Twitter Follower Obsessions

B01I0037 Do you want to increase your followers?  Or are you as sick as I am of the various products that will help you increase your follower count?

I’ve been on Twitter now for several months and the one thing I’ve noticed is the obsession with having the greatest number of followers.

This is most obvious in the number of automated direct messages I receive that are essentially selling yet another product that will either automate the follow/un-follow process for you, telling you where the free tools are that will do this for you, or linking to services that are essentially pyramid schemes.  All playing on the etiquette of always following someone who is following you.

Here are some of my thoughts on the phenomenon.

First, for those of you who are completely out of the loop on this, here are some of the tools that are available:

And there are others…

What I don’t understand, though, is that most of the following tools are set up to follow who knows who?  Some are specifically set up to follow people who are most likely to follow you back.

So let’s think about that statement for a second.  The people who are most likely to follow me back are the people who are already following tens of thousands of other Twitter users.  Wouldn’t it be more logical to follow the people who are most likely to respond to my tweets?  Is it likely that someone with more than 10K friends is going to even see what I tweet?

Then there is the MLM following scheme.  Again, the system is set up to recruit followers who are likely to have a lot of friends.  While a little more targeted than the “I’ll just follow people who are likely to follow me back” method, it is still flawed in that you are all the same type of people.

Why do we need a lot of followers, anyhow?  There are two reasons.  Either you have low self-esteem that having a lot of followers somehow placates or you are selling something–either yourself and your influence or some specific product.  If you have low self-esteem, I can’t help you (at least not through this post), but if you are selling something, wouldn’t it make more sense to follow people who have an interest in what you are selling as your primary criteria?

Personally, I think the Twitter follower craziness has no clothes. 


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About Dave Bush

Dave Bush is a .NET programmer and Certified ScrumMaster who is passionate about managing risk as it relates to developing software. When he is not writing or speaking about topics related to Application Lifecycle Risk Management (ALRM), he is an example to his peers as he develops web sites in the ASP.NET environment using industry best practices.

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