Fake Followers

I blog for a few different reasons:

  1. Fun.
  2. Share what I’ve learned
  3. Show off my photography and to become a better photographer.
  4. To get feedback and learn from others.
  5. Become a better writer.

The nice thing about blogging, is your content is out there for the world to see. However, it’s hard to get noticed. Also, it takes time and money. This blog for example, costs me $99 a year to run, and it involves a little bit of programming to get everything to show up just they way I want. The good and the bad, is that I get to control every aspect of what’s on this site. Once my content is online though, I need to direct people to it, that’s where social media comes in.

While social media is a great concept, it’s being ruined by fake accounts, bots, MLMs, and scammers. The one exception that I have found is Facebook. Facebook is the only social media platform where (to a degree anyway), the majority of the accounts are all real people. It makes for a more enjoyable user experience, but limited in scope of an audience. Looking for a broader reach than Facebook, I’ve played with Twitter and Medium.

Regarding Twitter, most people do not tweet, and the audience just isn’t there. It’s too bad, because it’s got such great potential. That being said, there are millions of Twitter accounts! However, they are mostly fake! They automatically follow and like your posts within minutes of posting them, new “followers” follow you whenever you tweet, but they all are full of click bait articles, or are trying to sell something. here are some examples:

Twitter — is mostly garbage!

OMG! TweetBuzz liked my Tweet!!! They have over 5,000 followers! I must be really special for them to pay attention to me. Wait, if I use their service, I’ll be able to get more followers as genuine as they are. Sign me up!

Apparently, people follow those that follow them. This is some sort of weird popularity contest, but there’s no original or unique content worth looking at.

Here’s a guy that liked a tweet I did, and look at all the “original content” he posts. No clickbait here. I wonder how he has time to follow 5,265 people including me. What garbage!

Here’s an account that illustrates and embodies the problems of Twitter.

Speaking of clickbait.

Up until recently, I’ve been blogging with Medium.com. Medium has been a great platform — spam free, real people, interesting articles, etc. It also has built in analytics, an easy to use app, the ability to use your own domain name, it looks good on all platforms, and they have real people that answer your emails! However, now it’s full of the same worthless posts and fake accounts Twitter.

Medium used to have slow organic growth. Now, I’ve become “popular” and every hour or so, people are following me. The problem? They are largely fake accounts. This is why I have gone back to my own hosted / paid blogging platform and unless Medium fixes their problems, I’m probably not going back. It’s too bad, they could have been great.

I’ve gone viral on Medium! I can trust Medium to be honest about follower count — after all, they are owned by Twitter. I know, I’ll click on Active Admin and see what they’re like…

Here’s an example of one of the fake fake followers that are now on Medium.

Dubsmashes liked one of my Medium.com articles. Let’s see their profile. Seems legit, no link bait here.

Medium is starting to look like Twitter.

Yuni Bali Furniture follows me on Medium. I know, I’ll follow them to see great deals on furniture that I can’t get anywhere else! That’s exactly why I started writing about photography on Medium!

For now, I’m (mostly) giving up on Twitter and Medium. I honestly believe that more than half of the Twitter accounts and now Medium accounts are nothing but bots. It almost makes you wonder if Twitter is allowing and encouraging this to boost their numbers.

Other than Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), is where the majority of people go to post and share. Unfortunately, Instagram is also full of bots. Like Twitter, every time I post something on Instagram, bots immediately like my pics and follow me. I’m constantly blocking two to three spammy accounts every time I post. At least there is some real organic growth though.

Here’s a typical fake account that liked one of my Instagram photos.

I’m so glad this person liked my Instagram! It really means a lot to know that I connected with someone!

Here’s another one that I also ended up blocking.

This person also liked my photo! Well since they liked my photo, maybe I’ll buy their stuff now!

Does this type of marketing really work? Do they actually sell anything this way?

They liked my Instagram post! I’ll definitely need to use their service to print out my photo!

There’s no perfect platform, but you need to go where real people are. Going forward, I plan on sharing much more on this blog in 2016, but also on Instagram @NoahBershatsky.

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