Many people (myself included) are using the twitter track feature to find and add followers to brand profiles that they manage on twitter as part of a larger social media marketing effort. It’s a good way to find people who are genuinely interested in the information you provide.
Shawswound
However some TwitTARDS are using it very poorly. Take this for instance:

Hi, mehwolfy.

pga_tour (pga_tour) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out pga_tour’s profile here:

http://twitter.com/pga_tour

You may follow pga_tour as well by clicking on the “follow” button.

Best,
Twitter

I must have tweeted to RenoDiscGolf and then got two REGULAR golf followers showing that some marketing goon was clicking away and not checking to see if I was even remotely interested in golf (I am not).

Others are doing this too. Adding THOUSANDS of twitter followers for the sole purpose of getting lots of hits on linkbaiting blog posts, lame photos on flickr and useless videos on youtube. I applaud them for their (lack of) effort. It really shows that they have a keen grasp on the importance of quantity over quality.

What I want to know is this: If you have 15k followers on Twitter, can it reasonably be considered a social platform? Is it a forum for sharing information which you think the people you know and trust will appreciate? Or is it now just a unidirectional popularity contest that you are using to prove to your uninformed shareholders that your internet startup is viable? (even though 15k subscribers would be considered PIDDLY for even a small town newspaper, magazine or penny saver…)

If you want to use Twitter as a marketing and COMMUNICATION tool you need to do a few things:

1) Use the track feature wisely. Take 2 minutes to find out if the person who tweeted your keyword is actually interested in your product.

2) Quantity is NOT better than quality. If you send out the right message to the right people, they will distribute it to their own social networks for you.

3) Tell your shareholders that you can’t put a solid number on social networks (yet) and that you’ll have to rely on google analytics and search engine optimization on your target website to really monitor brand distribution and correlate campaigns with hits with conversions…

4) Don’t automate your blog postings to twitter. That’s lame. Instead craft a custom message if you think your friends will want to make a special point to check your blog.

5) Here are a few good examples or informational Twitter profiles: RGJ, RenoDiscGolf, Steepandcheep, SkiAlpine

What else?

-M