I’ve been noticing more and more that people are misusing Twitter (as in breaking rules set by Twitter), mainly in the area of Spamming. These are things that can get your account banned, so it’s worth looking into. Especially since there are a lot of people out there telling others that these things are what they should be doing to build their followers.
One of the biggest things I’ve seen is people following thousands of people, then unfollowing everyone including those who have followed back in an attempt to make themselves seem more popular than they are. Sadly this isn’t an isolated event either. Through using Statusbrew, I have noticed more than a dozen people a week who have done this to me.
It’s one thing to unfollow people who don’t follow back if your purpose for using Twitter is to network with like-minded people, but to follow just to get the followbacks and then unfollow everyone who has followed you is really rude and inconsiderate.
For me, it’s very irritating and reduces the person’s credibility in my eyes. I’ve actually removed authors books from my to-read list (which is extensive) for this kind of behavior. I’d rather read books from authors who are willing to network with me and get to know me as an author as well. That’s the main reason I use Twitter is to get to know other authors and help them promote their work (and hopefully have them promote mine as well). It’s a way of increasing everyone’s exposure. But people who want all the glory and have no interest in connecting with or helping other authors are not worth my time.
I only unfollow for 3 reasons:
- Offensive behavior
- Doesn’t bother to follow back (unless it’s someone I have an interest in following because I’m a fan of their work)
- Follows me, then unfollows me after I follow them back.
If you’re following and unfollowing indiscriminately just to make yourself look more popular than you really are, not only are you risking losing your account, but your following is likely not to be loyal to you. You’re also risking your reputation.
After a lot of trial and error, I found the best way to get new followers is to 1) be an interesting person to follow by not just posting ads, but also fun stuff for people to read and regular updates (which I’m trying to do more of because sometimes I just don’t know what to say). 2) Engage with people! If you’re trying to network with other authors, talk to other authors: say hi, ask them how they’re doing, respond to their tweets, retweet their tweets, invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post for your blog. If you engage with another author this way, their followers are likely to follow you as well.
The other big thing that I’ve seen is people using @ReneeScatts simply to send me an advertisement for their book or other product/service. The purpose of the @ replies is to engage directly with someone on Twitter, not to promote yourself or your business. I’ve had a few people who started doing this on a daily basis to try and get me to buy their books, and I ended up blocking them in the end.
Again, this is something that not only can get your account suspended or banned, but it annoys people. It’s like the Twitter version of telemarketing. No one likes telemarketers, so don’t be one on social media. It’s another thing that can harm your reputation as an author.
Bottom line is, while it’s okay to promote on social media, your main goal should be networking. That’s what will get you more followers, readers and ultimately sales.