The Ignorance of @TrueTwit Validation Service & Secrets To Responsible & Rewarding Social Media Engagement
Why You Should Focus On Who You Follow, Rather Than Who Follows You.
If you are an active or moderate Twitter user, you likely understand that for many the objective of your Twitter engagement is to share content, news and information and to interact with an interested and engaged follower base. In addition, you also are likely interested in engaging with like-minded people who are also sharing valuable content and engaging in conversations with people who you find interesting, can learn from or can help. The essence of Twitter — and all of social networking — is engagement and conversation. This is a two-way street.
The beauty of Twitter and how it’s different than Facebook or LinkedIn, is that it’s an open community, yet it’s also flexible. That is, you don’t need to accept or approve new followers. If you wish to close your Twitter activity to only approved followers, there is an option to protect your tweets.
Another benefit and differentiator of Twitter is users have freedom of choice. That is, you get to choose which Tweets appear in your streams or feeds by choosing which Twitter users to follow. You likely follow those users who intrigue you, share common interests, work in the same industry or are colleagues, friends or other connections. In the same manner, users who find you interesting or intriguing can choose to follow you.
What I find annoying and incredibly foolish and short-sighted (read: downright stupid) are users that choose to use a follower validation service such as TrueTwit. These services require new followers to read an email, click a link and land on a page where they must complete a CAPTCHA-like form. Upon successful completion of this form, users are “allowed” access to the Twitter stream of the TrueTwit user.
Why Twitter Users Will Ignore You and Write You Off If You Use TrueTwit
While the concept of TrueTwit might have some merit, the idea is flawed for many reasons. According to its website, TrueTwit will verify people from robots,
help avoid Twitter spam, and save time managing followers. In fact, TrueTwit by its very nature and its process is a Twitter Spammer, and by signing up for its service you are a spammer. Why? Because the TrueTwit validation notice comes to you as a Direct Message — and it’s direct messaging that TrueTwit is supposedly protecting users from.
The only way that Twitter users will get Twitter spam or be bothered by robots is if you choose to follow robots and spammers. Why would you follow robots and spammers? So why would anyone need to validate followers?
By forcing users who are truly intrigued, interested and who want to follow you through the laborious and silly step of validating them sends a clear message: “You worry me and I don’t trust you.”
So you see, the TrueTwit validation service targets and promotes poor Twitter behavior: the auto-following of anyone who follows you. The only way a Twitter user could be subject to spam is via Direct Messages (DM). The only way a user can send anyone a Direct Message is if they are following that user (spammer). So why would you be following a spammer, bot or anyone who doesn’t interest or intrigue you? And there lies the fault and stupidity of TrueTwit validation. And if notifications of new followers bothers you, it’s a simple setting you can turn off in your Twitter profile preferences. Keep in mind anyone can “mention” you in a Tweet; there is no requirement that you must follow someone to mention them. TrueTwit cannot protect users from “mention spam.”
If I find someone and choose to follow them and they then force me through this silly TrueTwit validation scheme, I ignore them. And there are many in the Twittersphere that will do the same. So if you desire to have followers that are interested and intrigued, the worse thing you can do is put them through TrueTwit validation. Here’s a suggestion, next time someone sends you a TrueTwit scheme, mention them in a tweet and include a link to this post.
So, instead of putting senseless energy into who follows you, the more productive use of that energy should be put into who you choose to follow.