I have read just about everywhere that with Twitter you should just follow everyone who seems even remotely interesting or has the potential to be interested in what you say. You should follow them, then use any of the various Twitter programs out there to unfollow those who don’t follow you within three days. I know I blog about social media a lot, but I can’t stress enough how futile blind following is. It’s like blind querying: Agents tell you not to blindly send out queries. They tell you to carefully select your markets and send letters to those. I feel Twitter, and any other social media, should be the same way. So I don’t blindly follow writers or readers on Twitter. I carefully consider them and their Tweets. If they don’t pose questions or interesting discussion and only spam links, what is the purpose of following them? They’re so wrapped up in their own link spamming that they’re not going to notice me.
Social media is about social interaction. If you find you are not interacting with your followers or your followers aren’t interacting with you, what is the point?
I see authors link spamming their e-books all the time on Twitter. I go to check out their Amazon rankings, only to find that their link spamming is not at all helping their sales. It’s because they’re not treating their followers as people. They’re treating them as commodities to buy their products, and thus killing the human element to this social media thing.
Yesterday I joined a community on Facebook of writers who post their author pages and receive likes in return. I received 36 likes from this page. My hope is that we’re all not simply liking to like but are going to actually interact with these pages that we liked. Or else what is the point if we’re just going to ignore these authors’ postings? I didn’t simply like to like. I liked authors’ pages who engaged well with the fan base and who had books I might be interested in checking out. It doesn’t do me a bit of good to have 85 likes but not a one of them pays attention to what I write. It doesn’t do anyone any good to have thousands of followers but no engagement from them.
So I don’t understand why social media moguls encourage follow spamming. I am very selective about who I follow. I primarily follow people now based on their websites–which mostly occurs from WordPress. I am wary about following people with an enormous follower base because these people usually interact so little with the followers I wonder why they even have a Twitter or a FB or any type of social media in the first place. These people may seem popular at first glance, but a look at their Amazon ranking begs otherwise.
I suppose follower spam is encouraged because you might get lucky and find lots of people who are suddenly interested in what you’re posting. But it’s not working for me to do that. I find those I interact with are interested in me far more than those I try to interact with but won’t interact with me in return.