July 16, 2019

Is Your Author Platform Built on Fake Followers?

PC World has posted an excellent article on using a free tool to determine how many fake followers are among your twitter followers.

Having a large percentage of fake followers signals that your account has probably been compromised.

The algorithm uses these elements:

  • The Following / Followers ratio is less than 50 Following / 1 Follower
  • They repeat spam phrases like “diet,” “make money,” and “work from home”
  • Tweets are repeated more than three times
  • More than 90% of the account´s tweets are retweets
  • More than 90% of tweets are links and the profile has a following: followers ratio of 7 : 1 or more. This means, for example, that the profile is following 7 others while only being followed by 1.
  • The account has never tweeted

The app neither inspects your direct messages nor views your password. Within two minutes, I received the following results:

  • 1% fake followers
  • 15% real, but inactive followers
  • 84% good followers

The app goes on to offer a free trial, but I was so relieved at having such good followers that I didn’t want to discover which of my tweets are ineffective or most effective.

Then, I wondered how many author platforms are built on fake followers–not just on Twitter where influence from tweeter to follower is loose or weak–but on other proxies for an author’s ability to influence others to purchase and promote a new book title. Should–or how should–authors strengthen these connections?


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