Is inflating your Twitter follower count really worth it?

Is inflating your Twitter follower count really worth it? Though automated tools are widely available to gain followers – Fiverr provides the best bang for your buck. It was so easy to gain fake followers; all I had to do was pay $5.00 USD to Fiverr and twenty-four hours later I had 4K+ followers. I created this fake Twitter account (TinkerPuffHead)  a few weeks ago, and though it has never tweeted it currently maintains 3K + fake followers (as of this writing). The one thing that you will note about my fake following is the fact that most of the fake profiles have never tweeted and the bulk of them have zero followers.

fake twitter followers

 

 Silly Profile Bios

The person that generated these accounts is from Malaysia, has been selling Fiverr gigs for two years, and is a coder/gamer.

The majority of these fake Twitter accounts has ridiculously inane profiles (my fake account included:  Imma Tinker Puff Head). Don’t ask me what I was thinking when I came up with this silly name, suffice it to say that I am using it for the purpose of this blog post. It is obvious from many of the profile bios generated that English is not the native language and the bot that created these profiles needs some serious tweaking. I do know that the person that generated these accounts is from Malaysia, has been selling Fiverr gigs for two years, and is a coder/gamer.

Here are some of the silly profiles that actually made me laugh:

  • @Susannnktkv, manufactured from meat. Your whole household is made of meat
  • @Graciegnsoh, the guy who stole the frigg’n cookie from the cookie jar. Now shutup!
  • @Nannette_muz, knows it is chilly when Paris Hilton needs to placed on underclothing.
  • @Phylicia611, Beer! Helping ugly people have sex since 1862!
  • @Treena797, OK small Johnny, very good, canines proceed woof, ok now what sound will a Giraffe help to make?
  • @Gerda_bmy, couldn’t myself have far better it stated.
  • @Maryrose_239, Oh yea, My partner and i grant a person how the wheel seemed to be a fine creation, but the wheel will not proceed as well with pizzas!
  • @Felicita_Genas, Sometimes when I’m alone, We lie on to the floor and also imagine I am a carrot

 Fake Follower Check

Tinkerpuff Head has 99% fake Twitter followers. My account (@teksquisite) has 3%.

Status People, a social media management company offers Fake Follower Check web tool that can sort the real accounts from the fake ones. This tool can easily sort through the first 100,000 followers and tell you if they are real or fake. For accounts from celebrities or high profile brands – it sorts the last 100,000 followers that you gained.

The tool is relatively accurate,”says Rob Waller, co-founder of the London start-up. “It’s built for the majority of Twitter users — the 97 per cent who have fewer than 100,000 followers … Where it becomes less accurate is for celebrity accounts. Lady Gaga, for example, has 30 million followers and you can’t possibly analyse the data quickly enough, so it will only take the last 100,000 followers to have come on board and tell you how good they are.  —London Evening Standard

Even Dan Tynan, contributing editor at InfoWorld, Tynan on Technology(blog), and co-founder of eSarcasm took a ride on Status People this morning:

 

Accuracy Gets Murky

Unless you carefully screen your account each day for potential fake followers – you may not end up with a 100% lily-white genuine follower count.

The Malaysian coder that sells his services from Fiverr does not have access to the Twitter account that purchases the follower gig. This leads to the possibility that major brands, celebrities, and political figures could be targeted with fake follower counts from an anonymous source. Unless you carefully screen your account each day for potential fake followers – you may not end up with a 100% lily-white genuine follower count. Since anyone can purchase fake accounts – this does not indicate that the brand, celebrity, or political figure actually purchased these fake accounts.

Marketing Quality Check

Many times it is the marketing department (or PR firm) that could initiate follower fraud. It is in the best interest of all brands to keep a very close eye on how your marketing department manages all social media accounts.

The accounts of most celebrities and companies are managed by agencies or assistants who may be keen to inflate the numbers of their clients’ followers to demonstrate their value, said Howell. “They lose some control over them. The easiest way to demonstrate success at managing a Twitter account is showing the increase in the number of followers.” —The Guardian

  • [40% fake]: Cisco’s Chief Technology & Strategy Officer @Padmasree
  • [5% fake]: Time Technology Scribe @HarryMcCracken
  • [39% fake]: President of the United States @BarackObama
  • [27% fake]: Running for President of the United States @MittRomney

Twitter Solution

Twitter should consider pairing up with a service such as Status People to filter fake Twitter accounts.

If Twitter gave user accounts full control over the approval process of new followers, generated follower bots would become history. If this is not possible, than Twitter should consider pairing up with a service such as Status People to filter fake Twitter accounts. Social media can be used for good or for evil – and with the right tools it also has the capability to sabotage brands, political figures, celebrities, journalists, and businesses.

 Is inflating your Twitter follower count really worth it? 

No, it is not.  If a company is not keeping a tight reign on marketing and has not written a clause into their social media policy – brand, reputation, and credibility could suffer. Artificially boosting popularity is so yesterday. Teach your marketing/PR people to do it right. Twitter should also address this issue by giving users more control over fake follower dumps. Do you have a better solution? Leave a comment here!

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