I once believed in paying for tweets. I even told a friend (shout out to my friend Keary Colbert who can be followed @kearycolbert) to stop giving away free advertising in the form of Tweets and get paid for them. Then I thought about it not as a business owner, but as a Tweeter, friend, follower. Paid tweets are not the business.

I don't believe in ghost tweeting and in essence that is exactly what this is. It is someone else tweeting as me...but I am getting paid. Just as Jude states, it is ethically wrong to do without telling anyone, but even if you provide full disclosure it is wrong. It compromises the relationship that you are trying to build. Social media at its very best is about engagement.

In my opinion (expert and humble), it's not about the quantity of tweets, how many followers you have or how many people you follow. Tweeting is about developing relationships, engaging with people in a new way. It's about sharing information and helping build a community without boundaries. It has business utility because it allows businesses, organizations and individuals to be transparent and helps people develop relationships...the kind that can lead to sales, brand loyalty or a good friendship.

The lesson. Pay-for-Tweets is a no-no. Social media can help drive business, but the priority should be on engaging and creating conversations that are mutually beneficial. Develop a social media strategy that is founded on business goals, but remember that engagement and two-way communication are your first priority.  Your business will succeed if your customers (clients) feel you are transparent, sincere and not just pushing a product or service.  You will fail if you become an online sales person.