’d have a look at their profile, and if he liked the looks of them he’d contact them. If he didn’t he’d lower his rating of them, ignore them and carry on with his life.
This was brilliant, as it got the women who would be willing to go out with him to reveal themselves with very little effort on his part. I personally wouldn’t have been able to do this, as I’d have felt badly for the confused women who I gave a 5 star review to then never wrote. He’s married now, so the women of OkCupid don’t have to suffer his nonsense anymore.
Many people on Twitter will follow you back if you follow them, which is a similar technique to the above. One easy way to get followers therefore is to follow other Twitter account. Twitter has rules about exploiting this behavior, which is further indication that it will probably work. They prohibit “hundreds” of follow / unfollows a day, so keeping under 100 is probably reasonable. Additionally, each twitter account has a maximum of 2,000 accounts they can follow. As more people follow your account, you are allowed to follow more – there is an unpublished ratio.
Therefore, each day:
- Sign into your account.
- If you have reached the follower maximum, unfollow 50 accounts that haven’t followed you back (or have stopped following you).
- Start following (100 – the number unfollowed in step 2). Just keep pressing the “follow” button on the “Who to follow” suggested followers.
- Repeat the next day.
Don’t bother tweeting or doing anything else unless you want to – just keep building your list. Because you’re getting followed back as you follow people, your “allowed followers” should keep increasing as you add to your account. The content you see will be garbage, but that isn’t our purpose here.
Twitter recommends followers based on who you are currently following. As you do this, you’ll tap into groups of users that just follow one another to bulk up their number of followers in their account and it should keep getting easier.
You can see people who are doing this when their account has 1,000’s of following and followers. If someone doing this wanted to hide it, once they’ve gotten 1000’s of followers, they could just start unfollowing the massive numbers of account they follow. Some might unfollow them back, but most won’t bother.
Many of the people who follow me on twitter are clearly trying to do this. I look at each account when they start following me and for the majority they’re clearly just trying to inflate their own follower number, hoping that I’ll follow them back.
If this is too much trouble to do, you can simply buy twitter followers. Do a Google search and you’ll find companies that will follow your twitter account for about $10 / 1000 followers. Obviously these are garbage accounts and not people who will be looking at your content, but it does give you an impressive number.
Why Is This A Poor Measure Of A Blog’s Success?
Twitter followers is a poor way to judge whether a blog is successful or not, because it is so easy to fool. Obviously a twitter account that has a large, loyal following that considers every tweet sent out is worthwhile. It can be hard to discriminate between these accounts and accounts that have gamed the system. If you’re an advertiser, and you’re basing a decision on a blogger’s twitter followers you’re making a foolish decision.
It would be even more foolish for the blogger themselves to use this as a measure of how they are doing. When you can buy 5,000 followers for $50, that tells you what the number is worth.
Why You Shouldn’t Do This
Bloggers are on twitter to try to find new readers for our content. While having more twitter followers increases the chance of finding new readers, none of the followers you’ll get with either of the above approaches will actually get you any new readers. The people following everyone won’t ever look at their stream of tweets, because it’ll be a mishmash of garbage from accounts that person was never interested in. That person will happily broadcast from their account, but will never read anything. The paid followers aren’t people – they’re empty accounts set up for the purpose of fulfilling the follower purchases. They’ll never consider your content either.
Unless you’re doing this to trick advertisers – and I hope advertisers are savvy enough to see through this – there really isn’t any benefit.
How do you get twitter followers? Any tricks like these? Any more worthwhile approaches?