4 Clues Twitter Followers Are Purchased

So I’ve noticed lately a lot of people with extremely huge numbers on Twitter. By huge numbers, we’re talking about tens of thousands. If we were in a grocery store, and these people were in the produce aisle, they would not be organic. Ok, maybe that metaphor isn’t really going to work. What I mean is, they have no relationship with those tens of thousands of followers. Among my friends who are social media managers (SMMs), we say those people “bought” their followers — they literally plunked down some cash so they could get a thousand or ten thousand followers.

How can you tell if someone bought their followers? Here’s what I’ve noticed.

1. Don’t have lists & not on anyone else’s.

If you’ve been on Twitter awhile, you use lists as shortcuts, a way to organize so you can cluster followers together. For example, your list called “locals” might have people in the same city as you, and so on. So, for someone to have, say…10,000 followers and not be listed anywhere? Suspicious.

2. No engagement.

Unless you’re a celebrity superstar or news channel, you need to have some conversations going to get big numbers. If you read a few tweets in the other person’s timeline, and there’s no engagement, and they’re not a celebrity, how did their numbers get so big? Also suspicious.

3. Huge number of followers, very few tweets.

Building a big following organically (read: not paying for them) takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. So 10,000 followers and 200 tweets? Very, very suspicious.

4. Twitter start date is too recent.

If the account is only two weeks old, how could they possibly have 25,000 followers? Even a caffeine addict who never sleeps couldn’t add that many followers in two weeks. Extremely suspicious. Especially if their avatar is the Twitter egg.

We all know that having big numbers makes people look popular on Twitter. And sometimes being popular can impress others. But: so what? Who are they trying to impress with those 100,000 followers who have no real relationship with them?

If you’ve come across someone with huge numbers, would you follow them based on their number of followers? Please leave a comment below! Thanks!

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