Monthly Archives: August 2012

Has Twitter Only Just Begun?

Because Twitter has been having some success solving it’s 7 biggest problems, I feel that now, late 2012, is the real beginning of Twitter.

Why do I say this? Because Twitter finally has

  • An appropriate number of employees,
  • A business plan,
  • A rich media interface
  • A stable-enough platform to plan for the future.

What Took Twitter So Long?

The real problem was that the previous CEO had given up trying to guide the company and it was growing like crazy, making all problems worse. After Dick Costolo became Twitter’s CEO, he increased hiring so dramatically and rapidly Twitter essentially became a new company in a couple of months.

Why did Costolo hire so rapidly? Because Twitter had seven enormous problems:

Twitter’s 7 Big Problems

  1. It was broken—literally. The service went offline frequently, and many features didn’t work correctly much of the time. It had bad infrastructure and waay too few engineers to fix things.
  2. It was growing like crazy. Facebook CEO Zuckerberg admitted that he copied Twitter rapidly, because at one point it looked like it might quickly be bigger than Facebook if he didn’t.
  3. It had no plan to make money. There were a few things being tried, but the previous CEO had kept saying real planning for revenue would be put off indefinitely.
  4. Waves of spammers and hijackers were able to dominate the service for short periods, and badly degrade the experience for nearly 100% of users.
  5. New users couldn’t figure out how to use Twitter. There were thousands of apps, and none worked the same. Twitter had no clear plan how to make the service usable for people across multiple platforms.
  6. Twitter didn’t know how to promote itself—what is Twitter best at? What is Twitter most popular for?
  7. Twitter did not have a rich media interface (images, video, content snippets) nor could it prioritize search results in any way. It couldn’t aggregate information for users, and that was one of the most popular uses of Twitter.

The Future

As I predicted over a year ago, I believe Twitter will continue restricting it’s focus until it gets a better handle on its problems.

Twitter will continue improving it’s ability to show rich media aggregated by user interests, and limit what it is doing as much as possible to focus its resources on fixing its problems and making its initiative work.

 

 

Twitter’s Paid Advertising Rolls Out To More Users Through Hootsuite

Today when I opened HootSuite there was a notification that Twitter wanted to give me the opportunity to run ads or promote my account:

Twitter explained:

“As with all of our advertising efforts, we are being thoughtful and deliberate in how we roll out self-serve to all kinds of small and local businesses,” she said. “We are testing out various ways to roll out this offering, including offers to Twitter users by companies like HootSuite.”

TechCrunch said that is “understands from a source” that this is the first signal that “a deeper partnership between the two may be in the works.”

A Hootsuite spokesperson commented:

“Real-time conversations are happening on Twitter, and we are excited to enable our users to drive even greater engagement on Twitter with Twitter advertising. We are currently conducting a trial with the Twitter team to gauge the appetite for Twitter advertising with a small sample of our userbase. As our users are some of the most influential and prolific social media practitioners on the planet, sending north of 2 million messages per day on behalf of SME brands, this trial will help us set roadmap to better service them.”

A quick check of Twitter.com displayed a similar notification to what I saw in HootSuite:

Since my wife Sarah is promoting the Twin Cities Voice Acting Expo right now, I thought it might be interesting to see if Twitter would help her find people interested in free events at the Expo.

Twitter: We’ll Take Your Money, But WE Decide What To Spend It On

But, alas, Twitter doesn’t let you select which tweets to promote to others. What the heck, Twitter? I get the idea that if you wanted to promote your account (which we don’t) promoting your most interesting tweets would amount to almost the same thing: more people would learn about your account.

I believe Twitter offers a different interface for folks who spend $15,000/month or more (based on past info I’ve seen). But for “small fry” the only thing Twitter really offers is promoting your already popular (“most engaged”) tweets, or promoting the ideas of following your account.

One of the pop-ups on the interface explains their rule:

“Instead of writing an ad, you simply continue to post regular Tweets in your timeline. Twitter analyzes the engagement rate of each of your Tweets in real time to determine the best ones to promote. Up to 5 Tweets may be promoted at any given time.”

Regular Users Discouraged, Businesses Welcomed

Basically, your entire account should be devoted in some way to something that pays you money, because if you spend money with Twitter, it’s your ACCOUNT that will be promoted, regardless of how you direct them to spend the money. My @TweetSmarter account isn’t about making a buck, so it makes no sense to pay to promote it. Sure, it enhances my “brand,” which helps all that I do, yada yada, but I prefer maintaining @TweetSmarter as a service to help others, rather than some kind of make-a-buck effort.

Twitter has reported great engagement on Tweets that were paid to be promoted, so I’m not knocking that the system works. It just isn’t a system where you can promote a particular message.

Buying Fake Followers?

Twitter “Promoted Account” option shows your account as a recommended follow to users. Of course, there is no way to tell if real users follow you, since Twitter can’t tell the difference between a real person and a fake account designed to act like a real person. So while it has proven in past reports to get people followers, I would consider promoting your account on your own website, in your emails and in other spaces that you control to be a much better investment in finding real people you would like to have as followers.

Here’s a screenshot of the actual purchasing interface Twitter provides (click to enlarge). I’ve expanded each section so you can see the whole interface in one image:

I did try posting a tweet about free events at the expo, and then eliminating other tweets from the list Twitter provided, but it insisted there be five tweets, and although my expo tweet appeared on the list, as soon as I started removing other tweets, the expo tweet disappeared. I suppose if all I ever did was tweet things I wanted promoted, or I was mainly interested in simply gaining in Twitter popularity (I’m not) this would be fine.

Even though the HootSuite notification mentioned a $100 credit, I saw no evidence of that on Twitter’s interface, which wanted my credit card. Since they didn’t have anything I wanted to pay for, and no indication I wouldn’t be charged, I haven’t yet run any Twitter advertising of any kind.

Clicking around the interface, I found Twitter’s explanation:

“Twitter regularly analyzes your Tweets to find up to 5 of your most engaging, recent Tweets. View these Tweets below and remove the ones that you never want Twitter to promote. Your replies and retweets will not be considered for promotion.”

I’ve never seen an advertising program before where the people that take your money won’t let you choose what happens when you spend it. Twitter is definitely a bird of a different color.

Additional Info From Twitter’s Ad Interface

Here are Twitter official FAQs about advertising:

Here are the Twitter Advertising Terms as of March 7, 2012 (that you must agree to to run ads):

These terms (the “Agreement”) are entered into by, as applicable, the individual or legal entity (“you”), that accepts this Agreement and Twitter, Inc. (“we” or “Twitter”). This Agreement governs your participation in the Twitter advertising program (the “Program”). You may place orders for Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and other forms of advertising in the Program that we make available from time to time (“Promoted Products”) via your online account. By doing so, you agree to the terms of this Agreement and any additional terms presented to you via the Program interface. If you do not agree to the terms of this Agreement, you cannot place orders in or otherwise participate in the Program.

  1. Revisions to this Agreement. Twitter reserves the right to revise this Agreement from time to time. When Twitter revises this Agreement, Twitter will present the revised terms to you for your acceptance. The terms in effect when you initiate or modify a Promoted Products campaign will govern your and Twitter’s rights and obligations in relation to such campaign. At any time, the current Promoted Products terms can be accessed via a link within the Program.
  2. The Program. Your participation in the Program is subject to your compliance with our policies as updated from time to time. These policies include Twitter’s Promoted Products Policy (https://twitter.com/adspolicy) and Trademark Guidelines (https://support.twitter.com/twittermarks) (the “Policies”). We may modify or cancel the Program, or modify the Policies at any time without liability to you or any third party in connection with such modification or cancellation. Please visit the links provided above to view the most current version of the Policies. Your use of the Program is subject to the version of the Policies applicable at the commencement of each advertising campaign run via the Program. The Program is available to you only in the United States, its territories, and possessions. You agree not to use or attempt to use the Program from outside these locations. Twitter may use technologies to verify your compliance with this restriction.
  3. Your Promoted Products. You are responsible for: (a) your Promoted Products, which will include content, information, and URLs, (b) interests, keywords, and other features made available to you from time to time to target Promoted Products (“Targets”), and (c) websites, landing pages, and advertised services and products to which your Promoted Products link or direct users (“Services”). You will protect your passwords appropriately and are responsible for access to your account by you and any third party. You agree to immediately notify Twitter of any security breach of your account. Twitter will not be responsible for any losses arising out of the unauthorized use of your account.
  4. Circulation of Promoted Products. We may place the Promoted Products, without restriction as to placement, on any content or property provided by Twitter or our partners and reference Promoted Products for our marketing and promotional purposes. For quality control and serving purposes for the benefit of Twitter users, we may use automated software to screen any websites and URLs included by you in a Promoted Product. We may modify a Promoted Product to comply with the Policies or this Agreement, provided, such modifications will only be in the form of deleting a Promoted Product in its entirety, resizing, or reformatting solely in connection with the Program. Twitter or its third-party partners may reject or remove any Promoted Product, campaign or Target for any or no reason. You cannot modify Promoted Tweets that have been sent, but you can delete the underlying Tweet to avoid further promotion of that Tweet. Because we offer an open platform, we cannot guarantee that all our partners or users will delete any Promoted Product that you delete or that Promoted Products sent by SMS or certain forms of syndication will be deleted. We cannot guarantee impressions, conversions, clicks, Retweets, follows, replies, favorites, blocks or any other actions taken (collectively “User Actions”) with your Promoted Products.
  5. Termination. You may delete or cancel Promoted Products at any time via your account interface, provided, you will be responsible for fees for Promoted Products delivered prior to deletion or cancellation. Promoted Products will cease shortly after deletion or cancellation. If you breach, or Twitter suspects that you have breached, any provision of this Agreement, Twitter, in its sole discretion, without notice to you may: (i) terminate this Agreement and/or your account (and you will remain liable for all amounts due under your account up to and including the date of termination); and/or (ii) preclude access to the Program (or any part thereof).
  6. Restrictions. You will not, and will not authorize any party to: (a) generate automated, fraudulent or otherwise invalid User Actions (b) use any automated means or form of scraping or data extraction to access, query or otherwise collect information related to the Program from any website or property except as expressly permitted by us; or (c) advertise anything illegal or engage in any illegal or fraudulent business practice. You must have and grant to us and our partners any rights (including without limitation any copyright, trademark, patent, publicity or other rights) in your Promoted Products, Services and Targets needed for us and our partners to operate the Program. You represent and warrant that (y) all your information is complete, correct and current; and (z) your use of the Program and your Promoted Products, Targets, and Services do not and will not violate or encourage violation of any applicable laws, regulations, or code of conduct, nor infringe or misappropriate any third-party rights (including without limitation privacy and intellectual property rights). Violation of the foregoing may result in immediate termination or suspension of your account without notice and may subject you to legal penalties and consequences. Twitter has the right, but not the obligation, to monitor any materials submitted by you or otherwise available through the Program, to investigate any reported or apparent violation of this Agreement, and to take any action that Twitter in its sole discretion deems appropriate.
  7. Confidentiality. Much of the Program is confidential to Twitter, as further described herein. “Confidential Information” means any business or technical information related to Twitter, the technology used to provide the Twitter Service, and Twitter’s Promoted Products that is marked “confidential” or “proprietary” at the time of disclosure, or, by its nature or content is reasonably distinguishable as confidential or proprietary. The following shall be deemed Confidential Information, without limitation: the Twitter account interface and features, campaign management tools and user interface, analytics and activity dashboards, pricing, best practices materials, marketing collateral, onboarding materials and webinars, information on Twitter metrics and user demographics, and the terms of this Agreement. Confidential Information does not include information that: (a) is or becomes generally known to the public through no fault of or breach of this Agreement by you; (b) is rightfully known by you at the time of disclosure without an obligation of confidentiality; (c) is independently developed by you without use of the Confidential Information; or (d) you rightfully obtain from a third party without restriction on use or disclosure. You will not use the Confidential Information except as necessary for the performance of this Agreement and will not disclose such Confidential Information to any third party except to those employees and subcontractors that need to know such Confidential Information for the purpose of performing this Agreement, provided that each such employee and subcontractor is subject to a written agreement that includes binding use and disclosure restrictions that are at least as protective as those set forth herein. You will use all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of all such Confidential Information, but in no event less than the efforts that you ordinarily use with respect to your own proprietary information of similar nature and importance. The foregoing obligations will not restrict you from disclosing Confidential Information: (i) pursuant to the order or requirement of a court, administrative agency, or other governmental body, provided that you give reasonable notice to Twitter to contest such order or requirement; and (ii) on a confidential basis to your legal or financial advisors. You agree to hold Confidential Information in confidence during the Agreement and for a period of three (3) years from the date of termination.
  8. Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability. To the fullest extent permitted by law, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION FOR NONINFRINGEMENT, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all guarantees regarding positioning, levels, quality, or timing of: (i) costs per click; (ii) click through rates; (iii) availability and delivery of any impressions, Promoted Products, or Targets on any Twitter or partner property; (iv) any User Actions; (v) conversions or other results for any Promoted Products or Targets; (vi) the accuracy of data; and (vii) the adjacency or placement of Promoted Products within the Program. Your exclusive remedy, and our exclusive liability, for suspected invalid User Actions is to make a claim for a refund in the form of Promoted Products credits within the time period required under Section 10 below. Any refunds for suspected invalid User Actions are within our sole discretion. EXCEPT FOR INDEMNIFICATION OBLIGATIONS HEREUNDER AND YOUR BREACH OF SECTION 7 (CONFIDENTIALITY), TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW: (a) NEITHER OF US WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, EXEMPLARY, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION LOSS OF PROFITS, REVENUE, INTEREST, GOODWILL, LOSS OR CORRUPTION OF DATA OR FOR ANY LOSS OR INTERRUPTION TO YOUR BUSINESS) WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION NEGLIGENCE) OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY FAILURE OF ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF ANY LIMITED REMEDY; AND (b) EACH OF THE PARTIES’ LIABILITY TO THE OTHER IS LIMITED TO AMOUNTS PAID OR PAYABLE TO US BY YOU FOR THE PROMOTED PRODUCT GIVING RISE TO THE CLAIM. Except for payment obligations, neither of us are liable for failure or delay resulting from a condition beyond each of our reasonable control, including without limitation to acts of God, government, terrorism, natural disaster, labor conditions and power failures.
  9. Agencies. If you are an agency representing an advertiser, you agree (a) that you are authorized to act on behalf of and have bound the advertiser to this Agreement, (b) to secure and maintain all rights from the advertiser needed to enter into this Agreement, and (c) you will not disclose the advertiser’s Program information to any other party without the advertiser’s consent.
  10. Payment. You will be responsible for all charges up to the amount of each campaign set in your online account and will pay all charges in USD. All sales are final. We accept payment by credit card and reserve the right to change the credit cards we accept at any time. Twitter may obtain preapproval for an amount based on your projected budget. When you specify a payment source to us, you confirm that you are (a) permitted to use that payment source; (b) authorize us to collect and store it, solely as needed to complete the transaction; and (c) authorize Twitter to charge the full amounts due to that payment source. If you want to designate a different credit card or if there is a change in your credit card, you must change your information online in the account information section of the Program; this may temporarily disrupt your access to the Program while Twitter verifies your new payment information. We will bill your payment source periodically as your Promoted Products incur charges. If a payment by you results in additional fees from your financial institution, such as overage fees, you agree to be solely responsible for such fees. In the event your payment method fails, we may take steps to collect past due amounts. You are responsible for paying any reasonable expenses and attorneys fees we incur for collecting late amounts. To the fullest extent permitted by law, you waive all claims relating to charges unless claimed within 60 days after the charge (this does not affect your credit card issuer rights). Charges are solely based on our measurements for the Program. To the fullest extent permitted by law, refunds (if any) are at Twitter’s discretion and only in the form of advertising credit for the Program. We are not obligated to extend credit to you. You allow us to share your credit card and related billing and payment information with companies who work on our behalf, such as payment processors, collection agencies, and credit agencies, solely for the purposes of checking credit, effecting payment and servicing your account. We may also provide information in response to valid legal process, such as subpoenas, search warrants and court orders, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian must accept these terms and make payments on your behalf. The Program is not available to users under the age of 13.
  11. Credits. To the extent you have received free advertising credits for the Program, you will be charged automatically for any Promoted Products charges beyond the credit amount. Credits cannot be combined with other offers, nor transferred or sold. Credits are not redeemable for cash. Any refunds for credits spent in the Program will be solely in the form of additional advertising credits. All unused credits (or remaining portion of credits) will expire at 11:59 PM PST on December 31, 2012, unless otherwise specified in the offer terms for the credits.
  12. Indemnification. You will indemnify and defend us, our partners, agents, affiliates, and licensors from any third-party claim or liability, arising out of your Promoted Products, Targets or Services; our use of your Promoted Products, Targets or Services for the Program; your use of the Program; and your breach of this Agreement.
  13. Miscellaneous. This Agreement will be governed by California law except for its conflicts of laws principles. All claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the Program will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of San Francisco County, California, USA, and you consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts. This Agreement (which includes any additional rights or obligations contained in the Program interface) constitutes the entire and exclusive agreement between us with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersedes and replaces any other statements on the same subject matter. In no event shall any additional or conflicting terms tendered by you under a purchase order or other document have any effect. A waiver of any default is not a waiver of any other default. Unenforceable provisions will be modified only to the extent necessary to make them enforceable, and remaining provisions of this Agreement will remain in full effect. You will not assign any of your rights hereunder. Twitter retains the right to assign its rights and delegate its duties under this Agreement. We are not legal partners or agents of each other, but are independent contractors. In the event that this Agreement or the Program(s) expire or are terminated, we are not obligated to return any materials to you. Notice to you may be provided by sending an email to the email address specified in your account, or by posting a message to your account interface, and is deemed received when sent (for email) or no more than 15 days after having been posted (for messages in your account interface). The headings of the sections of this Agreement are for convenience only and will not be of any effect in construing the meanings of the sections.

 

 

 

How To Find The Most Popular Tweets On Any Topic

Topsy saves all Tweets, and lets you search them in a bunch of awesome ways.

One of my favorite Topsy features is searching for the most popular tweets from a particular user. For example, here are the most popular tweets from @TweetSmarter about the topic “etiquette.”

Here’s what that looks like for the most popular @TweetSmarter #Warning tweets:

See how that works? All you need is to:

  1. Search for from:username without the “@” (in this case, TweetSmarter)
  2. Type a space, and then the keyword you want to search for (in this case, it’s the hashtag #Warning)
  3. On the left, click the “All Time” option to see the most popular tweets of all time
  4. That’s it!

If you just want to find tweets by topic, of course only type in a keyword.

Search in ANY custom time period

You can edit the URL of a search to make it cover virtually any time period. Decide how many hours or days you want to search through. If the option (such as “Past 7 Day”) is there, simply click it and you’re done.

But what if you want to search a different number of hours or days? This takes three steps:

  1. First, do your search. Choose any options from the left panel.
  2. Next, click the “1 hour” or “1 day” options depending on whether you’re going to search through hours or days
  3. Lastly, look at the URL (web address) in the top of your browser. Type in whatever number of days or hours you wish (no spaces) at the end of the URL and click enter on your keyboard

Sometimes in the morning I’ll search for tweets about Twitter that came in when I was sleeping. So my search URL will look like this after I add an “8” to the end:

http://topsy.com/s/twitter?window=h8

Try it! Topsy is one of the most awesome Twitter tools in existence :-)

What To Watch Out For

Offensive tweets and pics will sometimes show up unexpectedly, when you’re searching for something that seems inoffensive.

It’s the internet, so watch out! Of course, I’ve also encountered unexpected nudity on Google image search, searching for things that would seem to have no relation to any possible nudity.

I will sometimes turn off display of images in my browser if I’m going to be doing a wide varietry Topsy searches, so I don’t run into any unwanted surprises.

In Google Chrome, for example, you can turn off images from Settings > Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings > Images.

 

 

 

How to Search for Tweets From Only Those You Follow on Twitter

For any search you do on Twitter, there will three options that appear near the top of the page: Top, All, and People you Follow. It looks like this:

Click on “People you Follow” and you’re done. Quick and easy!

Why Twitter Will NOT Show You All Tweets…And What You Can Do

What many people find to be a problem (once they are informed) is that Twitter’s default result is “Top” and NOT “All.”

That’s right: Twitter does NOT show you all tweets in a search result…UNLESS you take the additional step of clicking “All.”

Even then, not all tweets appear in search results. If your tweets are missing, be sure to read Twitter’s help article.

The Ultimate Guide To Finding People Via Social Media

Social media is the ultimate place to make connections. Here you can find people who can:

…or who are just interesting people to get to know, and much, much more!

1. Finding People By Interest, Topic or Bio

Let’s say—just for the sake of example—that you’re trying to find the top influencers on the topic of “parenting.” All the links below will take you to results on “parenting” (where possible) so you can see how to do a keyword search.

Some of these great free resource also offer search by location, such as FollowerWonkLocaFollow and others.

  1. FollowerWonk
  2. Twiangulate
  3. Topsy Expert Search
  4. Listorious List Search
  5. TweetLevel topic search
  6. Search Twitter Twitter bios via Google
  7. Klout topic search
  8. Twellow Directory Search
  9. Super Dashboard at peoplebrowsr.com #FollowFriday most recommended
  10. TagWalk.com (shows related resources)
  11. LocaFollow
  12. PeekYou
  13. Hashtweeps top users by hashtag
  14. HooSaid user search
  15. TweepFind
  16. HashTags.org
  17. WeFollow Directory Search
  18. Research.ly (allows limited free searches)
  19. Social Mention
  20. TweetFind
  21. Twibs
  22. Icerocket
  23. http://listatlas.com/
Yet another strategy is search for people tweeting about a topic, and then trying to figure out how influential they are. If you use the Klout plugin (Firefox • Chrome) you can see the Klout ranking of each user right inside their tweet.

2. Finding People by Name

While some of the tools above will help you with this, you can also search Twitter usernames via Google or simply use Twitter people search.

3. More Strategies

Also check out some of the tools in this “Twitter Influentials” post and some of the advice at “Identifying True Twitter Friends.”

There are also many excellent paid tools, of course, such as traackr.comsocmetrics.com and grouphigh.com.

4. What Should You Do When You Find Them?

If you’re looking to connect with influential people, see the section titled “How to find the most influential people willing to help you” at “The ULTIMATE guide to finding and engaging influential Twitter users.”

It’s a good idea to see how much these folks converse with others. Try a Twitter search such as this one to see their conversations.

Happy searching!

Infocharts: What the World Tweets, And From Where

A cool new service—the Diffbot Page Classifier API—instantly determines the page type of any web link, e.g product, article, image, recipe, etc. Very cool!

Their Chrome extension classifies every link in your Tweet-stream, and automatically expands all photos and articles without leaving Twitter.com.

Diffbot analyzed 750,000 links posted to Twitter to determine what we’re sharing, and where we’re sharing it from (click here for full infographic):

Breakdown of tweeted links by page type:

Language of linked-to pages in tweets (top two page-types per language):

Most-tweeted article sites:

Most-tweeted image sites:

Most-tweeted video sites:

Who has Fake Followers on Twitter?

In the Fake Follower Count Of 11 Top Tweeters report from Huffington Post, folks learned that popular accounts can have a lot of fake followers.

In my test using the Status tool, I found that it reports @Twitter itself to have a lot of fakes:

  • Fake: 42%
  • Inactive: 35%
  • Good: 23%

So that made feel a little better when I checked its report on @TweetSmarter:

  • Fake: 11%
  • Inactive: 32%
  • Good: 57%

Almost 4 times less fakes than @Twitter. Of course, I had to check our old account name, @Twitter_Tips:

  • Fake: 1%
  • Inactive: 20%
  • Good: 79%

Note that these are people that followed @Twitter_Tips after it had closed. (For the whole story on the name change, click here.)

So, What Do Fake Followers Mean?

All in all, unless the tool reports a LOT of fake followers, I’m not sure it’s very helpful in understanding popular accounts. Of course, for new or smaller accounts, having a lot of fake followers would be a serious red flag.

While I’ve never bought or advertised for followers, years ago I used to follow groups of influential accounts wherever interesting news was happening, and may have picked up a few fakes that way.

But mostly I expect that we’re simply popular enough to be “credible” and spammers/fake accounts like to follow a few credible accounts to make themselves seem more “real.” (For example, our Klout score today is 80, and it was 87 when Klout added us to their “Klout Stars” program.)