I have been trying a similar experiment on twitter for the last couple of weeks. On a brand new profile I used the follow back hashtag and culture. I have grown my followers in a week to 400+. When you take into account the profile I had before managed 400 followers after 7 years. Funny thing is I have also posted nothing on the profile, not one tweet during this time period.
Makes me look at the users with 10k followers a lot different now.
The argument you have to have with yourselves using this system is do you go for quantity over quality.
Thanks for the thought provoking article.