There are many people and agencies that call themselves so called "experts" in the Social Media industry. Now don't get me wrong, everyone has their own style and way of doing things and this post isn't about bashing other community managers or business owners. This post is about business owners paying attention to what is being done or not being done on their Social Channels when it comes to following practices.
What do I mean about this
As I was strolling through my twitter feed I noticed the account of a popular bar located in downtown Victoria, B.C that had some unusual activity on the account. Now to some it might not mean much but to me something seemed off. Check out the follower vs following ratio.
I do know that some businesses give an automatic follow back if they are followed. (I'll explain in a different post of why this isn't a good practice to get into.) In the mean time the questions that I have are:
1. Why is an established and popular business following 1500 more people than what are following them?
2. Why such a low tweet count for such a following?
3. Why so few likes?
4. Why are there no engagements with fans, followers or anyone else?
5. Why do over 80 % of their posts include a link to their Facebook Page?
I'll tell you why! This is a tell tale example of laziness and churning.
I am saying laziness because the account doesn't engage with any followers or questions that are delivered to the the account. Instead of actually posting they have opted for the ultimate NO NO in Twitter...posting from Facebook.
Churning is when The Social Media Manager is using irresponsible tactics to gain followers at the expense of the business to make themselves look good. How churning works (btw is against the TOS of Twitter) is an account will follow a bunch of accounts, then unfollow a bunch of accounts and repeat, repeat and repeat! This is done in hopes that a percentage of people they follow will automatically follow back. These are not genuine or organic followers. Nor are they going to make a positive impact on your brand.
Who cares, they are getting followers
The business owner should care. Why should they care? Because if you are churning there are a couple of things that need to be considered.
1. Who is that business following?
2. Who is following that business?
3. Breaking the Twitter TOS
Here we take a look at what types of accounts this local bar is following:
1. Egg Heads- Not all but the majority of profiles who have not filled out their account profile entirely are spam accounts or people who tried twitter and left it never to come back. Either way offer no value to the business.
In this case Linda Pierson has an account profile which isn't filled out. Now Linda could be a real person and simply left twitter for whatever reason,
The question is why would a business follow an account that doesn't give it value? 9 tweets since February 2015 and the last tweet was April 2015. There is no reason why an established business would need to follow this account.
After spending a bit of more time on this account we found many many more of these types of accounts were being followed by this bar.
In the next set of screen shots we look at two more types of accounts this business is following that is hurting there online reputation.
The first one is obvious. This is a spam or bot account. As soon as you see "Get Twitter Followers" this is a red light. Any experienced Social Media Manager understands to stay clear of these types of accounts.
This account isn't showing nudity as such but the majority of the tweets are probably not something that a business should follow.
Here is an account that simply has never tweeted since the account opened.
I could go on with more and post some real juicy accounts that this bar follows or ones that follow them but I won't post nudity on my blog.
Get on with it what's your point Roy?
We can clearly see that there is no value in following these accounts when it comes to a local bar. Not only do they not give value but following these types of account attract other accounts just like them to follow them. In fact it is clearly stated by twitter "We may make suggestions based on your activity on Twitter, such as your Tweets, who you follow, accounts you interact with, and Tweets you engage with"
To keep your following/followers in check with your brand principles
1. Every time someone follows you check them out. Yes every single one! Look at their profile, see what types of things they are posting. If an account that follows you looks fake, is a potential spam account, posts material that could harm your brand....simply block them and they are no longer following you.
2. Only follow accounts that add value to your brand. Everyone's value is different but there are some obvious accounts you shouldn't follow.
3. Figure out how much time has gone by before your brand feels an account is dormant. Unfollow dormant accounts by using an app such as untweeps . This little app will help you discover dormant twitter accounts.
4. Double check who isn't following you on twitter by using who.unfollowed.me . I am not suggesting you unfollow everyone who isn't following you, I am only giving you a tool to check out who isn't following you, see if there is value in following them and you make the decision.
There are better apps that will go deeper into understanding your followers and who your following but for now if your on a budget these apps will help & they are free.
Finally a word of advice to business owners that hire agencies or freelance Social Media Managers never set it and forget it. Follow up with your Social Media Manager, ask questions, check your accounts out and never be afraid to have an outsider do a review or a Social Media Audit.
Need a Social Media Audit or have questions? Hit me up in the contact form and I will get back to you within 24hrs.