Are Many of Trump’s Social Media Followers Fake? – YES, Only 22% Are REAL & Active!
Thanks to the wonderful people at StatusPeople, we know exactly how many real Twitter followers Trump and many other celebrities and brands have! StatusPeople is a social media analytics company, and they specialize in studying behavior of social media profiles. While their methods and tactics surely aren’t 100% accurate, they are pretty spot on.
If we add the Fake and Inactive accounts together, that’s a total of:
78% Fake for Trump vs. 5% for Akshay
UPDATE: We Ran Our Own Experiment Using Trump’s Twitter Growth Hacking Methods. Stay Tuned For Details! (Click Here To See)
UPDATE 3.0: WTF!! The results are UNBELIEVABLE! We included Screenshots of Analytics! Click Here or Scroll Down!
Now, the election is over and we all know how that went. But, we noticed something odd that Donald Trump said in his recent interview here with ’60 Minutes’:
That wasn’t even the first time he referred to his growing Twitter following as evidence for his growing campaign. Trump, from the very beginning, literally bought Twitter followers then went on live television and said “look how many new followers I have!” in an unprecedented act of ballsiness.
Why would he do it? Well, we know that buying followers is actually pretty common for politicians, but this is unprecedented. Despite your personal politics, he truly did create a extremely efficient, effective, and successful campaign and dare I say “movement”.
Did Donald Trump Just Teach Us How To Growth Hack On Twitter?
I mean, He won! He even bragged on the ’60 Minutes’ Interview above how “I just proved social media is more powerful and valuable than the media”!
He Isn’t Wrong.
It Get’s Crazier: The State Department Spent $630,000 on “Facebook Likes”
According to both the Huffington Post article here, and another article here by The Washington Post, The Inspector General’s report found that $630,000 was spent to increase Facebook “likes” for four different pages on social networking sites.
- What exactly are they buying the likes on and for?
- Are they using them to persuade public opinion on something controversial?
- If the United States is doing this, how many other governments are using it for propaganda purposes?
What Companies and Other Celebrities are Using These Tactics?
Almost every single major retailer has some, according to tests performed by Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Abrams Cartin of Entrepreneur. They looked at the following major US Retailers:
On average, 25% of their followers were fake or inactive. According to Adweek, even Instagram has 39% fake and inactive followers and even the Playstation Official Twitter account has a whopping 62% fake and inactive followers!
Ok, We Get Why People and Companies Buy Them. Aren’t They Putting Their Accounts and Reputation at Risk?
Well, from our research there is a lot of warning flags, but most of these warning come from companies that are selling Social Media Management or similar tools and software. In fact, Twitter would have a hard time punishing people who buy them. Why?
They would become weapons. People would buy them on their worst competition!
It seems that the companies that manage these fake Twitter accounts have them deliberately follow random companies and celebrities so they can evade detection. That means, if you are a celebrity or a mildly successful business, you’re likely to become followed by robot accounts either way. Some premium companies, manage accounts that claim to have 100% undetectable accounts, complete with profile pictures, profile descriptions, and years of posting history with their own circles of followers. We decided to put them to the test!
The Grand Experiment: We Bought 5,000 Followers & Auto-Engagement on An Employees Account. (Sorry Gabri!)
To be fair, Gabri did volunteer for this experiment, and her Twitter account can be found here – https://twitter.com/GabriSMM
So, it’s been a few days and the followers have almost all flowed in. They did say it would take a few days to remain undetected. We also bought “Auto-Engagements” which are automatic retweets and likes(“favorites”) on everything Gabri will tweet! Here is an example of a recent Tweet:
The YouTube VR App is here; https://t.co/bYOenQGIq6
— Gabri (@GabriSMM) November 10, 2016
Nothing amazing, right? A little bit of engagement here and there. Now, the auto-engagements did something really interesting.
— Gabri (@GabriSMM) November 23, 2016
The engagement is pretty amazing. It almost certainly will increase the likelihood of being retweeted, shared, and viewed by real people. It doesn’t give Gabri a “free pass” to just tweet garbage, but when Gabri tweets high quality content, there most certainly will be more people willing to share and like it when they see the crowd of others doing the same.
We’ve taken a look at some of the new people following Gabri and some of the accounts that Retweeted her, and we honestly can’t tell if they are real or not. Just in case they are real, we’ve censored our their Full Name and Username.
Here are the screenshots:
Well, like we said before: the accounts look pretty amazing and overall we’re pretty impressed. Reflecting on Trump’s rise to victory, we can say pretty conclusively that despite his 1% chance of victory, using this kind of strategy can make something as difficult and unlikely as that come to reality. You can genuinely change public perception of yourself, your brand, or your products with this strategy.
Not surprisingly, we find the auto-engagements to be debatably even more powerful than the Twitter followers themselves. Gabri certainly already looks a lot bigger on Twitter, that’s for sure. We will update this page later when we get data from analytics to see if there is a change in Twitter’s engagement and impression statistics.
UPDATE: The Analytics Are In!
Well, now we’re stumped. Or should we say, TRUMPED! Simply put, this one random tweet has blown-out the best trending tweet Gabri has ever tweeted. The numbers speak for themselves, so we’re just going to attach a screenshot.
Better yet, this might be bigger than we even thought. Surely, we aren’t the first ones to do this, but we might be the first ones to openly admit it. So, Twitter SEO or search engine optimization is going to lose their collective minds over this one: The Engagements PUSHED her tweet to the top of the #TrafficAlert hashtag which was trending at the time.
We had to get a screenshot of this, so here it is.
At this point, we’re afraid that someone might come knocking on the office door. This is way too big. People must be using this, but we’re just stumbling upon this now. We’re going to publish this and go into hiding. OK, we won’t go into hiding, but there is no way we’re the first people to stumble upon this. Is this Trump’s secret to success? Is this the ultimate form of Growth Hacking on Twitter?
We will come back 2 weeks from now with another update to see how the analytics have evolved over time, and see if we get new followers, even more engagement, and most importantly – more traffic to our site! Also, we will let you know that we are still alive and haven’t been involved in a mysterious car accident.
UPDATE 2.0!!!: The Analytics Keep ROLLING Up!
Well, we were stumped before. Now, we’re just embarrassed. Maybe Twitter should be embarrassed? Who knows!? All we know, is this is working way too effectively. Check out the ending stats:
UPDATE 3.0!!!: WE TWEETED AGAIN DURING #CyberMonday – The Results were UNBELIEVABLE!
This is honestly stupid. We put this tweet out during the #CyberMonday and it started getting immediate traction. Throughout the entire day, this tweet was on the Front Page of Twitter Search Results. Twitter Search Results are when you search by, or click on, a Hashtag. In this case, this tweet was exposed to EVERYONE on #CyberMonday who clicked on it.
It has BLOWN OUT our previous shocking results out of the water by 8-fold. Check it out. This is what happens when you dominate Twitter.
Big Thanks & Shoutout to Devumi Social Media Marketing! You’ve really made this possible!
Well, this entire experiment used their services and we’ve been hitting higher traffic than we’ve ever had from this single blog post. I’m sure half of it is just because it is something related to Trump. That being said, if we can pull 5 clicks and 13 expands – totaling 21 unique users per tweet, that’s got previously 0 followers and activity… pretty amazing. We will continue doing more experiments and will publish them here. Stay tuned!