Many people think there’s nothing wrong with buying fake followers. But there are more than a few good reasons why buying a bunch of fake followers is the wrong move for your brand in the long run.

  1. It will damage your brand’s credibility and your professional credibility.
  2. Twitter says they monitor inactive or suspicious accounts and eliminate them after 3 or 4 months. As a result, more than 70% of the accounts will be invalidated at some point. This means that your number of followers will decrease drastically, raising suspicion. In most cases, this will have a negative effect on your brand.
  3. People looking into your followers will see the incoherence. Interns at my agency checked out more than 200 accounts that were thought to be fake. They noticed that fake accounts usually had biographies that made no sense, used preset profile images and listed interests and objectives that weren’t in line with the target audience of the accounts they were following.
  4. (read more…)

As of December, Twitter had more than 500 million registered members, an astounding number if not for the fact that this is still growing. That means you have the opportunity to irritate millions of people, if you’re not careful.

But hey, this is social media we’re talking about. Are there any rules or standards that fit? Are there really legit and a nonlegit ways of using Twitter? Of course, there are.

Joining the Twittersphere doesn’t mean you’re not bound by any expectations or limitations. There is proper tweeting etiquette that needs to be followed. As with any rulebook, there are certain “thou shalt not” amendments you need to remember, which include the following:

1. Just say no to automated direct message. A lot of us are coping with busy schedules, but that’s no excuse for you to set up an auto-tweet each time someone follows you. Remember that the whole point of Twitter is for interaction, not auto-sharing or robotic tweeting. (read more…)

Oh, the pressure of a blank status update staring you in the face. If you’re managing a community on social networks for your own business or a client’s, this can be a real challenge because you always want to be engaging, interesting and possibly edgy/cool — but the reality is that your company or client doesn’t always have something to say.

So what do you do when you feel this way? Well, here are five suggestions guaranteed to get you posting.

  • Real-time research: All those comments and discussions on your page(s) are what the honchos call “real-time research/data,” and you can use those to spark new conversations because what do people want to talk about the most in the world — themselves. Believe it. Simply ask a question to one of your followers and allow them the opportunity they’ve been waiting for. As Picard would say, engage!
  • Sawdust on the floor: Every company has interesting things happening every day, whether it makes the approved distribution list or not.
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Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. These and many other sites facilitate microblogging, which allow users to share thoughts or information in about 140 characters or less. Smart people and companies can use microblogging as a marketing, advertising or engagement tool. Here are several suggestions for maximizing the effects of your microblogging.

  • Avoid sending “crap.” Here’s a newsflash: None of your professional contacts really cares what you ate for dinner, where you are at the moment, what your kids did at school or how you’re feeling emotionally. Keep those messages on your truly “social” social media channels. If you continue to microblog about superficial topics, people will tune you out — including when you post something worthwhile.
  • Tailor your messages to your target audience. This sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how often microbloggers try to send “crossover” messages to different groups of people. Like discussing industry minutia with your general business contacts or linking to articles that have a very narrow appeal.
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Many senior managers and politicians are in a quandary about social media. On one hand, they look at this incredibly popular phenomenon and feel it’s something they should be a part of; on the other, they see a potential time sink and a reputation risk.

A study this year found that 30% of senior executives have a social media presence, with many of those being little more than shells, while another study found that 10% of CIOs use social media.

Politicians might be slightly more engaged, as U.S. President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney attempt to use social media heavily during the presidential election. Their example has no doubt played a major part in the decision this week for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to join Twitter. Looking at the early activity on the account, however, I can’t help thinking that he’ll miss out on many of the good things social media can provide, so here are four tips for how he can make better use of Twitter:

#1 Have a clear purpose for the account. (read more…)