Twitter has evolved from a micro-blogging platform into a widely accepted communication medium. Politicians, celebrities, media agencies all leverage the massive reach of Twitter to spread their message far and wide. Many companies around the world have sprung up for the sole purpose of generating and selling Twitter followers and engagement which makes it extremely easy for anyone to increase their follower base simply by completing a transaction. Sounds easy, right? It is, really.
In a recent report published by University of Southern California and Indiana University, out of Twitter’s 319 million monthly active users, 48 million or about 15% are fake or bot accounts. The report also mentions that more complex bots might have been deemed as humans in their testing which makes the 48 million count of fake followers a bit conservative. This is something which is really troubling for Twitter.
As a platform, it has struggled to expand its user base compared to Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat and the reason for this stagnating growth is due to the fact that other social networking platforms emphasize on personal communication whereas Twitter focuses on mass communication. It depends entirely on the engagement generated by the followers of major accounts.
Fake followers have become a nuisance which the entire social media industry is grappling to get a hold on. Entire armies of bot followers are just waiting to be unleashed on any brand, service or individual. Companies like Devumi (now defunct), were providing 25,000 followers for $225. That comes down to a cent per follower. With influence coming this cheap, anybody with a credit card can inflate their followers to thousands or maybe millions of followers overnight.
The quickest method for identifying individual fake followers is just by looking at their profile. The excessive use of hashtags, posting of spam-my links, extremely high following but very low followers etc. are all indicators of a fake account. If you have followers in double digits or maybe a few hundreds, it may be feasible to look at each of the accounts and conclude if its fake or not.
But this entire process becomes cumbersome as the number of followers increases. This is where fake follower identifying platforms can help you to a great extent. Let’s have a look at how FollowerAudit can help you in identifying fake followers from any public Twitter account.
Identifying Fake Followers using FollowerAudit
FollowerAudit is a Twitter follower evaluation platform which analyzes your entire followers list and finds fake followers. You can also block the followers right from the tool itself. You can also get daily, weekly and monthly trends related to your follower growth metrics which allows you to closely monitor the changes in your followers list.
All of your social activity is illustrated on a social graph which is updated in real time. Once your account is linked to the FollowerAudit platform, any and all changes in your social media timeline will be updated in real-time on the dashboard.
It provides you with a list of fake follower accounts by combining and analyzing numerous metrics related to followers such as their activities on Twitter, following patterns, number of their followers etc. Let’s look at the various ways through which identifying and rooting out fake followers can benefit your account or social media campaign.
- Analyze engagement: An account has millions of followers but the engagement metrics tell the real story. If most of your followers are bots, they only serve to inflate your follower list, not the engagement numbers. Weeding out fake followers can help you in streamlining your engagement metrics and provide clear conclusions with respect to your followers standing.
- Accurate account analytics: Account analytics require data points to provide you with analytical outcomes. Fake followers can mess up with the data points required for accurate account analysis.
- Get authentic follower’s data: If you are a marketer and require authentic follower data for marketing research, fake followers can prove to be a major hindrance in this process. Since these fake accounts are counted as real, their preferences, likes and dislikes are also taken into account. But as these accounts are not actual people, the data derived from the set of followers will be factually wrong and misleading. A marketing campaign with inaccurate data is no campaign at all.
- Build trust & reputation: If you have purchased fake followers, believe it not, people will find out. Once it is established that your following is fake, your brand’s or product’s reputation is instantly lost. People want to be associated with ‘really’ famous brands, not with the one who purchases followership.
How harmful can a few thousand fake Twitter followers be? You can ask this question to Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Ray Lewis, the football commentator and Martha Lane Fox, a Twitter board member(!) who have thousands of fake Twitter followers in their account. These fake followers are used as soldiers to lay siege on any individual or social media campaign. If you have even a thousand followers, it’s about time to get your followers list vetted using FollowerAudit.