Saturday, May 1, 2010

Twitter follows.

As anyone who uses Twitter knows, not all followers are your friends.  Some will be family; others will find your Twitter account through a blog or some other website.  There will inevitably be spambots trying to link you to commercial pages or phishing sites, but Twitter does its best to send those away pretty quickly.

Increasingly, there's another group that doesn't quite fall into any of these categories: companies.  They usually have a warm body at the con, so they don't quite count as spambots.  These companies also don't send wave after wave of tweets that point to their websites; they retweet mentions by other users and try to form a sort of Twitter product community.  Mention their product and you'll find yourself with a new follower, trying to drum up company hype by nabbing another community member.

It's not the smartest strategy, but it's not that bad, either.  People like being retweeted, and they increasingly seem to enjoy allying themselves with a brand or a product.  Users don't have to follow back, but I imagine many do.

I tend to mention things by brand name in my tweets.  As such, I usually get one or two company followers a day.  I ignore most of them.  One caught my eye today, though.  After tweeting about a shopping trip where I bought bubbles, glow bracelets, and leather, I was followed by @ravestuff.  I'm not sure if the ghost in that account's shell keeps up a search on one of those terms or what; could be they're searching all three.  It struck me because of a couple of things, the first being that I didn't use a single hashtag in my tweet.  The second is that I did indeed buy these things as not rave, but certainly party supplies.

Kudos to you, @ravestuff helmsman.  I'm not following you back, but you're certainly on the ball.  (Hey, you even got a blog mention.)

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