Fake Followers on Twitter – or are they?
By Dave Cottrell
Fake followers on Twitter… how can you tell?
How often have you seen Twitter accounts with followings in the tens of thousands, and wished that could be you? But what if they’re all fake? How can you tell?
Enter software designed just for this purpose. If you go to http://www.socialbakers.com/twitter/fakefollowercheck/ , you can put in the name of any Twitter account to see how many followers are real or not. Isn’t that handy?
I really hope I haven’t spoiled anybody’s day, but I’ll bet I have your attention!
If the three top fake follower checkers for Twitter all give totally different results, how do you know which one is accurate?
It comes back to doing your own due diligence. There is no way for any software program to know if a Twitter follower is fake, or not. They use algorithms that I would call “educated guesses.”
For example, every follower that has no photo is flagged as suspicious. But I have followers I know well that have never put up a photo, anywhere. They are still just as real as you or I.
If a follower has not tweeted anything for a long time, they are flagged as inactive, and possibly fake.
If an account has a huge number of followers but is only following a few people, that gets flagged. Lots of celebrities have accounts just like this.
I have personally checked accounts where there is a range from 2% real to 58% real on the same account!
As you can see, checking for fake followers is far from being an exact science. In fact, it’s impossible to be accurate, as these wild ranges from very respected analysts show.
Where does this leave you, as an online marketer using Twitter as a way of reaching your audience? How do you know if your message is getting to real people, or just to a bunch of robot generated fake accounts?
There is a way. Do your own due diligence.
One tool I have particularly come to love for managing Twitter accounts is TweetAdder4, which you can download from http://www.tweetadder.com/ (this is not an affiliate link, but you can be an affiliate if you want). With TweetAdder4, apart from using it as intended to find other Twitter accounts in your particular niche to follow, you can also keep track of who is active, who has a photo, if they are following you back, if they tweet a lot, and more.
I personally find this kind of information way more useful than checking with and relying on free software to see if someone is loading up on fake followers or not. I am personally way more interested in my own followers than in somebody else’ followers, and you should be, too.
Another very handy tool is http://manageflitter.com/unfollow . Try the free version, and I think you’ll agree, it’s WAY more useful that so-called “all-in-one” fake checker software. With this one, you can actually see who has unfollowed you, who isn’t posting, who is spamming, and more. I’ve found it a super fast way to get rid of all the Twitter trash and clean up the place.
It IS important to know the demographics of your own Twitter account, or you can waste a lot of time talking to nobody. But don’t simply rely on a free piece of software to do what you need to do, yourself. Engage your followers. People are more likely to say something interesting if you say something interesting. People like to be retweeted, replied to, favourited, etc. It lets them know you’re a real person and you’re interested in them.
Fake followers – or are they? Pay attention to your own account and forget about it. Yours is the one that matters to you.