Posted August 27, 2012 3:02 pm by with 0 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

If you’re looking for an influencer on Twitter, it’s best to go with the person who has the largest number of followers, right? Logical, but not necessarily true. In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about phony Twitter profiles and inflated account numbers thanks to a new service called StatusPeople.

Significant mentions include noting that 71% of Obama’s followers are fake and that 42% of those following Senatorial accounts are fake or inactive. There was also an uproar over the sudden influx to Mitt Romeny’s Twitter, which led to allegations of Twitter manipulation as well.

Counter that with the fact that Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj have the highest number of legit followers and you have to wonder about the world.

People can inflate their Twitter follower pool in two ways, neither of which is against the rules. They can use a bot that automatically friends people who use certain phrases, many of whom will follow back. (Which can also be done using auto software.) Or you can buy actual followers through one of several services.

In both of these cases, what you’re getting is mostly junk followers. People who have no interest in what you’re saying, but simply follow for cash or to inflate their own numbers. The chances of actually converting any of these people into customers is pretty small. So why do it? Because it looks good.

What would you think of a politician who had only 100 followers on Twitter? What about a singer or an author? You’d likely think, how good can they be if no one follows them on Twitter? If anyone does bother to call you on it, it’s probably not going to be a big deal, unless you’re a politician. But is this how you want to do business? Seeing a high follower count on Twitter may make you feel more popular but if it doesn’t help your bottom line, it’s a waste of time and money.

If you do use a bot to follow “like” Twitter profiles, make sure you cull through the list on a regular basis. I once dealt with a sports company that made the mistakes of following everyone who mentioned “balls” on Twitter. Yikes. What a mess. And if you think potential followers don’t look at who already follows you, you’re wrong. Don’t create a bad first impression by filling your ranks with phoney and inappropriate followers. Get followers the old fashioned way, by creating content people actually want to read. How’s that for innovative?