Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wednesday Web Hints - Twitter - Following like the Pied Piper

Wednesday Web Hints - Writing about the Web

Getting involved in intelligent' social media is a good thing, and whoever says it shouldn't be used for promoting or marketing your business or services is totally behind the times, because although that may not have been the initial intention - now, more and more, that's what it's used for. 

Ok, so not new.  I was asked to go on BBC Breakfast to talk about Twitter before I'd actually signed up (although I did, incredibly fast) and by the time I was on live TV I certainly knew enough.  It was just after the plane came down in the Hudson River and was Twitpic'd round the world faster than you could say toast, and immediately before that famous Jonathon Ross show where he and Stephen Fry were twittering live.

Since then I have, ahem, become something of an addict - I chat to business contacts during the day, and to contacts - business or otherwise - during some evenings. 

The Pied Piper leads the children out of Hamelin. Illustration by Kate Greenaway.
I watch with incredulity the people whose follower lists are growing like weeds (who are not famous for anything, or remarkably knowledgable) and I'll bet you anything you like that weeds are what they're growing in their followers list, from unclothed ladies to spammers, all of whom will do nothing for them whatsoever.  Quality followers are what you're after, not spam.

So.  Before I get boring and you go away, my advice is to do this: 
  • Check your followers. 
  • Check them every day. 
  • See who is following far more people than they have followers. 
  • Notice who isn't bothering to tweet - block them, they're lazy, spam or not.
  • Use Twitblock to scan your list and point out potential spammers
When you get a message from someone you don't know, with an invitation or link you don't understand (because link shortening makes this impossible) delete it immediately.  Do not click on it.

This Pied Piper's tune isn't magic, so you don't have to follow - it's your choice.