not rocket science

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Twitter is not rocket science.

That said a large portion of users see it as little more than a numbers game.  There are even companies whose business model is to sell “targeted” followers.

Enter one called follow-rocket who is in the business of selling monthly subscriptions in exchange for twitter followers.  That’s right, for $100/month you get 5 targeted tweets, 5 targeted campaigns and 200-400 followers “guaranteed”.

But if your business is looking for the biggest-bang-for-the-buck, and who isn’t, well then you need this:

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What is advertised as some big bang appears to be way more of a fizzle.  Let me explain.

My twitter account was recently followed by account @Real_Estate_mrk whose twitter name is For Sale Markham , reinforced in its profile.  None of which is out of the ordinary.

That is until you glance at their twitter header which in the top left corner, where your eye travels to first, prominently is featured the City of Markham’s corporate logo:

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This isn’t a one-off account targeting the City of Markham.  A cursory search finds one for the City of Vaughan:

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The City of Mississauga:

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And Toronto:

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Seeing a municipalities logo emblazoned in such way one would naturally assume this social channel is either run by or is fully endorsed by the municipality.  It likely weighs into the decision-making whether one follows the account or not.

Before I blindly clicked the follow button I sent out some tweets to inquire:

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The interesting thing with any of these follow-rocket twitter accounts is that when you mention the account in a tweet it is automatically liked as a rule:

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The response I got back from the municipalities was far less robotic. Here’s the response from the City of Vaughan:

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The responses from the City of Mississauga:

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And the City of Markham were also grateful:

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Markham also didn’t waste any time in seeking a correction:

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To which of course the bot running the account automatically liked.

Facepalm!

You know what else isn’t rocket science?  The basic understanding that corporate logos are protected under terms of use.

 

A quick check and one finds these clearly outlined on the City of Markham’s website here:

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The City of Vaughan’s here:

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City of Mississauga’s

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And the City of Toronto‘s

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The headers are custom built with a conscious effort to placing the municipalities logo, even adding a cheesy glow effect to ensure they stand out.

Given that these twitter accounts are set up by a service seeking $100s / month I fail to see how those responsible for the accounts can claim ignorance.

For a business to stoop this low to attract followers so they can turn around and sell them as “lead generation” this one couldn’t be more off target.

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