Social Quant is a tool I have been trying out for the past two weeks. It is an interesting tool that promises to grow your Twitter followers and has been credited by Hubspot as one of the best auto-follow apps out there.
Social Quant deploys an interesting tactic to boost your follower numbers, it uses techniques that are of little to no value to a platform such as Twitter. So it works and it doesn’t work at the same time, complicated right?
There is no surprise now as to how 90% of Twitter accounts grow now, aggressive following and unfollowing tactics. Follower churn on Twitter is actually considered to be a bannable offence and thankfully for many people it is not strictly enforced.
However, believe it or not, aggressive auto following and unfollowing can lead to account suspensions. Social Quant seems to walk along the line well, they are able to stay on the right side of Twitter while using these aggressive tactics.
So what is Social Quant, how does it work and how much does it cost?
The basics and cost
You can find the Social Quant website here. There is a Twitter trial which is free for two weeks and after that you need to pay if you want to keep using it. The app has testimonials from high level marketers such as PostPlanner and Hubspot.
Social Quant promises to grow your Twitter audience rapidly by using its hard working algorithms and keywords that you select when setting up Social Quant for the first time.
By analysing the keywords you have selected, Social Quant will look at conversations taking place on Twitter and try to determine what accounts are worthwhile following. It sounds pretty sophisticated if you believe that is what happens on the backend. However, I’m not convinced.
I think more likely is that Social Quant is running keywords against a standard Twitter search and then following accounts in the hopes they follow you back. If they don’t follow you back within a certain amount of time then Social Quant unfollows them automatically.
After the two week trial, Social Quant costs $50 per month. That is pretty expensive for a tool which automatically follows and unfollows accounts. Now, they do give regular offers throughout the trial, I was offered a coupon to pay $25 per month for the lifetime of my account. I decided not to take them up on that offer but more on that later.
Does it work?
Really, it comes down to what your expectations are. It works in that your follower number gets boosted pretty fast so if you like vanity metrics then this one is for you (lets face it – we all like vanity metrics to a certain degree). You are encouraged to allow Social Quant to do its thing and not interfere with the following and unfollowing process.
You basically hand the reigns of control of your Twitter account to Social Quant and the result is a small but decent increase in interaction and a big increase in junk. Social Quant says that if follows users based on the keywords you have selected, I don’t know where the association was between some Donald Trump fan accounts or accounts that post tweets in Japanese only with my keywords to be honest. You can backtrack keywords to new followers and see what triggered a follow but even that doesn’t always make complete sense.
My account grew 45% during the trial period. It is a nice growth in the follower number but as I have mentioned in the past they are very much vanity metrics. Depth not width, always!
Another interesting thing I noticed was a dated question in the FAQ section about klout scores. Klout scores, like the Alexa rankings are very much outdated metrics and no marketer or content creator worth their salt would pay much attention to them anymore.
Social Quant will grow your follower numbers but there won’t be a massive boost in engagement, in fact it is quite minute on that end. What you will see is a boom in auto DM’s and auto mentions, and prepare yourself because you will get a lot of this.
Handing over control to Social Quant
As mentioned, you very much hand over control to Social Quant. One of the things I didn’t like is that when you sign up Social Quant audits who you are following and anyone who does not follow you back is automatically unfollowed.
A big cull takes place on your account and you need to follow them back and then add them to a must follow list on the Social Quant dashboard otherwise Social Quant will unfollow them again.
Metrics are given priority over everything here, so if you follow a bunch of cool influencers and they don’t follow you back then say goodbye. Your main feed is basically flipped on its head because a lot of new accounts are going to start popping up from the auto follow and unfollow process.
I have come to really value Twitter lists over the past two weeks to drown out the increase in noise on my main feed and be able to control just what I want to see and not all the garbage around it – that is not what Twitter should be.
Curating your lists becomes important when you are using Social Quant because you just won’t want to see everything that starts popping up and if you want to grow that nice follower number you got then that will be the tradeoff.
One of the other big gripes I have with the tool is the aggressive unfollow tactics it uses, it is a risky strategy and if Twitter all of a sudden decide to start enforcing the unfollow policies then you could end up in a situation where your account is red flagged and banned while there is nothing you or the app can do.
It is automation without human vetting which means anything and everything can start popping up. Also, the tool doesn’t do anything that you can’t do manually yourself if you want to save the pennies.
One big tip I would offer if you are going to try out Social Quant is to make a list of users who don’t follow you but you want to follow back and then to copy and past that list into the Social Quant dashboard as soon as it becomes available.
Is it worth paying for a tool like this?
It really depends what value you place on the platform. If you want Twitter to be your bread and butter and you really really value the platform then you may see value in a tool like this. Though given the press Twitter gets these days you may want to reconsider placing heaps of value on Twitter if that is what you are doing.
$50 per month is a lot to pay to have a machine follow and unfollow accounts for you. $25 per month is still a lot to pay, really any kind of money for a machine to automatically follow and unfollow is too much. I decided not to take them up on the offer, strangely enough Social Quant continued to run after the trial ended and I had to email them and ask them to stop running on my account.
I wanted to see what Social Quant could do and the results are very hit and miss. The tool does what it says it will do, I won’t deny that at all. They promise to grow your Twitter following and that is what happens. The thing is, they rapidly grow your account with a lot of mediocre accounts sharing poor content.
Do it manually and you can vet the accounts yourself and you maintain total control over your feed and who you want to follow. There was a small number of new accounts that I was connected to which are high quality accounts that I wouldn’t have found otherwise but would I class it as being worth $50/$25 per month? Absolutely not. I would ballpark it somewhere around $10 per month.
It is not a bad tool, it is not a wonderful tool as some may have you believe. If you are interested in it then you should check out the 14 day trial for yourself and see what it does for you, 14 days costs nothing!
The bottom line over 14 days? A 45% growth in followers at no cost was nice, engagement was meh, there was a lot of auto DM spam (like a lot!) and curated lists are really really important if you want to drown out the inevitable increase in noise and clutter.