If you’ve ever been struck by the huge amounts of Twitter followers some of your competitors seem to have, it’s worth pausing for a while before you boil over with jealousy. You may be thinking that your tweets and the information you share are far more valuable, so why is it that internet users are flocking to them in such great numbers? The answer may well be that many of these followers are in fact fake.
But how do these companies even get their ‘fake followers’ to begin with? One way, believe it or not, is to simply purchase them. In this way you can suddenly acquire 1000 Twitter followers in one sweep. By contrast, a company doing things the normal way might perhaps hope to get about 20 new followers each day if they are really putting a lot of effort into their social media marketing.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to acquire fake followers by accident. In fact, around 5 per cent of total followers will be from fake accounts that make it a point to follow other users in order to appear real. If you don’t want to get involved with fake followers then be on your guard and don’t follow anyone back if they seem suspicious.
But are you still tempted to fake some followers because it seems like an easy option? A lot less work? Well think again, because this kind of practice can destroy your online credibility. It can be quite obvious if you have a large number of fake followers and if you’re trying to make your mark in a B2B environment, where trust and reputation are key, you will do your credibility a lot of damage. People will simply avoid you.
Also, bear in mind that if the majority of your followers are fake then this is just a meaningless number at the end of the day: you will not be able to engage with them and this means you won’t be using your Twitter account to boost your brand. After all, social media is all about engaging in conversations, sharing content and ideas. If all you’re doing is garnering a lot of followers who won’t respond to you, it not only makes you look bad but it is also a waste of a valuable marketing opportunity.
As a last point, fake followers are actually contrary to Twitter’s terms of service which means that if you are employing this tactic regularly then your account can simply be suspended or deleted. Once it becomes known that this has happened to you it will take you a long time to build up respect within the online business community again – if indeed you are able to at all. Taking all this into account, it really is best to hone your social marketing skills and do things the honest way. Yes, you may have fewer followers to begin with but they will all be relevant to you and hopefully willing to engage with your tweets.