Something to Belieb In: Platforms Help to Expose Fake Twitter Followers

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ADOTAS — Justin Bieber has been coming under a lot of scrutiny recently.  From his break-up (and make-up?) with pop star Selena Gomez, to the confiscation of his pet money in Germany to the drugs allegedly found on his tour bus, the Biebs has had it rough these past couple of months.

Not to mention those godawful, ignorant comments about his hope that Anne Frank would have been a “belieber.”

Now, it looks like most of his Twitter followers are “beliars.

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The Biebs’ ego may have taken a hit from learning that a title=”Billboard: Justin Bieber’s 37 Million Twitter Followers 53 Percent Fake, Site Claims” href=”http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1557287/justin-biebers-37-million-twitter-followers-53-percent-fake-site-claims”> more than half of his 37.3 million followers are fake, further tarnishing his brand could be tarnished from this.

Had the Biebs been smart, he would have used DataSift, an innovative technology created to scope out all those phony Twitter accounts.

Created in 2011, DataSift has taken off as a real-time filtering platform designed to analyze tweets and deliver important content to a variety of markets.

According to DataSift’s Vice President of Marketing, Patrick Morrissey, “What DataSift allows users to do is aggregate data from multiple sites – like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and more – enrich that data with sentiment, salience, and Klout score to provide insight, and then filter the data down to only what is relevant. And because we can push the data easily to multiple destinations, brands can quickly use it in combination with their own internal data to better understand markets, customers, and segments in order to take action.”

Morrissey said DataSift is an incredibly profitable tool for brands, providing their content will be used the best ways possible.  Companies and brands can pay for DataSift’s cloud platform, which uses real-time technology to sort through the information and compute massive amounts of data.

The advantage of such technology comes when fake accounts or negative information surface.  DataSift can work in real time to eliminate these potentially harmful threats to a brand.

“Marketing is all about sharing stories, experiences, content and news that others find relevant,” said Morrissey. “That news can be both positive and negative.  When negative, misleading or false information gets spread, it may lead to perceptions that are not accurate, or appear worse than the data would indicate.”

Brands and celebrities also need to start listening and engaging with their fans in order to really make the most of their social media presence.

For example, Bieber’s reach may not be as far as he expected, given half of his followers reportedly are fake accounts, according to Socialbakers.  All those retweets could easily be bots instead of 13-year-old girls.  This leads to lower fan interaction, and his account could be seen more for ego stroking than fan interaction.

“With more than 400 million tweets per day, the volume is overwhelming,” Morissey said.  “When you start to dig into the data, you want to make sure it is accurate and not delivering a false positive.”

Morrissey also notes how brands and celebrities are taking positive approaches toward their social media sites to promote themselves properly.

“A great example is Alicia Keys doing a custom contest on her Tumblr page to allow a different user from each city on her new tour to document their experience with behind the-scenes access,” said Morrissey, ”Not only is she using social to manage her reputation, she is taking a different approach on Pinterest, and promoting these across multiple social channels.”

Take a hint, Justin.

There are some 200 million Twitter followers out there and while there is no way of identifying exactly how many of them are fake, Morrissey does give some hints on how to spot a bogus account.

“Lack of customization on a handle, description and activity are easy to identify, as is an account that shows a massive increase in followers in a short amount of time without a relevant event.  Outside of celebrities or news events, it is rare to see someone capture 50,000 followers overnight,” he stated.

Sigh. Looks like Justin may now have to do some soul-searching.  Or just suck up some pride and delete half his followers to try to salvage what’s left of his brand.

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