According to several reports there are more than 20 million fake accounts over Twitter today. This number of bots is impressive. It means that almost 4% of all registered accounts are fakes.
Twitter is all about people and their relationships. While increasing your audience it is important to pay attention to those who you are following.
You can easily spot fake followers using these 10 tips:
- Fakes are egghead
Almost all real users upload profile picture. Bots don`t.
Nevertheless, not every egghead account is a Bot, but this is one of the signs you should pay attention to.
- Empty bio
Twitter bio is great opportunity to tell your followers (or potential followers) who you are and what you are interested in. It is a key component of Twitter relations. Skipping this step means losing the ability to grow target audience. Account without bio may be just a sign of laziness… or one more signal that this person is fake.
- Duplicate tweets stream
When you notice that user’s stream is filled up with the same or very similar tweets – it’s most likely that you spot a bot.
Often, when tweets are all @replies with the same text, such page is a sham.
- Rummy screen name or URL
It is easy to recognize bot when it uses the profile URL which differs from screen name. For example, you see URL like “twitter.com/ severus_snape”, but in profile information the first and last name are different. For example – Hermione Granger. Viewing this profile you will find that while this page has many red flags, the first and last name listed in the profile has no direct relation to the URL. This is definitely a sign of a bot.
- Inconsequent tweets
Most of the time fake Twitter accounts simply spew off tweets that directly promote themselves, like linking directly to their site. However, there are many fake accounts that simply post gibberish or random incoherent thoughts that make absolutely no sense.
- No account activity for years
Twitter has recently changed its API, so some of bots automation tricks no longer work.
An easy way to spot this is in accounts that have not tweeted in months or even years. Looking at the time stamp of the most recent tweets, you can suppose that this Twitter account is fake and no longer active.
- 2,001 people following
Twitter has limits on certain things you can do. For example, how many people you can follow. This limit is set to 2,000. Once you follow 2,001 people, you must have at least 2,000 people following you back before you can exceed the 2,001 limit. A common limitation of bots is that they are not smart enough to manage their following restrictions to get around this limitation. Therefore, many fake accounts get stuck on following 2,001 users.
- Insane amount of tweets
Automation has its place in Twitter when used responsibly. However, a sure sign of a bot is typically an unrealistic amount of tweets that is more than likely not humanly possible.
- No communication with others
If while viewing twitter page you don`t see any signs of current account`s interaction with others, you should tumble to other sign – this page is fake. Social media is all about two-way conversation. Those accounts that simply do not interact with others are often bots.
- Low followers number or no followers at all
One more common sign of a fake account is that it does not have anyone who is following him back. Twitter users are becoming smarter and recognize which account deserves to be followed back. Nobody wants to deal with bots.
All these methods will help you create reliable audience including only real people and get rid of bots and useless accounts. But when you are not sure about whether some page is fake or real – check it with some bot detection tool.
Carefully checking all signs of fake pages they will give you the most accurate result.