by Dr Earl R Smith II
In my book Twitter Super-Charged I outline a strategy for building a potent Twitter audience. That strategy has brought many comments and questions from Twitter users who have never stopped to think about how their choices of who to follow and who to accept as followers have been branding them. In this article, I want to describe three encounters with potential connections in order to more fully illustrate my approach to building a Twitter audience. My hope is that these examples will help you improve your own attempts and the results you get from the time and effort you put into Tweeting.
To partially reprise the description in Twitter Super-Charged, I take a very systematic approach to deciding both who I want to follow and who I will accept as followers. I make full use of the assistance that Twitter offers to do so. Their ‘who to follow’ search guidance is very useful as is the search capabilities on key words and hashtags. I also append time reading the Tweets that show up in my time line. Twitter does me the favor of ‘salting’ it with Tweets from people I am not connected with but might be interested in following. Through these three avenues, I generally come up with a number of users that seem initially interesting enough for me to spend the additional time involved in learning more about them and deciding if I want to follow them.
Earlier today I was on the search for new people to follow. I click on the list of those that a user follows as a way to get to know them – to get a first impression. I find that list more useful than their list of followers because it tells me more about the user and their standards. Within a few seconds of each other I came across three that were so different that I got to thinking about those differences and what they said about the users and how attractive or unattractive they were to me as potential contacts. In each case, the users had large followings – over ten thousand. Here are the three encounters.
Hookers, Halfwits and Scammers
The first user that I looked at was an embarrassment to the whole idea of social media. The list of people they followed could only be described as a sewer – a moldering, rotting pile of accumulated excrement. As I scrolled down the list I noticed that at least one used per page was offering photographs or making suggestive comments. Many had suggestive or explicit profile photographs. As I continued scrolling I also noticed that some of the Tweets were repetitive in content but from different users. This guy obviously either doesn’t read his time line or doesn’t give a damn what it says about him – or maybe he is just part of the scam – a pimp!
Then there was the collection of half-wits in this guy’s list. They ranged from religious fanatics, political hacks to people who thought that the world would come to an end if they weren’t regularly apprised of which coffee shop they were in or what they had for breakfast.
Finally there were the scammers. As I scanned down the list, at least a third of all users were selling Twitter followers, Facebook followers, Instagram contacts, Pinterest links and the like. This guy was providing a megaphone for users who were most likely in the identity theft business. And there was the recurrence pattern again. Multiple users were sending out exactly the same Tweets. This was clearly an organized effort and this bozo had his head jammed so far up a posterior orifice that he was completely unaware that he was almost certainly an accessory before the fact in a criminal undertaking.