If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to social media, it’s that social audiences are fickle. Their relationships with social platforms and individual influencers are constantly ebbing and flowing; one month they can be very active Twitter users only to abandon their feeds the following month and never look back. During the onset of this social era, the goal among many was to acquire as many followers as possible. At the time rapid social acquisition seemed like a logical goal; more followers means that there is more of a chance that your content will be seen and potentially drive conversions. However, it gradually became apparent that not all follows are created equal.
Within every social influencer’s follow lists, there are likely a few ghosts. Ghosts refer to those followers whose account are inactive; they may have been real platform users whose interest levels in social media wanes, or they may not be real at all. Fake accounts are rampant across every platform. In 2014, Facebook reported that 11.2% of their 1.23 billion users were fake.
Ghost accounts may seem harmless – after all, they’re inactive and therefore not actively doing anything against your accounts. However, they’re hurting your social persona, and stripping away business opportunities without you even knowing it.
Ghost accounts boost your follow rate, but they can severely diminish your engagement rate as your engagement rate now takes into account the “dead” accounts who will not or cannot interact with your content, regardless of what you publish. Furthermore, if Ghost accounts comprise a portion of your page’s likes on Facebook, thus diminishing engagement, Facebook’s algorithm will interpret this to mean that your page publishes low-quality content; Facebook’s algorithm carefully selects high-quality content to feature in the News Feed, and those pages deemed low on the quality spectrum have less of a chance of receiving prominence in the News Feed. low-quality content pages do Facebook won’t Engagement rate is increasingly becoming the pivotal metric brands look to when determining whether an influencer would be a good fit for their campaigns. As a creator and publisher, you exert too much time and energy into the content you produce for it to be accounts by ghosts accounts.
But how can you tell which of your followers are ghost and which are legitimate social users? For influencers with followers in the hundreds of thousands, sleuthing around each follow account on each platform is an unrealistic option. Now, there are apps available that will do the detective work for you, including Fakers App and IGExorcist.
Fakers App will scan your Twitter account and find the fake or dead followers in your list. You’ll then be able to block these specific accounts and begin to rebuild your engagement rate. IGExorcist is another great tool that acts as Fakers App’s Instagram counterpart and uncovers followers who a.) you do not follow back and b.) have not interacted with you in 300 days.
As an influencer, the analytics that your content returns are vital to your long-term success. Brands enacting influencer marketing campaigns are becoming more interested in quantifying the real value of a feed, so don’t let a few ghosts set you back!