Twitter is such an easy place to create an account that it has been abused resulting in many fake twitter accounts.
Twitter is quite an effective marketing system in some ways, to reach out to people and draw people through to a sales landing page.
But when there are weak controls people will abuse the system. All you need to create a Twitter account is an email address, and it has been abused.
- People have created fake accounts that they have sold to others, either directly or as ‘fake followers’.
- People have ‘bought’ fake followers to make their accounts look more popular.
- Fake Twitter accounts have been and are used to follow and to ‘spam’ genuine users.
You may have your own definition of ‘Fake’ but to me it’s where there is no genuine human behind the account.
The infographic below, from Social Selling University, provides a graphic illustration of the extend of this abuse.
How can you spot a fake Twitter Account?
Here are 3 signs I use to decide whether to respond or to follow a Twitter Account:
- Is the avatar picture either the egg, or more likely an overly attractive person.
- Is the bio wording suspicious – either overtly engaging or devoid of real-world meaning
- Is the Tweet Stream predominantly automated content and/or @ messages to people they clearly don’t yet know.
You may well develop your own criteria to decide whether to follow or not.
Tips to improve the Quality of your Twitter account.
If you’re using Twitter and other Social Media for Business to Business, you really need to be seen as a ‘genuine’ profile, so ‘genuine people’ follow you.
- Add a relevant and recognisable profile picture or avatar
- Complete the description about yourself and why people should follow you
- Tweet a mix of content; positioning, promotional, conversational, etc. including your keywords and #hashtags
To maintain the quality of your Tweet Stream and Twitter conversations
- Think twice before following potentially fake profiles
- If you choose to use ‘auto-follow-back’ then set up Lists for ‘Genuine Contacts’ to read their content
- Use a curation tool such as www.paper.li to sent you a daily summary of key topics
- Use a Social CRM system such as NIMBLE to help you use Twitter as a conversational channel
LinkedIn has better controls and much higher quality
The LinkedIn network by contrast has much stronger controls, and therefore is a much higher quality business and professional social network.
There is implicit validation of each profile, by declaring education and employment, as a means to be found and connect with other genuine people.
You can check-out someones credentials by contacting people they say they know.
If you’re in a Business to Business market there is huge potential to use LinkedIn for business.
Choose the Social Media Network where your target audience is.
It is ‘horses for courses’ and there is no ‘right’ answer – just ‘better’.
Some people and businesses will want to be on BOTH Twitter, for chat and broadcast, and LinkedIn, for branding and positioning to the business audience. Then there’s Facebook, Google+ and many other options, to reach and converse with the audiences there.
Being clear about who you want to connect and communicate with is the starting point for any social media strategy.
And, looking further ahead, it’s about starting to develop a customer community, and through that to draw in potential customers.
Infographic of Twitter development and fake Twitter accounts
Social Selling Software – InsideView.com