Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Fake Twitter followers and how to find them

When creating a Twitter account for your online business, you want to try and get as many followers as you can because as we all know the more followers you get, the more people will become aware of your business. Well actually this isn't always true. There are a number of fake accounts on Twitter, who each have different reasons for being there. Some are just bots, while others are looking to possibly scam Twitter users.

There are also a number of fake accounts who claim to be people they aren't, meaning that if you are looking to follow an important figure within your industry, you can often find it difficult to as there are numerous accounts claiming to be a specific person.

While it does look better for your business from an outside perspective if you do have a number of Twitter followers, if the majority of those followers are fake accounts or bots, your messages aren't going to reach many people. So, how can you find out if you do have any fake followers on your Twitter account?

Check their followers

If you see that they are following a large amount of people but only have a small number following themselves, this is a clear indication that the Twitter account is in fact a bot. What I mean by large and small is that if for example, if they are following 2,000 people but only have 20 followers themselves, this tells you that their own content output is pretty much non-existent and that they are indeed a bot.

Check their direct messages

Looking at their direct messages is another clear indication of whether an account is a bot or not. While most people send various messages on different subjects to a variety of users, a bot will simply send the exact same message to everyone they are following. While this isn't subtle, it is one of the clearest indications that the Twitter account is an automated bot. 

Wait it out

A lot of fake accounts who are looking to gain a number of followers will start following a number of different accounts. They will then wait 24 to 48 hours to see if you begin following them. If you decide that you don't wish to follow them, they will then unfollow you. If after 48 hours they are still on your Twitter account, you can then use some of the other steps to determine whether they are fake or if the account is a bot. 

Use a tool

There are a few different tools out there such as "Status People", which you can use for free to check how many fake followers you have on your account. This will then allow you to manually remove these fake users from your Twitter account. The website also provides you with names of accounts that are 100% fake so that you can look out for them in case they start following you in the future.

Look for a verification

If you are looking to follow your favourite celebrity or figure within your industry, there may be a number of different accounts that claim to be theirs. In order to find the one that is actually really, you should look for the small image next to their Twitter name which signifies that it is a verified account. This image consists of a white tick within a blue bubble. Once you see that image you know that it is the real account of that person and has been verified as real by Twitter. 

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