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How Many Fake Twitter Followers Should Your Social Media Expert Have?

Fake followers on TwitterLast September, I attended a church conference in Abilene, Texas called Summit. This conference is associated with Abilene Christian University. Summit, back when it was simply referred to as the ACU Lectures, was visited by many ministers from all across Texas and the entire United States. Quite a few years ago, the conference moved from a February date to September. This move lost this church conference many of its visitors and quite a few vendors (I sure do miss Zoe Group).

Summit is a very good place to learn a lot about ministry, the how to’s, the whys and the many new methods people are using in the field of missions and every new type of ministry that exists. I’ve often said if they could combine the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop vendors with the classes and lectures at Summit, I would be in ministerial heaven.

I guess I can admit now, I’m a very geeky person, I love ministry and I love the restoration movement.

The Perfect Afternoon Lecture for Me

Since I consult with churches on social media, I of course found the topic of a late afternoon lecture to be enticing. This lecture would be all about social media, how to do it right, etc. I would enjoy this. Only about five people showed up, but it was interesting. Lots of good tips were given. The speaker had written a couple e-books and I began looking up info on the author/speaker/social media expert. I investigated his Twitter accounts for his books and for his social media program he sells. I think it goes for $39.95 or something like that. Basically, I began researching the author/speaker/social media program salesman because the intro to the presentation smacked of a sales job (I guess it was those slick cool looking postcards). But it may have just seemed that way to me.

As I investigated his Twitter accounts, I discovered one thing they had in common (not his personal account, but the accounts used to sell his material)….. they were filled with fake Twitter followers. I was a bit peeved that a social media expert talking at a Christian university on how to do social media the right way had Twitter accounts filled with fake Twitter followers (there are a couple services that show fake, inactive and good Twitter followers.)

That’s a lot of Fake Twitter Followers

Two of his accounts had over 80% fake Twitter followers and over 90% fake Twitter followers respectively. The next day, I was advised to go to this man directly and ask him about what I had discovered. He was very nice about it. We talked a lot about social media and he was shockedthat his accounts were filled with fake followers. We even talked afterward for quite a while about his social media e-book and one I was writing too. We discovered that we were both from the Chicago area so we wound up talking about pizza, the Cubs and more. I’ll have to admit he was a really nice guy. But back to the fake Twitter followers, a very frowned upon practice by social media experts, at least most of them…..

He told me he contacted the guy who set up his Twitter accounts or the man who was in charge of them now, can’t remember which it was and there is a distinction. I was told that the problem would be cleared up immediately. He didn’t want fake followers. This social media expert that speaks often at Christian colleges and universities thanked me for bringing this problem to his attention. He sounded very sincere.

Fast Forward

Fast forward four months later and the two Twitter accounts I brought to his attention now had 78% fake Twitter followers and 91% fake Twitter followers respectively. I guess his guy didn’t take care of the problem or the offensive nature of fake followers wasn’t really that offensive.

While this man was friendly as anything and gave some good social media advice, I would suggest your school, your church or your company find a social media expert who does not have fake Twitter followers. There’s a lot of them out there and we (social media consultants) all pretty much give the same advice.

Now, there is nothing you can do to keep fake accounts from following you and you may just follow them back unknowingly. Eventually, those fake accounts will be deleted. But I think an acceptable rate of fake Twitter followers should never rise above 10% and your inactive users may rise up to about 25% but those should be the limits. Just imagine a social media savvy unchurched person browsing your church site and then they spend a few seconds investigating your Twitter account only to find you have a wealth of fake Twitter followers. They’d probably cross your church of their “maybe visit” list. Make sure you hire a social media consultant/expert who is against fake followers in both word and deed.

If you want, send me a note and I’ll tell you how many fake Twitter followers you have on your account and give you some tips on what to do to optimize your social media accounts, whether they are personal or for your church or ministry.

To get even more information, you may want to read one of the following books about social media. (just ignore any advice to buy Twitter followers you may find in these books)

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