Social media allows anyone to look popular and credible. You can buy 5000 Twitter followers for $5 (or Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube friends) and this makes it difficult to see who you can really trust.
Fakers @ Status People is a tool to help. It lets you see how many fake Twitter followers someone has:
How to use Fakers to find out how many fake Twitter followers someone has
1. Sign in for free with your Twitter account
2. Click to authorise Fakers to login with your Twitter details
3. Wait as Fakers scans your own Twitter account to see how many fake followers you have
4. Either sulk or celebrate your score
5. Try someone else’s Twitter profile
Future of social media influence scores
Future social media influence scores such as Klout may take fake followers into account. There’s no reason why Fakers cannot share their APIs with third-party applications and make their fake-scanning technology available for all.
What does this mean?
Being found to have fake Twitter followers tinges your reputation. For example, Tim Ferriss above has 11% fake followers – that’s over 44,000 profiles.
Yet before rushing to judge, this does not mean he, or anyone else with a similar score, added these themselves. To look legitimate fake Twitter profiles follow real people. They also use computer bots to re-tweet real Twitter users. If a fake Twitter profile is trying to look like they’re interested in outsourcing, book publishing and lifestyle design, it’s only normal that they’d follow someone like Tim Ferriss who is an author on all those subjects.
Should I, or should I not buy fake Twitter followers?
Large Twitter followings do give instant credibility to onlookers, but not influence. You’ll be Tweeting to a wall. Best Twitter practice is to find real and relevant Twitter users and build your following slowly over time (read my eBook, Tom’s Twitter Blueprint).
I’ve bought thousands of fake followers, what should I do?
If you’ve already bought thousands of fake followers and want to reduce your risk of being caught out and receiving negative publicity, there are a number of options you can do:
1. Confess – Write a blog post outlining exactly what you did and why – you were experimenting with digital marketing to see what would happen. Describe the results (if they’re positive i.e. drove organic growth, then you were smart and it’s a win for you. If they’re negative and nothing happened, then say you’ve stopped and are sharing the insight to others – a win for you.) Now, if anyone does raise the fact, you can point them to your blog post and show them that it’s old news.
2. Reduce the proportion – Win real Twitter followers quickly by advertising on Twitter, engaging in popular #hashtag conversations and conducting large quantities of legitimate Twitter action.
3. Block your followers – You can block your fake followers (follow WikiHow instructions) one at a time. This might take a while.
4. Delete your account – Delete your Twitter account and start again.