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Don’t make accusations unless you have facts (or at least the right person!)

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Don’t make accusations unless you have facts (or at least the right person!)

Don’t make accusations unless you have facts (or at least the right person!)

This past week has been a bit of a week.  Though considering how much I use Twitter I’ve been very lucky to not come across much negativity/hate/trolls, etc.  Not that this is exactly what has happened to me the last few days, rather a couple of false accusations!

The other morning I woke up to a surprising number of website views overnight.  These were mainly from the USA at 2am in the morning.  Very bizarre I thought as I checked my analytics app first thing.  I then saw why this was when I checked my Twitter.

I woke to a tweet saying something along the lines of ‘No you can’t copy and paste an entire essay OBVIOUSLY.  Remove it now!’

Oh my gosh.  My heart started racing and I was panicking thinking ‘well what on earth are they on about?’ All my content is original.  It’s written by me out of my head.  If I quote something I’ll pop where the quote is from.  Otherwise I might be recalling things I’ve read, but in my own words and I’ll say ‘I read something saying this recently’ or similar.  I’ve certainly never ever copied and pasted something and claimed it’s my own.  I’m actually very passionate about not copying.  I live by ‘be inspired, but don’t copy’.  I don’t understand why you would want to copy and claim it as your own.  First it’s basically lying and I hate liars.  It’s dishonest.  It’s theft.  I also don’t understand how you can be proud of your work if it’s not yours.  I’m actually very proud of my blog.  I may not be the best writer in the world but I am proud of my blog posts, how it’s grown and all the hard work I put into my blog and business.

So to be accused of copying was really upsetting.  I had a few other tweets saying about plagiarism and so I replied to all with question marks or saying I have no idea what they are talking about.  The only thing I could think is a guest post on my blog was copied.  Or even someone had copied me and then said I copied them.  You can imagine my thoughts processing it all and trying to work out all eventualities.  I checked Copyscape just to be sure and thankfully it proved nothing of mine was duplicated anywhere else on the web.  I might not have been so bothered, except one of the accounts accusing me had 400,000 followers and they tweeted publicly for all to see!

I finally got a reply… still accusing me!  I asked what I was supposed to have copied and they sent me the link.  A link to an article I had never ever seen before in my life.  I replied letting them know this and that they must have @ the wrong account.  Before apologising I got a private message still asking if it definitely wasn’t me!

Arg.

It then turned out the copied article had been shared by a Victoria on Facebook.  Firstly I don’t use Facebook anymore.  I haven’t for about two years.  Secondly the Victoria who shared it wasn’t me.  She had a totally different surname!  I’ve no idea how they found me and thought my Twitter account was the same person.  Thankfully they finally believed me and couldn’t stop apologising.

Panic over, but unnecessary stress caused.  If you are publicly going to accuse someone of something then please make sure you have the right person!

So, the next thing.

I was tweeted by someone saying how for 50k followers you’d expect more interaction.  Another of their tweets said how awful companies buy fake followers and then charge for Twitter services.

Here we go again I thought!

I have never ever bought followers.  I advise against it.  I’ve actually organically built my followers for nearly four years now on Twitter by pretty much spending a full working week on there! I run giveaways weekly, take part in networking hours six days a week (up to 13 a day) and use lots of retweet hashtags.  I’ve won several Twitter awards opening me up to various Twitter communities and boosting my support and followers.  I am always interacting on Twitter and have a good engagement rate which is slightly above average for a brand on Twitter.

Plus, if you know much about all this you will know you can check if an account’s followers are fake on several websites.

I replied to this person saying some of this and for a while they still accused me of buying followers and having no interaction.  I’m interested to know how they know how many link clicks/sales/messages I get from Twitter, as I thought only I could see these?!  You can see replies if you search for an accounts name and how many retweets on a tweet, but that’s it.  If you’re judging interaction from only this then you’re missing out on everything else.

And yes I have over 50000 followers but not all my tweets are retweeted.  Do you retweet every tweet you see in your timeline or reply to everything you see that is interesting?  I know I don’t.  I would love to but there’s not always enough time in the day and there’s so much to see on Twitter!  I often click on links that are interesting and save them to my reading list or open in Safari to read later.  I don’t always retweet these or message the person.  Sometimes I might laugh at a picture or think ‘ooh that’s nice’, but I might not retweet or say anything.  It doesn’t mean the tweet has not caught my attention. I may add an account to one of my private lists of things I want to buy or really like, but this account wouldn’t know that.  So interaction and engagement is much more than what is publicly available to see.

What I do know is my engagement rate (currently 1.1%) is way above the top 25 brands on Twitter who have 0.6% engagement rates. The average overall is 0.5-1%.  I know I’m never far from my Twitter and I’m a real person who will interact with you.  Yes I schedule tweets, but I’m also online every single day.  I always respond to people (unless for some reason the notification doesn’t come through, in which case give me a nudge as I’ll not be ignoring you).  I know I work hard on Twitter to tirelessly promote my business to support myself and family and do something I’m passionate about.  I know I support hundreds of other businesses on Twitter and I’m always happy to offer free advice and even a hashtag (#lyliarose) for people to reach a wider audience. I know I’m a good person and I would never ever buy fake followers to defraud anyone.  I also know most of my sales are from Twitter as well as a huge chunk of my website traffic.  I know as my followers grow so does my website traffic.

I also know it was just one doubter and I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but it really did.  Perhaps because they also included a couple of searchable hashtags in their tweets for more than just their followers  to be able to see the accusations!  I also do not want to be branded dishonest when I'm not.

I went ahead and pasted screenshots of how may fake followers I had and my recent Twitter analytics onto my website to prove myself.  I know I shouldn’t have had to, but I’m happy to be transparent.  If anyone was concerned or curious I would have been happy to send these to them anyway.

I was so nervous about launching my Twitter services it really put doubt in my mind.  I’m not claiming to be a social media expert, but happy to share my own personal experience of Twitter and wanted to give others an opportunity to tap into my followers whilst reaching a wider audience, for a very reasonable price to cover my time.  Luckily I’ve had very positive feedback from those who have purchased the services so far and a really outstanding feedback via email yesterday which has really boosted my confidence in what I am offering.  I know compared to others my prices are very reasonable and won’t break the bank.  After all, I want to help small businesses and not rip them off.  I will do this through honesty and hard work, not cheating.

If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading my rant!  I just had to get it off my chest.  I also hope you’ll think twice before ever accusing somebody of something, especially if you don’t have full facts or understand the entirety of what you’re accusing. 

Also, please please make sure you are contacting the right person, even if you do have the proof!

Onwards and upwards :)

 

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