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Spotting the Social Media Fakes & Phonies

In the Twitter world, we’re all besotted by big numbers, rankings and top scores. We get it. But let’s take a look at how to spot the top dogs from the junkyard yappers. Control your Twitter destiny and find out whether your competitors are exploiting a paid following at your expense.

Spotting the Social Media Fakes & Phonies image iStock 000018807106SmallSigns of a false following:

  • Overseas twitter profiles with odd descriptions and little activity like CEOs from Ankara, Turkey, who describe themselves as “dreamers and implementers”
  • Accounts that blow up overnight or in similar short order
  • More than the usual amount of anonymous eggheads
  • Profiles not connected to the person’s field or expertise (you can random sample this pretty quickly by blowing through a following or followers list of a competitor)
  • Terrible spellings and random senseless tweets

Here’s a handy fake follower tool to use launched by StatusPeople.

This is a tool worth using and made me think that winnowing down Twitter is better than blasting to a world of posers. Here’s a quick take on some Indy-based media accounts compared to mine @KyleComm:

When I used the tool, I found zero fakes following @KyleComm – but we’re pretty selective and also block and report spammers and check out every follower before we randomly engage.

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@KyleComm, O percent Fake, 3 percent Inactive, 97 percent Good

By comparison, here’s how my local newspaper fared on StatusPeople:

@IndyStar, 9 percent Fake, 26 percent Inactive, 65 percent Good

If your ratio is out of proportion, that’s a clue you’re not paying attention to the conversation or your social media.

For those of you tempted to buy followers, here’s a link to a New York Times article and you can judge for yourself the value of a paid crowd. But as one commenter there pointed out: Isn’t tweeting to fake followers the same as talking to yourself?

BTW, we also placed an “order” on Fiverr recently to purchase 1,000 likes on Facebook from a top-ranked provider as rated by users. When we asked if those would be people based in the U.S., the provider suggested we cancel our order – and we did.

Just remember, if Lady Gaga and President Obama have fake followers in the millions (and they do), chances are that you have a few as well. Unless you’re into a fake face, then wise up. A real, organic following with active users is better by far any day.

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