The Twitter Opportunistic Follower Explosion, and how it has Changed my Follow-back Strategy
Many new followers appear and then disappear after 24 hours if I do not follow them back. A quick check of their profile shows that they are following only to get me to click their profile link to check out their web site. They silently follow, with no “hi,” no contact, no attempt to connect in any form past a click. Many are blatantly hard-sell pitch marketers, with Twitter streams that are only vaguely disguised broadcast sales messages. Just in case you (and you know who you are) are wondering, sprinkling one “thought of the day” in the middle of a dozen or two dozen “whoa click this link, this is cool” Tweets is not a very convincing disguise!
I’ve started calling these folks Opportunistic Followers. They mock-follow, as if they have some interest, but really are only trying to get you to watch their push advertising. Some call this Twitter-spam. Regardless of the name, it pollutes the stream, and if it gets too pervasive will cause many people to drop the use of social media because it will have reached the same level of noise and nonsense as other environments.
Once in a while I will check the new follower list to see who to follow back, but have started to wait for someone to actually engage in a meaningful way before following back. The personal cost in time to check out, and discard, the high percentage of opportunistic followers (spammers to be blunt) is high enough that it interferes with getting real work done, and it is getting hard to justify spending time reviewing the piles of daily opportunistic followers who churn in and out.
If you are following me and want to connect “past the click” please do so – send me an @reply or contact me on my Contact page. It will be great to have a real conversation and stay in touch!