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Buying Twitter Exposure: How to Feel Dirty and Influence People

Image courtesy Flickr

Image courtesy Flickr

With a nod to Abbie Hoffman, allow me to introduce reTweet.it, a service that allows you to buy retweets–cash or credit.

The program allows you to trade retweets for credits: every two retweets by you gets you one retweet of your own. You can also get credits just by signing up, and by referring others. Retweets may also be purchased outright, from $10 for 35 retweet credits to $40 for 200 credits.

Users who wish to retweet must have at least 50 followers, so 35 retweets have a potential reach of 1,750 unique users. According to reTweet.it, “it’s simple, more retweets is equal to more visitors and traffic.”

They even have a page full of messages needing retweets, making it easy to select your own special mix with which to spam your followers.

Did I type that out loud? Yes, I did. This social media marketing program reminds me of Amway or some other multi-level marketing (pyramid) scheme, except you get the pleasure of spamming your friends and followers in exchange for much-desired exposure and link bait. If the thought of doing so makes you feel icky, you can just get other folks to do your spamming for you for a nominal fee.

Either way, I’m not sure I could look myself in the mirror if I recommended this to a client. It’s an interesting model for sure, and I give them the credit for being open about their methodology. But it goes against everything I recommend to clients and say in conference speeches about producing original, quality content.

If my Twitter followers came to know me as a source of information that isn’t original, interesting, relevant, or valuable, they would stop following me. And call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather have the genuine endorsement of my content from people who trust me than just paying for links.

While some businesses might be totally comfortable going all Barry Bonds/Jose Canseco on their Twitter link bait, I believe that genuine relationships built on trust will win out over time.

6 Responses

  1. I strongly endorse your acumen that original content will produce incremental growth. I believe business is about building quality relationships and establishing creditability.

  2. As always, good stuff Matt.
    And now we have Empire Avenue. Buy and sell” influence” as part of the whole social currency bandwagon. Stowe Boyd got some criticism recently for poopooing Empire Avenue, and I stand in his corner. Frankly, I see it as a darling of the social media elite. Which means it will probably not fly in the brutal world of reality. Others are working with the social currency concept with thoughtfulness, and retaining the sense of dignity that gosh darn it, should be at the top of any requirements document.
    “Am I not a Brother, and a Man?”

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