If you’ve ever considered purchasing a bulk order of followers to beef up your Twitter presence, we have another alternative for your to consider: promoting your account.

Why consider this? Outside of being laughed out of the virtual room once your account’s “Fake Followers” are exposed, promoting your account won’t put your Twitter in jeopardy if you get caught.

There are certainly two sides to the “buying followers” debate, but regardless of how you feel about it, Twitter doesn’t want you doing it and it violates Twitter’s terms of service – so game, set and match. Don’t do it.

But there IS a legitimate way to “buy followers” – one that’s actually offered by Twitter: promoting your account through Twitter’s advertising platform.

Have you seen promoted accounts? They pop up on the left of your home screen and on the “who to follow” screen.

Promoted Accounts ”are suggested based on the publicly available list of who a user already follows. Twitter uses an algorithm to determine the likelihood that a user will find a certain Promoted Account interesting, and displays it at the top of the Who to Follow list if it fits with the user’s interests.”

Not convinced it’s a good (socially acceptable) idea? Domo CEO, Josh James just wrote about his experience “paying for Twitter followers” and he’s pretty please with the results. Why did he do it? Probably for the same reasons anyone would:

“I started feeling like a second-class citizen of the Twitterverse,” James said in his piece published on Forbes. “Granted, my followers were great quality and consisted of people with whom I had shared interests, but the size of my audience left me wanting for more.”

[Updated to clarify more behind the 'why' of James' decision:] He was aware of the other methods of growing a following (such as buy 10,000 for $100) but he knew that it was hard to get a real quality following with those options.  He really wanted quality – so he chose Twitter for its targeting.

Domo’s VP of Communications, Julie Kehoe shared that James has grown his following both organically and via a Twitter promoted account. “It’s been steady growth since he started the promoted account in the spring.  Promoted is responsible for a little more than half of his [23k] following.”
You can learn from James’ early promoted account efforts before launching your own by reading his post here.
Would you promote your Twitter? Why or why not?

(Follow me image from Shutterstock)