Remember “The Birds”?
As a child I loved and hated that film. It scared me. It almost scarred me.
Flocks of birds attacking people. Sounds innocent enough, really. But there were lots of them and they would peck you to death. In black and white.
Twitter’s flock is growing by the day and I’m thankful, and sometimes a little surprised, to see how many people follow my occasional ramblings in 140 characters or less. And, as the gesture invites, I often follow people back. It seems like the polite thing to do. But I’m often wary of the people that have either no profile or a very limited one.
Last week I was followed by Evie Johnson. Evie describes herself as a Freelancer & Social Media Manager. But her last active tweet was back in June.
My curiosity well and truly ignited, I pulled a screengrab of her profile image and, using Google’s wonderful image search looked to see more. This is just a sample of the profiles using the same profile picture.
Evie has 207k followers and is following 194k. Those are big numbers. But they’re not so impressive if they are all her…. and if these accounts are multiplied through other platforms such as facebook, youtube, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, google + and more Evie may well be a kind of “market” in her own right.
Imagine, she can offer you (perhaps) a million views of your latest post – all from “genuine” accounts. And she will charge you a small, why, almost insultingly tiny fee for doing so.
With social media there are no real shortcuts. Pay for followers and you will get Evie… in all her various disguises. If you go to a concert and there are 10,000 other fans in the stadium with you, they are not your friends. At that point the only person they are all interested in is the one on the stage. But as a part of that group, by reaching out and making contact – one by one – they can become your friends from the seed of common interest.
Over time marketers and (more importantly) their clients will realise that followers, like website visitors, should be measured in quality rather than quantity. You are likely to get much more from your relationship with one genuine follower than from a flock of Evies.