- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthThe Social Shake-Up Attracts Wide Breadth of Brands and IndustriesThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How Accurate Are Fake Twitter Follower Tools?
Posted on April 26th 2013
But how accurately are these tools in identifying fake accounts? Probably not as accurate as you might think.
What’s in a number?
At first glance, there’ s a lot of consistency between the tools. Consider two assessments of the @leaderswest Twitter account:
Each tool determined that of my 20,000 followers, about 600 may be “fake.” But the Social Bakers tool goes one step further and proposes “fake” accounts to block:
To SocialBaker’s credit, they list the criteria for inclusion in this list and say specifically:
“We understand that these criteria, number 6 in particular, don’t necessarily define fake followers. However these kinds of followers can be considered empty or inactive and therefore not helpful to you in terms of reach.”
But let’s look at the first “fake” follower @tweetcaroline:
Caroline appears to have been miscategorized as a “fake” account because she uses the paper.li content aggregator. The standard paper.li tweet repeats the same phrase in multiple tweets. But @carolinetweets most certainly isn’t a fake account. And this is a common reason that some legitimate accounts were identified as “fake” with the SocialBakers tool.
Assumptions for fake Twitter followers
Anytime you make assumptions about a large population, slight imprecision can be hugely inaccurate. A recent (more serious) example of this were the Excel errors in the calculations for European austerity measures by two renowned economists. The austerity measures that have been implemented over the last few years were based on small miscalculations that produced huge errors.
Percentage of fake Twitter followers will never approach the seriousness of austerity, but the same principle applies. Assumptions about a group of two-hundred million people, no matter how slight can result in big errors.
What do you think? Are these tools useful? Are they accurate?