Twitter Follower-Building Services – Gain Numbers, Lose Respect?

As time goes on, it feels like more and more people are feeling the allure of Twitter follower-building services. Look at their follower numbers one day and they have a few hundred, and a couple of days later they’re up to several thousand.

It’s easy to see the allure of this. You have the ego boost of believing your tweets are read by thousands of people – that’s pretty cool, right? It takes a really long time to build-up that many readers of a blog.

Personally, while I’ve occasionally been tempted by the dark side, I’ve never used one of those services, for a couple of reasons:

  • Consider how much you care about the people that those services ask you to follow. What’s that? Not at all? That’s how much they care about you, too.
  • If the people who follow you through that scheme don’t care, who are you doing it for? Your existing followers? I think not. Potential followers? Do you really think they care either? Your ego? Maybe that’s it.
  • It feels wrong, and when it comes to social media, I tend to go with my gut (especially when the evidence supports that feeling).

There’s also one big down-side of many follower-building services on Twitter:

They spam your Twitter account.

Glancing at my Twitter stream recently, I spotted a post from someone in my stream (note: I’ve removed the links):

viralwordpress: Want 10,000 Followers FAST? FREE Twitter Followers Software…

Ah, yes – Twitter spam. Out of curiosity I clicked through to their profile to see if this was the first time it had happened (in case they were unaware of it). Here’s what I found:

Twitter spam messages

Is this how you want people to see you? That’s how people see this “SEO pro.”

Why not go about things differently? Why not build a following by providing useful information; by saying useful things; by helping other people? It takes time, but you’ll find yourself with followers who pay attention when you ask a question, and who care when you post.

I guess you’re not hurting anyone else if you use these services, but consider the damage you may do to your own reputation – especially if you tout yourself as a social media expert.

What do you think about follower-building services? Setting this example aside, do you (or would you) use one of these tools?

If you have used one of these tools, am I off-base on this? I haven’t used these follower-building tools, so I’d love your input. Did you get the results you were looking for?

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.