You never know how odd doing business online can be until you get you put your right hand in and shake it all about.
Last week I officially embarked on my happy-go-lucky Twitter adventure. My goal is quite simple… to make meaningful connections with customers, potential customers, and other A-list bloggers. (I know I’m not an A-list blogger yet. But I do know what it takes to get there.)
Lemme tell you how I got started
First of all, I’ll tell you up front that I’m on an extremely tight budget right now. I have no intention of going into debt over this passive income journey, so I watch every penny like a hawk. And that’s fine because there are a lot of people out there readily offering great services at extremely affordable rates.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Fiverr is a website where you can get everything done for $5. I’m talking design work, audio and video stuff, articles, etc. Adobepro did my Twitter background for $5, and I currently have him working on my Facebook page for $5. The Twitter background only took him 2 days to complete it. AND he was very accommodating in making changes. I definitely recommend his services.
Then I ordered a $5.99 monthly subscription to MarketMeSuite, because I needed to add a little automation to the process. Now I can schedule tweets, send ‘thank you for subscribing’ messages to my new followers, do geo-location targeting (which may prove helpful for future projects), and other neat little tricks. I’m just starting to set up all the bells and whistles today.
I also read through Joel Comm’s Twitter Power to get up-to-speed on a strategy. For $9 (Kindle edition) you can’t beat it. I learned how to structure my tweets (some with links, some without, and why), all about the DM feature, the importance of branding, how often you should tweet, and much more.
And then I started tweetin’.
My first day out I got 30-something followers. Lovely. Each day it has been progressing at a rate of 10-20 new followers a day.
Now I’d be okay with that if these were regular people. And by ‘regular people’ I mean folks with profiles, and pictures, and tweets in their timeline. That would make me happy.
But I’m here to tell you the truth… not the “silver-spoon-in-my-mouth” version.
For the past 3-4 days I’ve had a rush of BOTS
Robots. I call them the Sexy Stepford Wives because they’re all women and ALL of their profiles have a first name and 4 numbers following the name — like Katy3919 or Joanne5287. Take a look at who’s following me today:
Who created this insane hierarchy and why?
Well they’re not following me to convert me to their nefarious little cult, that’s for sure.
Marketers use bots – specifically with white, female profile pictures – in hopes that people will follow them. Apparently female profiles seem more trustworthy than their male counterparts. From what I understand, once a bot gets enough followers, the spam fest will begin.
I’ve only seen a handful of the messages these bot mama’s send out. They’re either all #quotes, or they’re 90% #quotes mixed in with affiliate 10% affiliate messages. The quotes are used to throw unsuspecting followers off the trail of the real purpose of the bot mama’s.
So how do you get rid of them?
I’d rather have 200 true blue followers than 2,000 bots, because I don’t need my ego massaged. I’m here to make “fungolas” (to quote the late, great Gary Halbert).
I don’t do the automatic follow thing because I could be automatically following a bot, which is a waste of my following power.
For now I look at each new follower to see if I actually like the stuff they’re saying. That’s my primary criteria for following. Would I actually want to have a conversation with this person?
And when I see a Sexy Stepford Wife, I just block them. How?
1) Click on the persons name.
2) Block them in the right column. Easy.
I also read that if you just leave the bots alone, they’ll automatically stop following you over a certain period of time. I don’t know what the time frame is for that unfollowing process, but my bot mama’s seemed to be hanging out in the Followers column a little too long. Took me 5 minutes to block them all, now I can see who’s REALLY on Team Valentine.
UPDATE: March 16, 2011
After I deleted all the bot mama’s they stopped following me. Yeah… just like that!
Yesterday I noticed that one of then had come back for a follow, but I banned her too.
So apparently if you ban them, there’s a good possibility that they won’t follow you back. Who would’ve thought it would be so easy?