One of the first things you learn when you sign up for a Twitter account, there is always someone trying to sell you about increasing your Twitter following. In this social media climate, the more followers you have, they perceived value to your brand. In turn, it translates into revenue and exposure. Chicago Sun-Times film critic and columnist Richard Roeper is currently under investigation. The charge? For possibly paying to boost his Twitter following. Yeah, that is a thing.
This comes after a New York Times report naming him as a one of many celebrities who pay for the service. “We will not be publishing any reviews or columns by Rich until this investigation is complete.” What’s even more embarrassing? On Friday, it was announced that Roeper would be adding a news column.
The report comes from an investigation into the company Devumi. It is a “bot” company that usually follows your account, thus inflating your numbers. However, there are some services that do this for free. Those are usually flakey and never measure up to the claims. Although, the paid services usually bring those major numbers.
You may remember Roeper as the co-host with Roger Ebert TV show, At The Movies. He is considered a respectable movie critic, which makes this even more embarrassing. There has been no response from Roeper since the revelation.
Purchasing followers is nothing new. There has been this side business since the company’s inception. We, at The Lazy Geeks, get hit with those spam e-mails all the time. If you have taken time to look at our followers on our Twitter page, you can tell we don’t partake in that business. It is something that is figured many brands and influencers use for marketing purposes.
Having a huge Twitter following does count toward your ad revenue. While would any company sponsor you when you only have 416 followers, when the next person has over 200,000? There are times when we wonder how can we get those numbers? Then, we remember that many of those are probably bots and we move on with out lives.