It’s true. A couple of months ago I bought 30,000 Twitter followers off ebay, just to see if it was a strategy that was as bad as I expected it to be.
With my sample of one (after all, I’m the only person I know of who’s done this) I had, unsurprisingly, mixed results.
On the positive, I did notice I had a much steadier stream of new, legit followers flow in after I did it. I suspect I was right in my thinking that people who looked at my Twitter profile would see I had a lot of followers, and therefore be more inclined to follow me themselves—trusting me as a known opinion leader.
To the negative, I felt dirty. Plain old like I’d been rolling around in pig filth. Friends and clients would notice and speak to me about how popular I was, and even though I was up-front about what I was doing, I always felt pretty sheepish about it.
Nonetheless, I was still pretty peeved to receive this tweet from “Kaz The Masturbator”:
@petermahoney i thought you bought 30000 followers on twitter what happen to it
— Kazumi (@kazz27) January 1, 2013
Sure enough, they were gone. About six weeks after I bought them. Of course I can’t complain, it was sketchy to begin with.
Kaz the oneist was clearly a front, the dodgy seller’s way of telling me they’d taken back my purchase.
As an experiment, it was worth undertaking. And I’ll sum it up like this: I got what I paid for—a lesson. And while I may not be playing alone like Kaz, I’m certainly 30,000 followers more alone, and happier for it.