Welcome to Death of an Ad Man, where we celebrate the industry Stephen Leacock once described as “a judicious mixture of flattery and threats.”


Everyone wants to get them some Twitter followers, right? And who could blame them? Twitter followers are the best. They’re the avatared reminders that we aren’t just shouting into the infinite abyss when we let people know that we think this season of Orange Is The New Black was really underwhelming.

But how does one go about getting said Twitter followers? It’s not like everyone’s just going to click those “Follow us on Twitter!” links that you post seemingly everywhere.

There are always Twitter ads, or ‘buying Followers’; though both those options are pretty costly, and you usually end up with only spam accounts following you anyway. Or you could try actually investing hours of energy and effort making sure you’re only tweeting out valuable content in hopes of becoming an influencer and/or thought-leader; except that takes both lots of energy and lots of effort, and who has either of those these days?

Ultimately, if you don’t have a big marketing budget yet you don’t mind selling your soul to the advertising devil in exchange for actual people following you, you’re really best off trying the ole “Twitter List” scam…


Leanne Macco, pictured above, has over 32,000 Twitter followers.

This might lead you to assume that Leanne Macco is someone, as that is a lot of people (and a covetable Follower/Following ratio). But really, she amassed this small army of digital devotees by simply creating a series of lists on Twitter called “Twitter Legends” and adding anyone she could find.

It’s pretty diabolical, sure, but from a marketing perspective, it’s also pretty genius.

When she adds someone on Twitter to a meaningless list, Leanne is essentially just sending unsolicited spam into that user’s notification feed, except the presentation looks so nice — ‘Hey I think you’re a Twitter Legend’ — that it disarms the spammed user with flattery; making them infinitely more likely to be duped into following Leanne back, even though she didn’t really follow that person in the first place.

Really, it’s the perfect “mixture of flattery and threat.”

Just don’t get caught…



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And if you do get caught, watch out; you’re going on our “‘Twitter List’ Scammers” list…

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