Bill Pulte is trending on Twitter today. He’s the 31 year old grandson of a real estate magnate and made Forbes 40 under 40 list at the age of 25 for being the son of a son of someone who made a lot of money in real estate.
The reason he’s trending is because he promised to give away $1 million dollars on Twitter if he got to 1 million followers a month ago today.
Once I have 1 million followers on Twitter, I will give away $1 million dollars on Twitter. #TwitterPhilanthropy
— Pulte (@pulte) July 11, 2019
At the time he had 34,000 followers. Now he has nearly half a million.
He tries to get celebrities to retweet him, and was successful in getting Trump to do so.
His plan to get more followers is basically to get needy people to beg him for money, which he hands out like candy in large and small increments.
He seems to give away bitcoin a lot.
His tactics are very Elon Musk-ish, and coincidentally he’s also giving away a Tesla.
He’s gotten a ton of attention from the media.
Here is how it works: Pulte tweets that he is giving away a certain amount of money (say $500) and then mentions a few criteria. After the retweets and mentions start coming in, he has a three-person team he hired to sift through them and determine that they are who they say they are (which is an issue on social media) and that their needs are legitimate.
The Internet is treating Bill Pulte like the second coming of Andrew Carnegie, and indeed his contributions are legitimate. He’s given money to veterans, teachers, and other people in need.
But when I see people like this I’m immediately skeptical of what they’re really trying to do, especially when they start doing stuff like this.
This is straight out of the Greg Bates handbook. Build a large audience by giving stuff away to people who bring in more followers. Then monetize that audience, which you didn’t get from being interesting or creating a product, without telling your audience that they are in fact your currency.
He calls his followers “teammates” and tells them they’re part of his team to give food and shelter to people in need.
Now they feel invested in it. They feel special, even if they don’t get money from him.
On social media followers are like currency. When you get more followers you can market to a larger audience. His audience has grown from 34K to over 400K in a month. Next thing you know he’s tweeting stuff like this.
In other words, a sunglasses company saw how much interaction he’s getting, and the fact that he’s trending on Twitter, and they’re offering to pay him to do promotional giveaways for their sunglasses under the guise that we’re both being philanthropic. In reality the sunglasses company can then get more customers that Bill Pulte can basically sell to them.
He says he’s being inundated with requests from companies who want to “be involved” in his “MISSION,” and used this as a way to get more “volunteer teammates” and emails.
If you email him looking to become involved he knows it’s not a burner email account. Legitimate email addresses are just as good as money to marketing companies. You get 100,000 email addresses and you can sell that to people looking to market to new audiences.
More important than advertising opportunities is data though. Facebook, Google, and Twitter made their money by collecting data on users and selling it. Google Cambridge Analytica scandal for more info on that. Twitter lets you access your follower’s data, which is why he’s insistent that you not only follow him, but bring in more followers for him too.
He also urges people to turn on notifications, which alert you whenever he tweets.
Why? Why would he do that if his goal is to give money away to people? Why does he care about followers, and people seeing his tweets first if his motives are pure?
Click on any of his tweets and you’ll see thousands of people lining up, begging for free money. I’m sure he feels very good about himself for doing this, but it’s really quite pathetic to see people grovel at this shameless self promoter for scraps.
You can’t buy this kind of publicity, which in my opinion is what his whole scheme here is. He makes a small investment by giving money away to strangers on the Internet. The audience he gains, and the data he gains from them, is worth much, much more than the $100,000 he’s given away so far. The amount of data he’s likely acquired is probably worth millions, and he can do what he wants with that information at this point. He’s gone from an irrelevant trust fund baby to to a guy making appearances on Fox and Friends and rubbing shoulders with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
He markets towards trends, like back to school.
We will help some amazing teachers on Monday with their school supplies lists. You in?
— Pulte (@pulte) August 11, 2019
That’s a cheap gimmicky way to get people to reply. Once you do that he’s got you. He can analyze information on teachers. He knows what they need. He knows where they’re from. That kind of information is invaluable for companies who want to sell back to school supplies to teachers. Don’t be surprised to see him giving away gift cards to Staples next, which Staples totally will NOT pay him to do.
Granted, he’s not breaking any laws, but he is collecting all this data under false pretenses. He knows that the vast majority of people who follow him and give him their legitimate email addresses won’t see a dime from him, but they will be his currency moving forward. He can set up a chat-bot to scrub his list of followers for key words, trends, locations, interests, and other data that he can sell for a huge profit. And all he had to do was give some random people a couple hundred bucks of grandpa’s inheritance money, which is basically a small investment. Now he can feel like he’s an actual businessman, except the product isn’t something tangible – it’s desperate people looking for handouts.
Keep in mind, 2020 is just around the corner. Foreign governments try to use Twitter and Facebook to spread misinformation to voters. His list of followers contains people’s biggest problems, since they’re begging him for money. Let’s say he finds out that in Michigan student loan debt or healthcare was the biggest reason people asked for money. He can sell that information to the campaign of his choice. He could have campaigns bid for that information as they try to win states in the primaries. He comes across as apolitical, which is smart because then he can gain followers from both sides of the aisle. The possibilities here are really limitless. Now this guy has a list and he can do whatever he wants with it, and everyone and their mother is sucking his dick because they’re too stupid to see what’s really going on here.
And in case you think I’ve gone done the Alex Jones expressway one too many times, a reporter from the Daily Mail tweeted out that he’d be interviewing shitstain tomorrow, and wanted to see if anyone had any questions they’d like him to ask. Look out this response he got.
The same user who alerted us to this story didn’t get a response so he tweeted a similar concern to Bill Pulte himself.
And just like that…..
And that right there is totally NOT shady. He has has 400,000+ followers and probably gets millions of notifications a day. That means he has a team reading them all and he’s told them to censor anyone who doubts his motives. Wouldn’t want healthy public skepticism flooding his replies. That wouldn’t be good for business now would it?
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