I am not so vain as to not realize that my following is minimal. I have a handful of people who actually read this blog; fewer than 400 Facebook friends; and fewer than that on my Twitter roster. I've never been one to strive to increase my following on any of my personal accounts, as I dont really feel the need to feed my ego that much. After all, I am not *that* interesting. When I blog, it's usually when I have something so pressing on the brain, that I need an outlet to express myself. I approach my tweets and posts with a similar mindset: sometimes I have a lot to say, sometimes I dont. I never post anything simply for the sake of posting.
All that being said, I do manage several business-related social networking accounts, and there it is a little different. I strive to increase our following in all those virtual places to further promote those projects. I look for ways to entice people to Follow and Like us. I attend workshops, mixers and conferences, all for the sake of increasing our fanbase. However, I still believe that Quality of the Content I am putting out there is of the utmost importance. Crappy content is still just that - crappy. I hold myself, and the others I work with, to a very high bar with respect to the product and content we put out into the ether as it is a reflection of who we are.
More and more, I am noticing some "influential tweeters" (or ITs as I call them) are relying on the assistance of Tweetbots: software programs designed to not only troll for new followers, but actually tweet "motivational quotes" on their behalf - 3 times every hour, 24 hours a day.
Wow. That's, like, the very definition of lazy.
Here's how it works:
Say you have an IT with 200,000 followers on Twitter, but her Facebook fan page only has about 300 fans. As Twitter allows Tweetbots to seek out accounts based on keyword searches and auto follow them, and the IT has the Auto-Tweet program installed, the increased and consistent content with exponentially increase the number of possible hits for the bots and Bam! Her following skyrockets overnight! Facebook does not allow for that. A user has to manually seek out and "Like" the fan page. By my calculations in this scenario, allowing for a percentage of Twitter followers actually interested in reading motivational quotes 3 times every hour, this IT only has about 500 people who take her seriously and actually care about what she have to say.
Frankly it's a little bit insulting. These ITs point to their following as an achievement, when they really havent done anything to earn that recognition. As someone working at a grassroots level, building a community and trying to inspire those around them to take the high road while keeping the quality high in the process, watching these virtual chirpers gain recognition for their large followings is deflating.
The Internet is a wonderful invention that educates, informs and unites us together. However, it has also cursed us with an inability to tell what's real from what is fake. I encourage the few of you who are actually reading this blog to take stock of what you put out there. It's a representation of who you are as a person, and if all you are doing is quoting other people and relying on software programs to define your legacy, then how real is your contribution?