Distinguishing Fake Followers from Real Ones

Managing Social Media

Managing Social MediaManaging social media pages is tricky, especially for a business. Despite its advantages, social media still has a lot of problems plaguing its potential. Professionals working for firms like Disruptive Advertising can vouch for that. But perhaps the biggest issue with it is the proliferation of fake profiles.

Sometimes known as bots or trolls, fake social media profiles are a real pain in the neck. Take Facebook, for example. Being among the most popular social media networks on the planet, Facebook can only estimate the number of fake accounts on its network. According to a recent annual report, roughly 5.5 to 11.2 percent of its monthly active users sport fake profiles. This is equal to almost 140 million subscribers, and there are no signs of slowing down.

Quality Over Quantity

Managing a business page on Facebook requires that one focus on quality over quantity. The number of followers a page has is useless if most of them are fake subscribers. Fortunately, it’s easy (at least for pages with a manageable amount of followers) to know which of them are fake.

One tool that can be used is Google’s Image Search. It only involves visiting a suspected faker’s profile, right-clicking on the profile picture, and selecting ‘search Google for this image.’ Should the image appear in results other than the social media account, then it’s highly likely that it’s fake. Even cyber security experts like Alex Eckelbery from Malwarebytes, use this simple technique to filter out fake profiles on his own pages.

Identifying fake profiles is critical since it means that there is no engagement happening on a particular page. The best barometer for the success of a social media page is the quality of its follower base, not the quantity. It means that there are genuine opportunities for these people to interact with the page’s content and further spread its message.

And on a final note, it might even be illegal to create a fake social media profile soon. In the UK, for instance, there is clamor for a legislation which states that social media fakers could face criminal charges. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), among the charges that could be pressed include harassment. A commendable move, if one must say, considering that even the cyberspace is now considered a public space. Rooting out deceivers is vital to protecting everyone in it, especially businesses and others who have to maintain a reputation.