Website Design, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO, Susan Pomeroy, Ph.D.

Twitter Users Desperate for Followers… The EasyFollowers.com Spam Scam

by Susan Pomeroy

EasyFollower Pyramid Scheme

One of the best marketing consultants in the business just used Twitter to ruin his brand.

This is a guy who has been the model of small-business marketing integrity for me, and thousands of others. I’ve bought his products, subscribed to his newsletter, been his follower. And then he sent out these tweets:

LOOOOK!!! If you want more followers check out this site: http://EasyFollowers.com
about 14 hours ago

HEEEYYYY PEOPLE!!! Want more followers? Check out this site!!:
http://EasyFollowers.com
about 16 hours ago

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! I love this site! I just got so many followers: http://EasyFollowers.com
about 18 hours ago

HOLY MOLY if you want more followers you need to check this site out: http://EasyFollowers.com

My first thought? Hmm, that’s odd, he doesn’t usually talk like this, or repeat himself. But if this guy, whose work I respect so much, recommends this site, I’d better check it out. Of course I want more Twitter followers! But a niggling suspicion still bugged me. The capitalization, hokey language, multiple exclamation points, and repetition were very uncharacteristic of this person. Was this for real, or had his account been hijacked, or what?

I went to easyfollowers.com. It’s a membership site; you have to log in with your Twitter account info to get in the first time. It says on the home page that there are two levels of membership, “VIP” and free. There were only 13 VIP members when I checked… so VIP membership must cost a bundle. But you can’t find out how much it costs without using your Twitter login to sign up, and agreeing to the Terms of Service (a link in very pale print, already conveniently auto-checked).

What are the terms of service? Whoa. It’s a short document that sounds like the Twilight Zone. You have to relinquish control of your Twitter account. Here are the TOS, complete with typos:

1. You agree to submit your twitter accout [sic] credentials.

2. You agree to allow us to store your account information in our database.

3. You agree your account will be used to automatically tweet an update on your account for promotional purposes every 4 hours with the exception of VIP members. [Note that the account above tweets a message every TWO hours.]

4. You agree upon loging [sic] in you allow us tweet an update on your twitter for promotion.

5. You agree when buying vip there are no refunds or returns what so ever [sic].

6. You agree to allow us up to 6 hours to put your twitter user name on the vip section.

7. You agree if you spam our site you will be banned from our service forever with out hesitation.

Bad spelling aside (would I want these guys tweeting typos under my name?), why would I give up control of my own Twitter account, even if it netted me hundreds of “followers”? And I still didn’t understand how on earth could I gain followers by spamming them.

Another click led me to the “About” section. Here I found the following description of the service.

“… Here you will gain more followers for your account. This concept is quit [sic] simple and works very well. The 1st thing you will need to do is login your account (The same info as your twitter credentials) Then after loging [sic] in your [sic] taken to page with a list of vip members and regular members. The vip members are paid members and will gain the most followers on our site. Right now vip members are getting anywhere betwenn [sic] 400-1500 followers a day. The regular members are free members. Before anyone can join this site you are obligated to click and follow all the vip members and the last 20 regular members. After doing the following you can then join the site to get more followers.”

Aha! A pyramid scheme. But… if you’re just a free member, doesn’t that mean you would just get 20 followers before your name cycled out of the last 20 on the list? And many of them, surely, would unfollow you as soon as they get out of Easy Follower. What good is that? It seems to me that they’re casting an awfully wide net to get free members who then make the VIP membership a paying proposition. And VIP members would probably get hundreds if not thousands of coerced “followers,” regardless of the content of their stream.

I think this is both sleazy and counterproductive. Pyramid schemes are called that for a reason: they generally “work” for the first people who sign up, but not for the later ones. The ones at the tip-top profit from the greed and credulity of the suckers below… who end up getting ripped off. Case in point: the rise and fall of Bernie Madoff and his investors.

And then there’s the question of quantity versus quality. We’re bombarded with quantity-based marketing all the time, and we tend to hate it, or at best, ignore it. When sheer numbers matter most, we get junk mail in our home and business mailboxes, spam in our email boxes, and stupid repetitive tweets from people we might have respected. We’re treated like mindless drones. We all know the yucky, impatient, dismissive feeling this engenders all too well.

And the marketing guru whose work I so respected, until last Friday… he even had a written Twitter policy upon which I modeled my own. It would not permit him to engage in this kind of sleazy scheme! (Did they pay him? Did he not read the TOS? Could he really be that desperate?) Well, he shall still remain nameless for now. I unfollowed him. But I’m hoping he’ll come to his senses and admit a terrible mistake. And I suggest everyone else boycott easyfollowers.com, too. Unless you want more of this kind of sleazy s*** on the net!

Twitter easyfollowers scam

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Tom Heggie

Wow, I had no idea! I noticed a LOT of spam tweets from some of the people I follow and having read this I feel a little sorry for them… as I Unfollowed every last one tweeting this rubbish.

Great article and expose, looking forward to your next post.

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