Need followers and fans? Give yourself a SocialKik!
We’re all familiar with the trials and tribulations of growing our social followings. It doesn’t come easy and sometimes doesn’t seem to come at all. When you’re out there yelling and all you can hear back is your own echo it may be time to investigate new options.
There’s a whole slew of products and services that claim to help you with the problem. In this article, I’ll explain the process of using SocialKik to gain more Twitter followers and the reasons why I chose to do so.
What is SocialKik?
SocialKik is a service that aims to increase your Twitter followers, Facebook Fans and Youtube views “automagically” for a set fee.
The fee is based on the number of fans/followers etc. you choose to purchase at the time.
How do they do this? For the most part, they use your login credentials and essentially become you to make follow requests to your targeted base of users. Some of you may recognize this as essentially the same paradigm used by stand-alone programs such as TweetAdder.
Long story short: It works.
But because I’m a long winded gas-bag, I’m going to back up and tell the long story, anyway.
Never was much good at advertising…
When I started up my blog, I didn’t know much about social media, so to get the word out I relied strictly on advertising. Unfortunately, my first ad campaign just didn’t work out:
I didn’t get the traffic I was hoping for. It was very disappointing, and someone suggested I should go with a softer sell. To that end I brainstormed and came up with a new ad campaign:
For whatever reason, this ad also resulted in very poor results. I was crushed. The dream was dead…or was it?
Twitter, you say?
That’s when I met Tia. She’s one of the first people that I actually connected with out here, and she let me know she was getting a lot of traffic from Twitter.
I’ve had a Twitter account since 2007, and I only really started using it mid-year 2010. That’s because I didn’t understand it and frankly I thought it was stupid. Also since none of my friends were using it, there wasn’t much incentive.
Still, after checking out Tia’s site and what she had managed to accomplish, I thought I’d better give this the old college try.
Unfortunately, I only had one follower -my sister. Whatever, let’s give it a go.
I started posting a few of my links and waited for the traffic deluge. When it didn’t come, I decided to check back. My sister had unfollowed me.
Must have been a Twitter glitch.
Anyway, I decided to dedicate myself to connecting with others and gaining trust and respect in the community. For the next half year I did just that, using tips from Tia and others who are probably reading this post right now.
It worked, but at the end of the year I only had about 186 followers. I plan to pester a whole lot more people than that!
I tried using TweetAdder (paid version). It works, but it was going awfully slow, and I just got tired of leaving it running all the time (which is one of the reasons I don’t use TweetDeck and similar and prefer HootSuite)
Luckily, a one-off posting in a reply over on the Blogengage forum brought SocialKik to my attention. It looked good, but could it really work? No time like the present to find out.
There are a few options when it comes to their Twitter Marketing service.
- Non-Targeted Twitter promotion -$35(US) pay as you go
- Targeted Twitter promotion -$49(US) pay as you go
- Non-Targeted Twitter promotion -$29(US) monthly fee
- Targeted Twitter promotion -$39(US) monthly fee
I chose the number 2 option, Targeted Twitter Promotion. I’m not sure why you would choose the non-targeted just to save $10, unless there’s a business model where it truly doesn’t matter who is following you?
Either way, I decided not to go monthly until I was sure it would work.
As I mentioned above, I had to give over my Twitter login credentials for them to get to work. They explain more clearly in the SocialKik Twitter FAQ about what you can expect during the campaign.
The campaign begins!
Once they got started, I just sat back to see what would happen. Actually, reading their requirements, they suggest (strongly) that you do absolutely nothing except tweet while the campaign is underway.
For a marketing company, SocialKik is not good with communication. I can’t stress this strongly enough.
The reason for this is that they’re going to be taking control of the following and unfollowing during the duration of the service. If you get in there and start adding/unfollowing it might mess up their strategy and/or get you banned as a spammer.
Also, they suggest that you do not use the web interface for Twitter, but instead use a third party solution like TweetDeck or similar (I used HootSuite with no problems).
One thing I can tell you, it’s tough to sit and watch your follow numbers climb to crazy heights while your followers remain relatively low. You just want to go and start unfollowing right then. I was forced to bookmark Twitter members I met that I wanted to follow so I could come back later and add them once SocialKik was finished.
Even though your follow numbers will get quite large, SocialKik will go back and unfollow everyone they added that has not followed you back upon completion. They’ll give you extra followers to compensate for those who might go and unfollow you later on. As you can see in my screenshot, they went up to 124% to cover the spread.
The site says that you can expect this to take about a week. For me it actually took about two weeks before they were finally finished and I had my new 1,000 followers.
You’ll need to make sure you don’t expect to be doing any important follows at that time. For my situation it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The campaign ends!
So did they deliver? YES.
They delivered 1,000+ fans to me as expected. However, there were some issues that you should be aware of should you choose to go this route.
For a marketing company, SocialKik is not good with communication. I can’t stress this strongly enough.
When I bought the service, I got the usual expected PayPal receipt, welcome email, etc.
That was my last communication with them.
Remember how I said my campaign took two weeks? I think this is partly because they didn’t start the campaign until at least 3 days after purchase.
I hadn’t seen any activity in those days after the purchase, so I filed a ticket and asked if they had started, and if not when they planned on beginning.
I received no answer. Nothing but silence. Then my campaign quietly started.
Not a good start but at least it had started.
#2 Targeted? Not exactly…
I paid for targeted followers, and at first I was getting some extremely good matches. This is not how it ended.
Some were just whack jobs that I would never want to be associated with, but most of them were minors,
In the beginning, people were showing up in my feed talking about the exact things I wanted to talk about. I had people reacting to my tweets and engaging me, and I was meeting some really cool people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Unfortunately, toward the end of the campaign, SocialKik went off the rails from my keywords (you can see them in the screenshot above). When I say off the rails, I mean WAY off the rails.
I’d actually say the last 200 or so were just garbage followers who had nothing to do with my keywords.
Some were just whack jobs that I would never want to be associated with, but most of them were minors, talking a lot of gibberish and filling up my stream with indecipherable nonsense.
The worst part of all was that some were talking about something so distasteful, so unsettling, that it was almost an assault on my eyes to see it in my stream.
That’s right, I’m talking about Justin Beiber.
For whatever reason, SocialKik decided that underaged Justin Beiber fans were a targeted match for me. Silent tears were cried when I realized this, believe me.
As a result, the level of discourse in my Twitter stream dropped to alarming levels:
Sometimes the young punks would direct message me with unreasonable demands:
Needless to say, I was not pleased. My questions to SocialKik regarding this issue were not answered. Remember the aforementioned lack of communication issue? Yeah.
Honestly, I can’t remember if there is a “minimum age setting” in the Twitter marketing setup screens. Regardless of age, the last batch of followers I received were very far off target, so be aware of that possibility.
Now I’m forced to go one by one and delete the minors, Beiber fans and other undesirables pretty much one at a time.
What if I would have ordered 100,000 followers?
Just so you know, Twitter makes it very hard to mass unfollow people. I was hoping I could just type in “Beiber” then sort all those people and unfollow, but no go.
#3 LIMBO, anyone?
Again back to the lack of communication. I received no message or alerts that SocialKik was finished with its campaign.
I kept track of my numbers myself (in their FAQ they recommend you use Twittercounter.com), and when it looked like it had finally stopped I logged back in and saw the data in the screenshot above.
Also, you’re probably aware that some people use services such as TrueTwit to validate you and make sure you’re not a spammer. I received many automated direct messaged from the service, but I was unsure if SocialKik was actually going out and validating with those services.
Of course, I was unable to corroborate this with SocialKik. Just looking at the messages I went to check if I was actually following the people who sent them, or if I had been denied for lack of validation.
It turns out I was indeed following these users, so I can only assume SocialKik does take care of validating through services like TrueTwit.
Despite the issues I mentioned, this service works, and I’m left in a better position than I was before. Like I said, I have met some very cool people that I wouldn’t have otherwise found without using SocialKik.
Twitter is now my third source of Traffic (when it wasn’t even on the board before) and I barely even tweet my own links.
I’ve been unfollowing people like crazy, and yet my numbers are growing every day, so I think I’ve reached a kind of tipping point. I’m enjoying the momentum I have now so it was worth it for $49.
This service works, and I’m left in a better position than I was before.
Would I use SocialKik again? Yes, but not for Twitter unless the targeting issue can be worked out. I’ll probably see if they can get my Facebook Fan Page well populated, hopefully with more targeted users. I’m curious to see if my FB page could actually become a viable traffic source. I’ve struggled with that one much more than Twitter.
The YouTube views could also be a good thing to invest in. I’m looking to do much more video this year so I might just try the service on one. As long as I’m not expecting any communication it should work the way they say.
That said, I don’t expect a business to completely ignore it’s clients, either. I have another ticket filed there that hasn’t been answered in two days. I suspect it will never be answered. I’m not sure what the purpose of having a help desk setup is if you don’t answer the people who need help?
So enough griping. In conclusion – I think if you’ve hit a wall with your social media efforts you might want to give this service a shot. It’s pretty cheap and it does deliver.
If anyone has any other similar solutions please let me know. I’d love to hear about them and I’m sure others would, too.
Feel free to contact me either in the comments or directly if you have any questions. See you “out there”!
[UPDATE]: The next night after I wrote this I received a reply from SocialKik. Color me surprised.
They state that there is no minimum age option for the Twitter Campaign. All they do is find people based on your keywords and attempt to get them to follow you. They’re essentially suggesting that I choose my keywords better.
If you recall, mine were “comics, webcomics, web design”. I ended up with a bunch of followers who had absolutely nothing to do with those keywords. I’m not sure what more I can do about that.
All in all, I think you will have enough information to make the call for yourselves whether the service is worth it for your particular situation.
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