Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Automatic Tweets

In business we sometimes face moral dilemmas. In the digital business world however, knowing what is good or bad business practice is much harder to understand because of the complexity and speed of change we face.

Take black hat SEO for example

"Black Hat search engine optimization is customarily defined as techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner." More on Black Hat SEO here.

You would think that it would always be obvious what such practices are, but actually, when I first used such tactics on my own sites, I had no idea there even was a morality issue behind SEO.

In comes Twitter and Social Networks and once again I'm faced with the same dilemma. I want to build a community of followers for the @ukstudent twitter profile. Obviously I want to do this as quickly as possible and herein comes my most recent on-line discovery. There are services that can genuinely help me, but, I think they may be violating twitter's rules.

Here's a quick breakdown of what you can do:

  1. You give one of these services access to post from your account
  2. You conduct a search of users who have said something specific. In my example, I wanted to find people who were talking about "Fresher's Week".
  3. The system sends them an @ message at regular time intervals with a call-to-action. In my example it was: "Going to Uni? @ukstudent will update you with the most awesome student news, deals, events and more..."
  4. People follow you and you didn't even have to do anything - its all automatic once set up.
So, I suppose I risk nothing by trying it out, but I'm curious if anyone else has an opinion on blackhat Twitter usage or if this even classifies as that? 
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