Ten days ago I began conducting an experiment to test whether I could buy Twitter followers (you can find the base stats for the experiment here).
Well, it worked, and I now have over 60,000 Twitter followers!
The final results.
Twitter followers: 65,092 (at peak [20/08/12 @ 23:12], which has since declined)
Klout score: 59.17 (did not substantially change over the course of the experiment)
StatusPeople fake follower score: 0% good; 22% inactive; and 78% fake (this seems to jump anywhere between 5% fake [20/08/12 @ 23:19] and 97% fake [27/08/12 @ 13:11] without warning—note that I have already questioned the reliability of StatusPeople’s methodology)
Twitter Audit fake follower score: 6% real followers (which I still think is quite generous; by my calculations it should be only 0.44% real followers [284/65092*100=0.4363]!)
Other things to note.
- It is really easy to buy Twitter followers.
- Twitter did not suspend or deactivate my account, so they must not be closely monitoring this kind of activity.
- (As noted above,) The Twitter fake follower assessment/calculation services are grossly inaccurate.
- All of my new followers are clearly bots (i.e. fake accounts).
- There are no eggs (i.e. accounts with the default Twitter egg picture) as profile pictures, making the fake accounts seem more legitimate.
- Most of the fake accounts have a few random nonsense Tweets.
- Virtually all accounts have bizarre usernames made up of random letters and numbers (e.g. @henrybfcv).
What did it achieve?
In real terms: nothing. There’s nothing I can really do with 60,000 Twitter followers. However, the process itself was interesting nonetheless.
Some critics expressed their concern over my credibility and how it may impact my future employability. Conversely, another opined that “60k people can’t be wrong” in response to the query “Will I be taken more seriously?”.
@adamjaffrey assuming they don’t read your blog also, it could add credibility. Obviously 60k people can’t be wrong.
— Fraser Perkins (@perkof) August 20, 2012
All jokes aside, I do agree with Zac Martin‘s warning (to a degree) that first impressions count, and having bought 60,000 Twitter followers might hurt that first impression. However, it’s not like I’ve been keeping this a secret to try and get a leg up in my job search. The motive behind this experiment (a word which I’ve used all along) was to test whether I could buy Twitter followers and what impact that may have. I have been open and transparent throughout, and those who are interested can read my blog for a full explanation.
Over and out,
The most popular marketing student ever.
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