ghost tweeting

By Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

What if I told you that you could become an industry “thought leader” without ever writing a blog post. Or, that you could achieve Twitter stardom without personally sending a single tweet.

I didn’t believe it either, but some people are apparently doing it. Maybe even some people you follow. And you may never guess how they’re doing it.

Ghost Tweeting is one of a number of companies that have emerged to outsource the writing and distribution of all your blogs, tweets, and posts. They will even handle all the social media engagement for you.

“All the benefits, none of the work,” reads the tagline on their website.

Fake it ’til you make it

“I’ve basically done nothing,” reads one testimonial, “and I’ve gotten results that make me look like I spend hours a day on social media.”

“Anything that can be done on social media, we can do,” says Ghost Tweeting co-founder Nika Stewart, “including blogging.”

How quickly you ascend to online celebrity status depends on how much engagement you purchase. The company offers packages ranging from less expensive, entry-level programs to comprehensive packages for large enterprises. Want to supercharge your personal brand? Buy the “Thought Leader“ package.

“People who have a message to spread may have a community of people who already love them,” explains Stewart, “but they want to get on a bigger stage, have more people hear about them. They want to spread their message and maybe improve the world in some way, so we help them spread their message in a bigger way.”

Even if you don’t have any original content to offer, you can buy a package and Ghost Tweeting will establish your status for you through entirely curated content.

“We do get clients who haven’t written anything at all,” says Stewart. “They might have a website, but there’s not much information there. If they don’t have a blog—or if they have a blog they haven’t written for in two years—that’s the most challenging, because we have to go online and find content that’s in alignment with who they want to be known as, but it isn’t their own.”

Building an online persona

Once a ghostwritten blog post is published, Ghost Tweeting shares it across the different social networks, re-posting at intervals to achieve maximum visibility for the client.

“We often develop content with the client. We’re not really writing in the sense that we’re not coming up with content from scratch,” Stewart said. “We’re taking the client’s words and thoughts from existing content, and just making it social media friendly.”

A Ghost Tweeting writer and account manager study client websites, blogs,  articles, videos, and interviews, scouring the Web for content. “We write down what they’ve already said, so no one ever says to us ‘I never would have written that or said that,’ because they have,” says Stewart.

Sometimes, even the clients forget that they didn’t write a particular social media post. “That’s our best compliment,” according to Stewart. “Our clients will say, ‘I just saw this tweet go out and I thought I wrote it myself.’”

Currently, all Ghost Tweeting plans are monthly, and prices range from $265/month for 5-8 Twitter posts per day, to $1,000/month to make you a “Thought Leader” by cultivating “celebrity-status social media for you” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

“There are some people who are critical, who say it’s inauthentic,” says Stewart. “But we’re not pretending to be you,” she insists. ”We’re just saving you the time of going on to post what you already said. Nobody really [takes issue with] or is against hiring a marketing agency to help you put together marketing materials. That’s what we are for social media.”

What are your thoughts? Would you pay a company to do the work to make you a social media star?

kerry gorgoneKerry O’Shea Gorgone, JD/MBA, teaches New Media Marketing in the Internet Marketing Master of Science Program at Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida. Follow her on Twitter:@KerryGorgone

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