If you've been paying attention to any of the recent social media news, you'll be certainly aware that there's a new program that helps you to detect your "fake", or spam followers on Twitter. Of course, I wanted to see how Three Deep was performing in this area. As I suspected, we're doing just fine.

[caption id="attachment_3745" align="aligncenter" width="635"]Fake Twitter Followers Calculation for Three Deep Ahh, not too bad![/caption]

That wasn't the account I was worried about. Having once on a whim, followed a friend's advice and placed a Fiverr order for a bunch of followers to my personal (@dianekulseth) account, I wanted to see how much impact my temporary lapse of judgment affected my "score".

Apparently, a lot.

[caption id="attachment_3746" align="aligncenter" width="595"] 56%??? OUCH!![/caption]

What to Do With Your Spam Followers

Only 34% of my Twitter followers are legitimate? Not good! While this tool has been great for identifying accounts that are loaded with spam followers, it leaves nothing for those of us recovering one-time black hats. After a bit of perusing, I have come up with three options for those of us who have a bunch of fake followers.

1. Wait it Out

So what if you have a majority of spam followers following your Twitter account? Does anyone REALLY care? Not to mention, it will make you look legitimate to have more followers, right? Not if tools like StatusPeople continue to gain awareness in the social media industry. If it's this easy to discover how many fake followers a user has, it's very likely that this tool will become more mainstream. Maybe Twitter will continue to cut down on spam and your follower accounts will slowly decrease on their own. It's really your choice.

2. 100% Manual Removal

When you first got your Twitter account, you probably looked at all of your Twitter followers. Maybe you still do. At some point, you likely removed someone by blocking their account from following yours, because you saw it to be spam. You can do the same. It's a tedious process but it will help you cut down on your percentage.

Note: Twitter currently allows for only 1,000 unfollows a day. 

How to detect a spam follower (Disclaimer: Many legitimate followers can have some of these criteria, use with caution):

  • They don't have an avatar
  • Their avatar is usually a duplicate of another account, or could be considered Not Suitable for Work
  • They follow significantly more accounts than they have followers
  • They have no bio
  • They rarely tweet

3. Assisted Manual Removal

After determining I wanted to remove the bulk of my spam followers, I discovered TwitBlock. It discovers spam followers based on the criteria listed above, and provides a measure of the probability of the account being a spam account. You can then choose to block the account from the TwitBlock interface. Be warned that they only take a sample of 3,000 followers, so you will have to conduct this multiple times to identify all of your spam followers if you have a lot. This program is integrated with Twitter via OAuth, so the 1,000 unfollows a day still applies.

Wait, there's no easy solution?

Sadly, for those of you who were looking for a quick fix to this issue, you will not find one. Removing spam Twitter followers is certainly more difficult than it is to add them. It just takes a lot of patience and effort, but your spam percentages will decrease (as will your overall followers). The challenge awaits!

What percentage of your Twitter followers are spam? Are you going to do something about it, or allow your account to sit? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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