Every day I learn more about Social Media and it’s through my own experiences I am able to write with confidence some Savvy Social Tips on Fake Followers. I have realized in the last three months of being on Social Media the value of the knowledge I have learned and being able to pass that knowledge along to new people in social media.
The best line I have heard on Fake Followers in Social Media is simply this, “it’s like taking a blow up doll to prom.” In real time most of us can discern a fake personality by how they “work” a room of people. More difficult on Social Media. Is there a science on how to discern fake followers? Yes, and perhaps no. Tonight I am writing in relation to Twitter.
5 Savvy Social Tips on Fake Followers
1. Fake follows have a disproportionate follow to follower ratio. They will typically follow hundreds of people with very few followers. Those who do follow them are those first few celebrity tweeters when you first sign up for twitter, lots of icons, eggs heads, and a few unsuspecting real people. If you have time, which most of us don’t, those who do follow carry few links on their twitter handles and if you click on the profiles of those who follow, they have similar follow to follower rations that are also disproportionate.
2. Number of Tweets that are in no way engaging or connecting. This kind of fake follow is very easy to find. They have either the same tweets going out over and over to hundreds of different handles, or they have 1-2 tweets. A fake computerized follow is typically going to be forcing all those mass tweets and you were one of the not so lucky ones.
3. Those who inflate their status through the purchase of fake follows. This one is the most interesting to me. Why would anyone want to buy fake follows? First it’s hard to get to know and gain a collective and intentional community based on falsehood. I stumbled on the concept of fake follows through asking questions. Asking why in the middle of scrolling down through thousands of follows a person would have all these fake follows. Seeing what I thought was a person with some influence only to realize that a large percentage of follows were fake. How does that even happen? I was then introduced, by well esteemed Social Media brilliants to www.twittercounter.com Simply drop a name into this program and gives you an accounting of the numbers of followers gained over weeks. One person had consistently every single day for 8 days 372 followers. Coincidence? Depending on on much time I spend on twitter, the community or hashtags I visit is what grows or slows my following. Why then would someone do this? I guess showing up to a party with a thousands of blow up dolls is cool. NOT!
4. Influence Building Through Fake Follows Ten months ago I knew nothing of how to navigate on Twitter. I admit when someone followed me who had a few thousand twitter followers I was impressed. I was impressed because I thought, “wow they must really know twitter and have been on twitter for years.” Well after engaging and being social on twitter for almost 10 months I now have close to 4,000 followers and I like to say I am just a Portland Girl finding her way. I have no real influence in Social Media. Yet if you are a company/brand, new to social media, who has absolutely no idea, like myself ten months ago, how influence is built, falsified, or fake you’d be impressed by thousands of followers. Why? Building a false sense of influence around the unsuspecting people around you. When I started on Social Media I started following 3 people who were “experts” in social media. I mean they could tweet up information like no body’s business. They linked great content to other Social Media experts, and they had 40,000-half a million followers each. One day, as I researched one of those “experts” I soon realized that there was little content written or expressed by them. Their website was really all about promoting themselves, yet not one company endorsement. I then wanted to look at who else follows this person and soon thought, why so many follows that are not tweeting, have no links, tweets, or are just tweeting ads, spam etc. Alas I discovered what Fake Follows looked like. Only I did not realize the terminology or the know how.
5. When your Fake Follow number comes up. About six weeks ago I started getting fake follows by the handfuls. I manage my twitter account daily. Check in. Look at new follows. Click on their website links and then if I see some like mindedness I follow back. Instead handfuls of follows started following me. No links, in many cases no faces, just icons. How did that happen. I had been going along for months with no in-ordinary activity. Did you know that other people can buy fake follows for you? I did not know that until last week. A friend, social media guy, years advanced than I could ever be, had an influx of over 20,000 follows over night. He took a screen shot and tweeted it. Apparently his number came up. Someone had purchased for him those fake follows, which he was able to take down. Why is this even possible and how? I don’t have those answers. I am not the expert, just savvy social with what I know.
What I do in real life is meet new people every single day. Some hand me a business card that goes in my Rolodex. Yes I still have an old fashioned one. Some go into my planner. Yes I still have one of those too and some taped by my phone. Those that make it to the “round file” are the one that I would not “follow” on line, nor in real time. All the others equate to follows based on how that new friendship interest looks.
I can’t end this post without asking this question. Who have you met in real time? How are they able to validate in real time what they do on-line? I hope these five tips on Savvy Social Tip on Fake Follows helps you to be a bit more discerning in making the on-line platforms a safer and more enjoyable place to visit, engage and chat.~elizabeth