The only people who are going to profit from these get-followers-quick, ‘pyramid follower’ schemes are the entrepreneurs who set them up. Really, they can’t fail: you’re only going to use a site like that (and no, I’m not going to help their SEO by linking to them) if you’re hell-bent on gaining followers of any kind and you’re not bothered as to their relevance.
In other words, you will be measuring your ROI as ‘more Twitter followers’, plain and simple. Not followers from your vertical to share ideas with, potentially valuable followers from target customer groups, or potential community members to add value to whatever your web-based proposition may be.
No: you’re just looking for the numbers.
This, of course, makes the lives of the owners of pay-for-followers sites easy enough. All they need do is forward bulk ‘introduction chains’ to… other pay-for-followers. As to whether they offer some sort of bulk unfollow tool for non-reciprocal followers, I don’t know. Perhaps they have an auto-reciprocal follow function built into their API.
So, the willing participants end up with reciprocal access to tens of thousands of other Twitter users looking to build massive communities that they can presumably at some stage start pestering with direct advertising, which is precisely what the majority of almost all of their followers are also planning on doing. It’s madness, really: there will be very few genuine potential customers for them to reach out to, and any that are there are there by chance.
In short, this is looking at Twitter upside down. Mike (who also tweets) and I boggled as to the mindset of individuals who think that this is a sales strategy; indeed, I boggle as to the mindset of individuals who mistake any status update platform for a direct sales vehicle.
The ‘only’ things status update platforms have the potential to bring to you are interaction, connections, and relationships. Building a community, follower by follower, trying to understand each new follower’s interests, and refocusing every day on what you can bring to the community you serve is going to be worth more to you that 10,000 spam followers pursuing only their own interests, and nothing else.
Think of it this way: unless you’ve got something to share inside Twitter, you’ve got nothing to offer outside Twitter.