Don’t be a “churner”

There is a gross tactic that many people, brands, and companies do on Twitter—the “churner” technique. People like Everette Taylor have been doing this follow-unfollow strategy for awhile now. Meli Pennington coined the term “churner,” and it seems quite fitting.

Here is how it works:

1. Someone relatively Twitter-famous follows you
2. You follow them back
3. After several hours or days, they unfollow you

They do this to:

1. Get more followers
2. Keep their following count low
3. Makes them look like they have it figured out

These people want the path of least resistance—a shortcut. They falsely acquire an audience rather than doing the hard work of building relationships with actual human beings.

I’ve noticed people like Everette employ this tactic throughout the years. I don’t care for Everette and am not taking it personally. But I do think it’s an unsustainable strategy, and it should be called out for what it is. He doesn’t give a shit about people like me.

It’s not that dissimilar from dating someone who only wants to sleep with you. They tell you things you want to hear, but in the end, all they care about is short term gains.

It’s disingenuous because Twitter is a platform built on connections. It’s implied that if someone follows you, that they either value you, or what you have to say. They don’t care about you, they just want the follow, so they can pad their follower base, making it seem like they’re a big deal. People can see right through this.

The key here is intent. His intent isn’t to actually like you. It’s false, phony, and shallow. Just because some might view the churner technique as a “marketing tactic” doesn’t make it a right or good thing to do.

In order to evolve our communication and marketing for the future, we need to move past these tactics that leverage surface-level connections. It might work in the short run, but people will eventually catch on, and it will bite you in the ass.