Fake Twitter Followers: How Can You Tell?

Twitter is a funny world. I follow you. Will you follow me back?

It’s this weird back and forth between complete strangers babbling about who knows what. It gets even more weird… you can pay to get “real” followers (fake Twitter followers). No really, these are 100% “real” people with “real” tweets that will comment, RT and send you real sales leads because…wait for it…they’re “real” people. (end sarcasm font.)

How can you tell if the accounts you’re following or following you are fake?

So I won’t be redundant, this is a very good list I found here: 11 Easy Ways To Spot A Fake Twitter Account

My real purpose for posting this comes from seeing so many accounts that have the “I’m so much cooler online” syndrome. The so-called “Social Media Marketing” experts that will get you followers. Any real social media marketer cringes when they read this because any decent social media marketer will NEVER USE THIS IN THEIR VOCABULARY. EVER.

Late 2013 I had my first experience with how advance the fake accounts were.

Fake Twitter Followers

Fake Twitter Followers

This is a screen shot of the fake account that was set up in my name and had all of my information on it! They used my real name, Ryan Carter. Then they created a user name, @CardCarter. My bio had my current city and a link to my personal Facebook and I HAD BEEN TWEETING! A bot had scraped all of my information and media and then was basically pretending to be me!

Here’s how I think it works

Official Phelps @treyptrsn is a real person and the one behind hundreds of thousands of fake accounts. Why? Because I called him out and his reply back was something to the extent of “Hey #NSA, @NashvilleRyan looks at child pornography.” Anyways, his whole thing is to get people to mention him and RT his tweets and then he’ll “get you more followers and tweets.” There’s basically a huge database of accounts that have been created by scraping information off of Facebook and Google. They auto follow, tweet, comment, RT all day long. They look like real people, having real conversations. However, if you look at all of these accounts, they all do the exact same thing. They all RT the same stuff and it’s just a big circle.

Fake Twitter Followers

100% real followers with real tweets! YEAH!

See what I’m saying? This is such bullshit. These spam sites are basically preying on the uneducated. The people who don’t know the difference between building an engaged online community and just a bunch of trash. Without looking at profile pictures, cover photos or anything else, it’s easy to tell what accounts have been embellished with fake accounts.

Fake Twitter Followers

So a regular person claiming to be a social media marketer now has 23.7k followers with only 88 tweets? That’s 270 followers for every tweet. I’m not buying it and neither should you. You should never follow accounts like this.

Fake Twitter Followers

Fake Twitter Followers

Above is what an account looks like that is being run by an auto follow bot. Notice the huge spikes in following and then a massive purge of the people that didn’t follow back. The net looks like a little less than 10% retainment. Who knows if they’re real accounts or not. From my analysis, they all look pretty fake.

Long story short, DO NOT EVER purchase anything that says “get more followers” for your company or personal brand. DO NOT EVER. It’s spam and you look silly.

Fake Twitter Followers

If it looks like that, just say no.

Fake Twitter Followers

But it says they’re REAL accounts? Just stop. Just stop. They’re about as real as the account that was faked in my name and used as a bot.

What does a real account look like?

Take a look at this one from Dave Delaney and this one by Travis Wright. Notice they both follow a considerable number of people but more importantly, look at their Twitter lists. They actually care about the people they follow and they place them into interests groups. Plus, their engagement on all of their tweets is indicative to a large, influenced community that they organically built. Not purchased.

You can inflate your Twitter influence by purchasing follower/following techniques. It’s really easy to do and takes little brain work. But please, don’t mistake influence with follower totals. Take the time to organically grow your Twitter presence by engaging with real conversation and content.