How NOT to Build a Social Media Following: The Failure of Autofollowing

by John Zajaros on December 22, 2009

How to Build a Social Media Presence: The Use of Autofollowers and Other Mistakes

As more and more Internet marketers hop on the social media band wagon, chasing social media riches, many focus on building huge followings using the various autofollowers.

With all the hub-ub about Twitter, and social media in general, that people would attempt to shortcut the system in order to get the most out of it, or simply because the alternative is too labor intensive, is not suprising in the least!

Regardless of the reason or reasons for the various shortcuts (e.g., shortage of time, personnel, greed, pie-eyed optimism, whatever), many people have resorted to various pick and shovel resources, the resources sold to the “gold miners” of social media, the “49ers” if you will, the men and women, even boys and girls seeking their fortune via social media.

Some of the more common ‘picks and shovels” are autofollowers, autotweet platforms, and even entire Twitter management systems. I am going to leave the numbers two and three alone, for now anyway, and focus on the auto-followers and their use…or abuse.

Twitter has been working hard to deal with the avalanche of spam complaints and much of it stems from the shortcutting enaged in my individuals and companies attempting to gain and edge.

Significantly, much of the spam and many of the resulting complaints stem from those individuals aggressively, some would argue too aggressively, building their following, connections, friends, and so on with the various “tools” being sold to the “miners” as the next-best get rich quick with social media ploy.

The ironic thing about all of this is that Twitter and the other social media platforms do not work like that, they aren’t Web 2.0 or 3.0 slot machines. In other words, you can’t simply post a link, or “link up,” and expect the Heavens to open, manta to be delivered from On-High, and gold to be discovered in “them thar hills!”

Yes, once in while someone may purchase something but it is rare and the ROI just plain sucks! The time spent posting links can be better spent writing articles, making videos, and doing the real work of Internet marketing. There are no shortcuts and a huge following without brand recognition is just about worthless…it is the connection, that’s the real power of social media!

We all want to make the most with the least amount of time and effort, the 80/20 Rule and all of that, but certain things just don’t work and linking up with every tweet or post is not only ineffective, it is the kiss of death!

Social media marketing is an oxymoron, marketing within social media, and I am talking about all day every day linking up from morning to night, will not only NOT lead to sales, it will lead to social media suicide.

Social media mugging is a concept I am in total agreement with. You simply cannot link up on the first encounter, with every link and/or in every situation. I have referred to it as the ” Psst! Hey Buddy, wanna buy a watch?” syndrome! It is just as alienating and just as ineffective.

Don’t do it!

Build your following like you are building a foundation for your own home, do it one brick at a time, one follower, connection or friend at a time. The nice thing about this approach is that, although it will take more time, you will know where all the bricks are and you will know exactly what you have. And, that is what yields results, knowing your following, not simply having an amorphous mass of strangers, unresponsive, cold, and totally unaware of you you are and/or what you are about!

Build one person at a time, review profiles, send invitations before, during and after your follow each other and you will achieve success in a way most people using the shortcuts only dream of!

18,000 followers in 18 days or 18,000 in a year? The former is useless, the latter is responsive, engaging, and fun…they are friends! 18,000 social media friends is incredible…18,000 strangers is a mess! Which would you prefer?

Thanks and contact me anytime!


Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., The Bad Back Guy
Skype: johnzajaros1

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Riley Borgese February 19, 2010 at 10:27 am

I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with others. I will subscribe to your RSS feed to receive future posts.


coachz February 22, 2010 at 4:58 am

Thanks a lot Riley! I will try to pick up the pace. We are switching themes over this month, so it has been hectic! It’s been an amazing first year!



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