After reading this article and others like it I decided to investigate social media and practices that occur in the industry. What I discovered was how shockingly easy and inexpensive it is to inflate numbers.

I began by reviewing scores of sites online so I could search for the lowest price for buying Twitter followers. After much review, I discovered the website had what I found to be the best price…100,000 followers at $150.00 dollars.

Does it work? Yes! I got a little nervous at first, but in less than a week, my @knoxcounty Twitter account went from 10,000 followers to 130,000!  I waited a week before posting this article to analyze the long term effect. I originally received 120,000 followers, and I while I have lost 3,000 followers, my base number appear to have completely stabilized. So, I paid for 100,000 followers and in the end received 117,000.

So is it worth it?  It worked but the reality is now that buying followers is main stream, people know how to spot inflated accounts very easily. Basically, all you have to do is look at how many people are interacting with the account to get an idea of just how popular the account really is.

Also, new technology has emerged to give a real time analysis of someone’s followers on Twitter.  An excellent example of this is this website.  The site tells you what percentages of someone’s followers are real and active, what percent are inactive, and what percent are fake.  Many good legitimate companies have fake followers. The reason for this is the law of numbers. There are many millions of fake accounts. To make these accounts look real they follow multiple legitimate accounts. They follow businesses and celebrities because they want to avoid following personal Twitter accounts. If they follow personal accounts many people might block them. This would send a red flag warning to Twitter and the fake account might get suspended. To avoid that, they follow corporations or celebrities because in general they are less conscious about who follows them. Henceforthe, they are less likely to block anyone.

So why do people buy followers? The main reason is it is cheap. As I have demonstrated with my account, it is safe, easy, quick, and low cost.  Size matters. In a society where “bigger is better” and “nothing more attracts a crowd like a crowd attracts a crowd,” this appears to be a growing trend. Furthermore, it was discovered in my research that a new level of undetectable fake Twitter followers is emerging.  Programs that make Twitter followers appear more real by scripted programming which has the fake followers interact with each other is currently underway.

Analysis: If you see an account with skyrocketing follow numbers treat it with suspicion.  Also, if you are going to advertise on Twitter or any social media network, don’t look at just the new subscribers. Look at the direct impact in revenue the ad campaign has had for your business.