Another annoying and often undetected Twitter scam is making it’s way into your follow “inbox.” I am calling this new Twitter tactic the “Eddie Haskell” tactic designed to persuade you to follow a person. Here is how it works:
Eddie Haskell Tactic
- New Follower: a new Twitter follow shows up in your list of “Followers”
- Open Tweet: your new Twitter follower tweets you the following message: “@___ Thanks!”
- DM Message: the final step is to send a direct message repeating the open tweet “@____ Thanks!”
What’s The Strategy?
- Message: “Thanks!” is the follower’s first attempt to raise your curiosity and have you engage with them
- Reciprocity: open tweeting “Thanks!” begins the cycle of intended reciprocity. This is similar to the sales tactic where the salesman (usually of the car variety) tries to get you (the target) to respond to a list of questions with the answer “Yes.”
- Elicit Question: after the open tweet “Thanks!” a second direct message is sent: “Thanks!”. This second message is meant to again raise your curiosity (Why are they thanking me?) but more importantly– it “allows” you to use the private DM channel to engage with the follower
What Do You Do?
Here is my advice. Do you really want to add a new follower who uses tactics to gain your “follow” back? What is this person’s motivation in building a large following? In most cases, these types of tactics are used because the person is a MLM, affiliate marketer, or someone being paid to tweet. Your follow strengthens their network but what do you get out of the deal? A: a non targeted follower who is only concerned with their own wealth and success.
One of the newest “practices” surfacing on Twitter is designed to make sure you follow a person or company that has followed you. Since this tactic does not have a name we are dubbing it the Follow-Unfollow-Follow tactic
Follow-Unfollow-Follow: How It Works
- Follow: a twitterer that you are uninterested in following follows you
- You Ignore: you do not follow this useless Twitterer and ignore them
- Unfollow: the twitterer waits for 24-48 hours and once they realize you are not following them, they unfollow you
- ReFollow: within the next 24 hours after their initial “unfollow” the twitterer will refollow you
What Is the Follow-Unfollow-ReFollow Strategy?
- Everyone Follows: this tactic’s goal or strategy is to ensureevery single person that a twitterer follows will follow
- Top of List: by refollowing a second time, the twitterer’s logo or face is at the top of your follower’s list
- Pest: being a pest, the twitterer hopes to ware you down so that you follow them back just to get rid of them
- Multiple DMs: each time the twitterer follows you he/she can direct message you, it will surely be spam, a sales pitch for whatever they want you to do for them
There are numerous mistakes being made by huge corporations, small businesses, and one off entrepreneurs while launching their Twitter account. One of the worst mistakes being made gives the appearance that you are a spamming, MLM, or affiliate marketer concerned with hard selling your products.
5 Tips To Avoiding Being Perceived As A Spammer On Twitter
- Follow to Follower Ratio: Do NOT begin your account on Twitter by following hundreds of people-companies or you will be perceived as a MLM, affiliate marketing spammer. This condition is called “Being upside down”
- Follow Recipricols: Begin by following companies or people who almost automatically will follow you in return. Ex- GuyKawasaki usually follows everyone, Pat Kitano, or me deansguide
- Build Slowly: Monitor your “ratios” for the first 100- try to keep it at a 1-1 ratio of followers to those you follow
- Listings-Sales Messaging: Do NOT simply run tweets filled with listings or sales pitches for you or your properties. B-O-R-I-N-G and the fastest way to lose an audience
- Messaging Content: Just like on a blog, concentrate on tweeting about your region, city, town, community, neighborhood, politics, schools, events, restaurants, construction and any hyper local news that will make you the go-to source for your area
ComputerShopper published this deansguide article 11-23-09
The Courier News (Chicago Sun-Times News Group) published this deansguide article 11-23-09
Twitter strategies are numerous and often confusing. The moment you think you understand the network, something new poses a challenge to your efforts. One of the first challenges new Twitter users will experience is understanding who to follow. The first and worst mistake new users make is to beginning following hundreds of people or companies immediately. The resulting lack of strategy places the new Twitter user in what is called a “upside” down position. Simply put if you follow hundreds and very few are following you, you give the appearance of a spammer, MLM hard sell marketer, or worse yet an affiliate marketer.
This is a very basic first phase description of how to screen the people and companies that follow you. Due diligence is important, unless you are a spamming hard sell MLM or affiliate marketer, to building an effective network. Let’s examine my due diligence steps with social media analyst Jerimiah Owyang:
3 Due Diligence Steps to Build Your Twitter Network
- Read Bio: read the bio of the person-company following you. Understand what they do and if they fit into your network of followers, if they provide information valuable to you, if they have a large network you wish to leverage, and if they are in your industry or niche.
- Links: click through the link provided in the bio. This link should lead to a website-blog with mission statements, purpose, goals, industry, and niche. This IS my most important step in the due diligence process.
- Tweet “Stream”: read the tweet stream to understand what is being written. Does the person or company provide valuable information to you and your network? Is this person providing new thought leadership like Jeremiah? Do they share techniques or new processes? Do they tweet breaking news about your industry or niche?
It is up to you how you screen your twitter followers and who you will follow in return. I utilized this process 80% of the time. The downside to this process is that it is time consuming. The upside is the fact that you will have a more targeted network that will serve your research, broadcasting, prospecting, sales, networking, announcement, crowdsourcing needs in the future
In our last article “Twitter Strategies: 7 Day Waiting Period on Direct Messages” we described 3 methods to curb or eliminate DM spam. The following list are four more ways to eliminate DM spam on Twitter like the example below:
4 Ways Twitter Could Eliminate DM Spam
- Crowdsourcing Court: Twitter users vote on the guideline of penalties awaiting a company or individual who is found guilty of spamming the Twitter network. Base it on Dell’s Ideastorm crowdsourcing site
- Eliminate Links: disallow the use of links in any DM messages with the hope that spammers will no longer see the benefit of using a DM
- Less than 140: cut the number of characters in half for a DM making it a 70 character messaging channel thus challenging a spammer’s ability to create spam
- DM Limit: create a limit for the number of DMs allowed each Twitterer per month. Once you reach your limit, you have to wait until the next month to send a direct message