How to Fail at Promoting Your Start-Up on Twitter

I’ve recently started using JustUnfollow, an app/service that gives me a daily report of who my new followers are on Twitter (and Instagram), and who has decided to stop following me. I don’t have tons of followers, and this is a helpful tool for me to know who my new followers are, and if there’s a common thread I need to be aware of that I can use to tailor my content to better fit my followers.

One trend I see seems to be an apparently automated effort to collect followers by reading profiles and targeting those interests mentioned. Until this past week, my Twitter profile mentioned that I enjoy reading, and that I use WordPress. Most of my new followers are from authors promoting their new books, WordPress news sites, or some new tech company starting up. I don’t have any problem with that, but what usually happens is that these same accounts unfollow me within 3 days, sometimes a bit longer if I’ve decided to follow them back. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when this happens, but it’s hard for me to argue against legal uses of a free service.

The daily report brought one of these to my attention today. The profile of the account claims tells me to “create mobile friendly database driven websites” blah blah blah. Doesn’t even have a link to its own website. Strike one.

Taking a quick look at follower:following ratio, it’s currently at 57:1356. Very unbalanced, but understandable for a brand-new product, so no strikes there.

A quick search through their five tweets shows two retweets not related to their product, one hashtag-laden (eight of them) tweet in response to someone else, and the other two saying they’re launching in December and to stay tuned. Strike two for mass following without content.

Finally found their URL; let’s take a look.

Layout not found

Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. You’re marketing a CMS that says it does what WordPress already does and your site (which I assume is running your own software) won’t even load? Strike three.

The stickler here is that less than a day after they followed me, before I had a chance to check them out, they unfollowed. I would have given them a chance (honestly, I still probably will since new things interest me) but it makes it awfully challenging for me to want to know what they’re creating.

Then again, maybe they just decided that I’m not that interesting.

Update: The founder of the company started following me yesterday. He unfollowed me today. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

Posted from WordPress for Android

By Morgan

By day I try to solve problems with websites and other stuff using PHP, JavaScript, and shell scripts. By night I hang out with my family, watch TV, and read. I (mostly) embrace my ADHD and the diversity of interests it brings. Lately those include ham radio and taekwondo, but LEGO, Doctor Who, and Star Wars are always in the mix. Faith, family, function().