Thinking about using an auto favorite tweets strategy to grow followers?
It’s a short-term gain, but may lead to long-term pain.
A sleazy Twitter tactic
So, the other day I tweeted this:
It might be time to retire the phrase “serial entrepreneur.” #justsaying
— Malcom McCutcheon (@MalcomMc) April 2, 2014
That tweet was instantly favorited from four people that don’t follow me.
This almost never happens, especially in the span of 5 minutes.
It was quickly apparent that they were using a software service that automatically favorites tweets based on keywords.
An example of an auto favorite tweet strategy using keywords
Here’s the tweet again:
Four people that don’t follow me favorited this tweet within 5 minutes of posting it.
As you can see from the screenshot above, none of those favorites are still there a couple of weeks later.
For posterity, here they are. Keep in mind I posted at 9:08 PM:
So they are using a service that looks for keywords (in this case I’m willing to bet it was the word “entrepreneur”) and automatically favorites tweets.
How to look like a spammer on Twitter
Obviously there’s no human engagement. It’s just a terrible strategy designed to shamelessly self-promote their own account. And unfortunately it probably works for them.
When I checked these accounts the first thing I noticed was that they all had an extremely high follower count.
Some of their profiles also had links to products or services that they were selling. In some cases, their tweets alternated between shilling products and meaningless quotes designed to keep the accounts looking active.
So why does this work?
The strategy works because it sometimes appeals to the user’s ego, or sense-of-self.
While not everyone falls for this slimy tactic, it still is a numbers game, and a certain percentage of users will end up following the account that auto-favorited their tweet.
Once followed, they’ll no doubt get an automatic Direct Message (DM) sent to them promoting their product or service, or asking them to join their mailing list so they can continue their spam barrage there.
And that’s exactly what these automated tactics are: SPAM.
Why an auto favorite tweets strategy just plain sucks
Just like with black-hat SEO tactics, the results may be short-lived.
It can be frustrating for those who do the hard work to build their following to watch others use cheap and easy tactics like this to build their following seemingly overnight.
If you start feeling discouraged and tempted to use these yourself, try to remember that you’re in it for the long haul.
It might look like these guys are winning now – and they really are – but there’s no telling when Twitter might ban accounts for using practices like this.
Could you imagine having to start from scratch to build your following? Don’t risk it.
The best way to build a following is to actually be worth following.
Your tweets should have value. Your account should be engaging with other users, and this engagement should be done by a real person, not a machine.
And despite what any snake-oil sales person may tell you, Twitter isn’t for hard-selling products and services. Some of the tactics may work there, but that’s not why the majority of people use Twitter.
Are you struggling with how to use social channels to market your product or service without pissing people off?
Every day we help business owners build their following and get in front of their customers without resorting to sleazy tactics.
And we can do the same for you. Drop us a line now to get started.