Social media is all about authenticity, right? Maybe not. There have been several studies in recent years about the tendency to project the best version of ourselves on social networks. And according to a Pew study, parents are worried their kids don’t understand the concept of reputation management.
And then there are the fakers. According to an infographic from web hosting company WhoIsHostingThis, people in certain industries — especially high profile people — are prone to buying followers to beef up their online presence. Of Lady Gaga’s nearly 40 million Twitter followers 71 percent are fake and 70 percent of President Obama’s 34 million followers are also fake, according to the data.
Indeed, fake clicks and followers are becoming big business. The study also indicates that it’s relatively inexpensive. In fact, you can buy 1000 followers for just $10 and $3000 can buy you a million views on your YouTube video. Still, social networks are fighting this trend for buying fake social media status. Twitter implemented a spam filter to weed out fake followers and YouTube recently cracked down on the fake views for videos from big recording artists.
Here’s the thing, reputation management is one thing but faking a social media following could do more harm than good. Yelp flags companies suspected of buying positive reviews and the most egregious fakers risk getting banned.
Some indicators of a fake Twitter account include:
- being less than five months old
- having multiple followers and no profile picture
- promotional tweets and the default avatar
- the account is following about 1,800 people and has almost 50,000 followers
- 75 perecent of the fake accounts advertise a website in the profile.
Separately, these indicators don’t necessarily mean a fake account and many would argue that including your URL is just good practice. But when you add it all together, the list is a great way to spot asocial media faker.
Check out the infographic below.
Featured image credit: Craig Stanfill