Saturday, August 8, 2009

A guide to twitter spammers

Here is a confession: I’m an easy person to sell to. I’m the girl who will buy the dress she hates because the saleswoman thinks I look “cute” in it, I’m the person who buys the smaller altoids that cost more money than the regular ones because they are tiny and how cool is that? This is why I get so frustrated when I see all these spambots use boring un-original techniques to try to get my attention. Trust me, if you can’t get me to click on your penis enlargement webcam link, no one will. The truth is, most people who use twitter are somewhat tech savvy, and by tech savvy I mean smart enough to figure out what a hashtag is. Aside from my mom who still forwards me warning emails not to open a “I love you” pps, most of us have been around the cyber block once or twice. Therefore we all can spot a spammer from a mega pixel away.

Luckily, I can offer some help to these struggling young entrepreneurs. I extend my hand out in peace to you, after all what kind of world would this be if a 16 year old from Norwaycan’t make a living off selling green tea weight loss pills. I ask you – do you really want to live in a world without green tea weight loss pills?? Here are my suggestions for you to upgrade your spamskills enough to feed your family or finally buy that new PSP game you had your eye on.

  • Choose a non spammy name: I have many wonderful new friends on twitter. Among them are (these are all real I swear): Horny kitty, dogsdotinfo, howtobecomerich and my personal favorite - cocksqueeze. I also believe sexygirlATL just joined me, probably after I tweeted a link to a lol cats picture that she really liked. Truth is, we are all super aware of our following list and we will check out a new follower every time we gain one. At least TRY to pretend that you are a real person by choosing a real person name, and I have yet to meet a human whose last name is dot com. Oh and one more thing, unless the dali lama is tweeting now, anyone who has “guru” in their name is a spammer as far as I'm concerned.
  • Engage people. Here is another confession, this one slightly more embarrassing: I pretty much follow anyone that re tweets me. RTing is the twitter equivalent of high fiving, and I don’t like to leave anyone hanging. Stroke my ego, and I will stroke yours back, in a very non sexual way. I am more likely to follow someone who really loves my "arrested development" quote then someone who really loves Acai.
  • If you are going to pretend you are a real person with a real account, try to make your updates a little less generic. If between every tweet about winning a free ipod you stick in something like “waiting for the bus” or “I like twilight” it will make you even more boring then you already are. Tweet more about regular things that happen in your day to day life, once you have some friends following you, then tell them about how teeth whitening really changed your life.
  • Find or invent a way to make it seem like you have more followers. Seriously. If you are following 2,000 people and 18 are following you, you are either Bai Ling or a spammer, maybe both. You know the girl at the bar who’s not that hot but you keep staring at her because she is surrounded by guys? It’s the most basic human instinct there is. Even animals in the wild like animals that other animals like, I think. If I see other people are following you, it will at least make me curious to know why.
  • Mass following must evolve to fit your needs. The other day I wrote something about how I love meat and couldn’t be a vegetarian and immediately got followed by “govegan”. I tweet about watching shark week and get followed by loan sharks. I ask where to buy my niece a cute outfit and get followed by “pedophiles anonymous”. You get the idea. It makes you look stupid. If you spend so much time on the internets anyway, create a way to mass follow people based on phrases not words, location, or anything more specific then the word “sex”.
  • If all else fails, there is one spamming trick that really works and everyone should try. Go to a biker bar, pick the biggest guy there, approach him and ask him if he would like to try your new penis enlarging teeth whitening pills. You will learn some valuable lessons.

@yaelbt is a full time twitterer and a social media strategist for She does her share of spamming but you would never be able to tell.