Stop the keyword follow spam…

April 12th, 2010 by Laura Leave a reply »

I quoted Star Wars: Clone Wars on Twitter.  Some one commented to say the quote was good but they weren’t a huge fan of Star Wars.  I commented back with the Clone Wars cartoon was better than Star Wars episodes I, II, III.  I mentioned cartoons several times and I got a spam follow from @quinnmichaels.   Why?  He likes cartoons and I mentioned them.   He follows over 10,000 people so the value I would get from returning that follow?  Zero.  If I had wanted to follow some one who is never going to read me, I could have done it with out the prompting of the follow.  He didn’t even take the time to read my profile.  If he had, he would have seen the message about @ replying to me in order to get a return follow.  And if he just wanted to collect people who tweet about cartoons with out the follow obligation?  He could have added me to a list.

People like @quinnmichaels need to stop the keyword spam follows.  It is rude.  It is spam like.   I don’t mention cartoons regularly.  I tweet about sports, wikis, Australia, Chicago and Illinois, pictures I take, fandom in general.  Following me because I made keyword mentions of a term he follows, absent the context, while not being able to articulate that and clearly not even bothering to check my profile?  When he has 10,000 followers and 9,000 people follow him?  These are the sort of people killing Twitter.

I don’t hate art.  I don’t begrudge artists the right to market themselves and try to sell their work.  If one were to ask me, I’d be happy to help them figure out how to use Fan History to promote their work.  If they asked nicely, I would probably be happy to retweet them.  If they were on DeviantART and were doing something with charity, I’d probably be inclined to blog about them if asked.  I love helping people and I know how hard it is to make it as an artist.  My not appreciating @quinnmichaels‘s spam following practices has nothing to do with his being an artist.  It has everything to do with his keyword following, while offering zero value to those he follows.

And his current practice is not likely to help him sell art.  If you have 9000 followers based on trying to get followers?  Those 9000 people are about as likely to read you as you are to read them.  If you’re trying to sell on Twitter and you’re not a big brand with a built in audience, you start with a small following.  You’re personal to that small audience.  You selectively follow as you’re more likely to sell one on one than to a huge mass audience… (unless you have a mass following and most artists are not Dell computers or United Airlines).  You ask people who read your blog to follow you.  You don’t just follow random people with no common interests.

That’s social marketing 101.

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