Just like fake news, fake followers are a massive problem on social media. Not only can having a lot of fake followers damage your social credibility, it can hurt the distribution of your posts.

In other words, if you have fake or low-quality followers in your social networks, only a small number of your followers will actually see your posts.

Here's how most algorithms in social media work. Right after you post something, the algorithm shows it to a small sample size of your network.

Then, depending on the initial engagement level it gets with that initial sample group, it either dies off, if it performs poorly, or if it does well, the algorithm accelerates it by showing it to more followers and beyond.

Remember that bots or inactive followers will never engage with your posts.

If you have too many low-quality accounts that are either fake or never online, the initial engagement rate your posts will be low. The algorithm will prevent your posts from being shown beyond the initial small sample group. So your posts won't ever reach a broad audience even if you have lots of followers.

Of course, bot accounts post the most fake news as well. Getting rid of them will improve the quality of your feed.

Sure, everyone wants to have lots of followers. And what can you do about it if someone signs up for Twitter and you're one of about 500 accounts they follow only to abandon their account a week later, never to log back in? 

If you've been on social media for more than a few years, it's quite possible that you've accumulated a number of fake followers along the way without ever knowing about it.

But don't panic thinking you have to weed through hundreds or thousands of existing followers' profiles to figure out who is real and who isn't.

There are various apps that can help clean up your accounts.

In terms of Twitter, either the Fakers App or TwitterAudit will help with that. These tools give you insight into other important aspects needed to have a successful social media empire. Not only do they show fake accounts, but they also show you what percent of your followers have had interactions on Twitter within the past 100 days. 

You are better off removing those who haven't sent or received a tweet in years.

To audit your Instagram followers, make sure to check out Social Audit Pro. This tool will help you identify and remove all dormant or fake followers. Once the audit is finished, you can quickly remove the followers that the tool has given a low quality score to.

To get an overall picture of how your followers are interacting with your brand, consider taking a look at Fakefollowers. Here you can enter in a list of criteria that you would like to search for among your followers. 

This includes accounts that use "spammy" words in their posts. Once identified, you can remove or block those accounts, ridding your feed of their irrelevant content and freeing up space for the people's content you do want to see. 

When getting a connection request, always take time to browse through their profile before accepting. Look for these warnings signs of a fake profile before accepting: 

  • People with no profile photo or a profile pic that looks a little "too good to be true." 
  • They have a high number of accounts they follow, but hardly anyone is following them back.
  • The account is brand new.
  • The "About" section contains vague information, and none of it is verifiable.
  • Their posts are all ads about the same thing.

Now that you have the tools you need to rid yourself of fake accounts and spammers, purge these deadweights from your network and start the new year fresh on social media with real and engaged followers.

Published on: Dec 22, 2017