Alister Cameron // Blogologist

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Twitter: get as many followers as you can, as fast as you can!

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Today Twitter is all abuzz about

There are a lot of people signing up for the service and they’re each sending out an automated tweet announcing the fact. And there are a lot of fellow Twitter users up in arms about the “wrongness” of the service.

I am very please the service has come along, because — aside from anything it may or may not achieve for those who have signed up in the hope of gaining lots of followers for no effort — it has caused the Twitter community to throw around (again) the question of what Twitter is actually for. And clearly there is no consensus on that question!

Here’s my opinion, as someone who spends most of the day with Twitter in view — more or less.

Twitter is NOT primarily a conversational medium. I should hope that is not a controversial point, but if you think it is, ask yourself — if Twitter really was first and foremost a conversational medium, why are “conversations” not threaded? Indeed, Twitter makes no effort to make group conversations easy to participate in or visualise. Even a conversation between two individuals on Twitter is only obvious to another person if they use a third-party tool like Tweetdeck (with some customizations).

Further, the more successful you are on Twitter (i.e. the more followers you have and the more effectively you’re messaging out to them) the harder it is to maintain any kind of conversational “flow” with individual followers. The Twitter elite have more DMs and replies than they can possibly respond to. Enough said.

So let’s agree that Twitter is not engineered as a conversational tool. That’s a by-product, as it were.

I believe Twitter is at its core a messaging platform… simpler still, a messaging protocol — a tool to allow one person to blast messages out to a group of “followers”, while at the same time electing to “follow” the flow of messages from certain other people. It’s a brutally simple messaging platform, indeed protocol. In its simplicity is its genius. That very simplicity is what doesn’t force people to use Twitter as a conversational tool. They can most easily use it just to blast messages out to others. Conversations are a little harder to do (well).

It follows then, that Twitter is not a social network (a category of web app that IS designed for conversation and shared activity). So why are people complaining about “spamming”, about cultural no-nos that implicitly assume that all kinds of caveats should be imposed on the nature, number and flavour of messages people send out?!

For example, I have no problem with someone using Twitter to exclusively send out commercial messages. No problem at all. I would however reasonably assume that that person will struggle to get anyone to follow them. And that’s their challenge, but I will not complain that they do not have a right to blast out messages of a commercial nature. They’ll just be lonely doing it, that’s all!

The sooking of many about seems to center on the complaint that it’s not right to “artificially” inflate your Twitter follower numbers in some “non-organic” manner. Rubbish. Twitter does it! How else do you describe Twitter’s own new member recommendations page?! iJustine, for example — as wonderful a person as she may be — probably doesn’t deserve the 5,000 new followers per day she receives from people who I can guarantee have almost universally never really looked at her Twitter timeline.

I would put to you that the volume of non-organic followers she has amassed amounts to the “gap” between her existing follower growth curve and what that curve would have looked like without her inclusion on Twitter’s recommendation list. And it’s a bloody big gap!

If Twitter should have chosen such a non-organic way to massively boost the follower numbers of a(n arbitrary) select group of so-called “elite” Twitterers — “non-organic” in the sense that new Twitter users are for the most part blindly selecting these people to follow — then it calls into questions the very significance of this organic vs non-organic dichotomy… at least in Twitter’s “official” mind.

I have (had) much to say about how a person should conduct themselves on Twitter… about the tone of voice, the “best practice” approach to building relationships, about strategically complementing other online activities like blogging, etc. But I have nothing much to say about building a following. I say, go for it. Do whatever you can to get as many people following you as you can!

To use a blogging parallel, I advise my clients and students to use “social media” means — like Digg-bait blog posts — to accelerate their SEO activities and gain more links, faster. A client of mine may be selling to the scrapbooking market, say, but for the most part it doesn’t matter where they get (organic) links from… they just need to get a lot of them before they’re going to rank in Google. While I eschew FFA directories and other “dodgy” approaches to getting links, I assure my clients that the sorts of people who will give them those new links — off the back, say, of a promoted Digg story — are not likely to be in their target market, but it doesn’t matter because they’re good for a link, and that’s reason enough.

On Twitter, this same strategic approach means going after followers wherever you can get them. If you “suck” they’ll unfollow you soon enough, but if you don’t suck, you’re getting yourself to the position of a “Twitterer-of-note”, and that’s a good thing. I may sell scrapbooking supplies to women in Australia, but if I have a 50,000 strong Twitter following, I have influence and “reach” and it will only serve to strengthen my more specific and focussed sales and marketing activities to my target market.

Is anyone going to argue with that?!

Yes… I am (almost) suggesting that gaining followers as fast as we all can is quite acceptable. Be very careful arguing me on this point… because a follower is only an “unfair” or “unreasonable” follower if they didn’t want to follow… and on Twitter there is not, nor needn’t there be, any such thing. Unfollowing is easy.

Please let’s not complicate all this any more than absolutely necessary. And leave alone.

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Note: Commenter website links are not no-followed, in case
you were wondering... I believe in rewarding commenters!

  1. Posted 11 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    You have provided great information ..but if you want to know how to increase twitter follewers.. then check this out

  2. Posted 11 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the nice information

  3. Posted 11 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    Really great!
    I personally use it more as an relationship building tool as opposed to traffic generation. I was looking organic methods that bring me in QUALITY followers, rather than simply spamming since a long time. Thank you so much for sharing such an important article here.

  4. Posted 11 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    A very pragmatic view on the Twitter tool. I think it’s what you make of it, but then again Im just starting to use it….

    Good post.

  5. Posted 11 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    I AGREE !

    now follow mee . . I FOLLOW BACK ! : )

  6. Posted 11 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

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  7. Posted 11 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Your post helps people understand the importance of twitter.
    And also help of me with ur great information. Thanks for sharing

  8. Posted 11 years, 3 months ago // Permalink not working anymore. Twitter will suspend all your accounts you create. No matter what feature you use, Twitter will suspend and block your IP. Impossible to use a Proxy with this software.

  9. Posted 11 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Twitter has revolutionised the internet and I thank them for it!

    Great post.

  10. Posted 11 years ago // Permalink

    I use TweetAdder to get more followers. Check out a video review on



  11. Posted 10 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    Wow, what a pointless blog. Aren’t the followers you want on twitter the ones who actually see what you read and respond to the things you put out there? Who wants 10,000 followers if they don’t read a thing you write?

  12. Posted 10 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Twitter currently becomes joke, people are interesting to promote themselves and paying very little attention to others, if you not follow them as fast as possible they unfollow you even if they followed you first.

    I see twitter followers as some kind of newsletter subscribers that you deliver your ads wraped within short content.

    Overall useless service and loss of time.


  13. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    Fantastic, this was just the article I was looking for. I have been unsure about whether to use such services to grow my followers or to keep a limited number… The problem with having such a small number is potential clients look at this and think you’re a small fry! (even if that is the case!)

  14. Posted 9 years, 12 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks a lot for the tips.
    I used for my egasuslegendary account. It worked a little bit.

    For more info on how to be a real man check :

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] twitter: get as many followers as you can, as fast as you can! – image representing twitter as depicted in crun… today twitter is all abuzz about there are a lot of people signing up for the service and they’re each sending out an automated tweet announcing the fact. … […]

  2. […] Twitter: get as many followers as you can, as fast as you can! – Today Twitter is all abuzz about There are a lot of people signing up for the service and they’re … […]

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