The logic behind this is that if you can get them to reply to you and even have a multiple part conversation with you then you increase the chances of some of their followers following you also.
This is actually a strategy that works very well – however I didn’t include it in my previous post because it can also be a little risky and lead to two main problems as far as I can see.
Let me explain the risk of TweetBaiting
1. TweetStalking – The first problem with TweetBaiting a bigger Twitter user is the danger of putting them offside. I’ve had a few people target me for this type of thing in a way that I’ve found particularly annoying.
I do enjoy people engaging with me genuinely and attempt to reply to people but when it becomes more of a TweetStalking thing I tend to block people. I’ve even been tempted to call them out for it publicly (something I’ve seen others do). If you engage in spammy/annoying tactics in any medium you need to be prepared for the consequences.
The take home lesson is to engage Twitter users whether they be big or small in a way that adds value to their lives, is genuine and on topics that they’ll be interested in. If you do this you’ll find most are happy to engage in conversation.
2. Unfocused Followers – The other more subtle problem is that you can end up with followers who are less interested in what you’ve got to say. I’m going to talk more about this later in the post but I personally would prefer 500 followers who shared my interests and were focussed upon the things I talk about than 5000 followers who don’t really like what I’m talking about.
For example, lets just say I successfully TweetBaited Heather Armstrong from Dooce. Heather has 9111 followers at the moment so she’d be logical to attempt to engage in conversation however if you look over her Tweets they cover a real range of topics – just like her blog. As a result she’s attracted a followership who are interested in what she’s wearing, how much she pays for bourbon and what songs she hears on the radio. Now I personally enjoy Heather’s tweets and do follow her – however I’m not sure that her readers would necessarily be interested in my tweets on blogging, social media etc.
Sure there will be some overlap – but if you’re looking to effectively use Twitter to grow your profile in a niche then if you’re going to do a little TweetBaiting then you’ll want to target those you ‘bait’ carefully and preferably find those who would have a similarly focused group of followers to you.
Take Home Advice about TweetBaiting
While interacting with larger Twitter users can accelerate the growth of your own Twitter follower numbers it is something to approach with caution. I’ve never strategically done this. While I occasionally interact with a few of the bigger Twitter users I’ve only done it when it’s natural, on topic etc (as I would with any Twitter user). My advice would be just to use Twitter in a natural way. Interact with lots of Twitter users (big and small) and you’ll find that as you do your follower numbers will continue to grow.Have you TweetBaited anyone? Did it work? What would you add to my advice?
PS: there’s another type of TweetBaiting that I’ve seen also. It’s where you ‘bait’ interactions with other Twitter users based upon…. well getting them angry, personal attack, insulting people etc. Of course the risk associated with this is looking like a complete fool and/or getting blocked by those you go after.