Twitter Fake Followers

I follow the social media hotel scene very closely since I work for several Belgian hotels as a Social Media Consultant. A while ago I was quite shocked to discover that even some hotels in Belgium seem to buy followers. I figured this is common in U.S., but in Belgium??? Apparently yes…

I suddenly saw a huge increase in followers for a Belgian hotel in a very short time span & wondered what they did to increase their followers base. I’m probably naive because my first thought was that they organized some kind of competition. However a simple look at their followers made it painfully clear that 99% of their new followers were fake. All their newest followers continously tweeted & retweeted the same messages that sad nothing at all and were clearly spam.

Now to help you discover fake accounts, about a year ago SocialBakers launched a tool called fakefollowers that allows you to see if your followers (or the ones from your competitor) are real, suspicious or inactive. Only thing you need to do is type in a Twitter account name, and have a little patience cause it takes some time:

fakefollowers tool by SocialBakers

When you hover over a suspicous follower the ‘i’ symbol (= information) will appear and you will  get an indication why SocialBakers thinks that account is a suspious follower. Reasons can be because the account has never tweeted, or only has retweeted, and so on. Quite convenient!

To be honest I really don’t understand why brands would by fake Twitter followers. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t buy followers:

  • social media is about real connections with real people => you’re not going to connect & engage with a fake follower
  • negative impact on your credibility if people discover that you are buying fake followers
  • your timeline will be filled up with spam & fake tweets
  • Twitter investigates fake accounts and will turn them off, so in the end you paid for nothing and your followers base might decrease as quickly as it increased

Unfortunately sometimes you may also get fake followers without buying them. It can always happen for example that a Twitter ‘bot’ starts following you. If you didn’t buy fake accounts your ‘suspicious’ percantage should be lower than 5%. When you undelibirately gained fake followes you can block those fake Twitter followers so they can’t follow you anymore. You can also report a ‘spam profile’ by visiting their account’s profile, clicking on the person icon and select “Report @username for spam”.

report a spam profile on Twitter

Of course I also checked my own handle and my percentages were 1% suspicious, 2% inactive & 97% good so I’m quite happy! What’s your percentage of suspicious followers? I would love to know so don’t hesitate to leave a reply 😉