Quantity or Quality in social media? It’s a question I’ve posed before on The3rdi http://www.the3rdimagazine.co.uk/2012/09/is-big-beautiful/ and it seems the debate is set to run and run!
A recent article in the New York Times http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/researchers-call-out-twitter-celebrities-with-suspicious-followings/ highlighted that many celebrities and brands have added fake followers on Twitter. Two Italian security researchers, Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli, looked for Twitter accounts that added or lost a large number of followers in one day. Their list includes brands like Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz and Louis Vuitton; politicians like Newt Gingrich, Representative Jared Polis and Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian prime minister; and the rappers 50 Cent and Sean Combs, known as Diddy.
These revelations have lead Creative agency Creative Orchestra http://www.creativeorchestra.com to ask the question; ‘can we really believe social media numbers anymore?’
“It can cost as little as £5 for 1000 fans, so is it any wonder people cheat the numbers? Is it acceptable, dishonest or even criminal?” asks CO founder Chris Arnold. They have launched a survey and would love to hear your views. Visit www.fakebookit.com.
What do you think? Does it even matter? Do you care? Do you believe the numbers or do you ignore them? Would you buy fake followers? If you did, what would you do with them?
Since fake followers are not going to buy your product, RT your Tweets or click on your links, do they serve any purpose other than ‘making you look bigger’? And since PR, advertising, marketing, even networking, publishing a book and giving talks is all about ‘making you look bigger’ are fake followers any different?
I’d love to hear your views and so would Creative Orchestra!
Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster and founder of the UKs only ethical radio station PASSION for the PLANET http://www.passionforfreshideas.com She now runs a specialist communications agency Panpathic Communications.