Is any brand safe from Twitter bots?

By AdNews | 4 November 2014

Earlier this year Twitter revealed that approximately 8.5% of its active accounts are automatically updated. There was a handy tool to allow Twitter users to check their own followers earlier this week, so we thought we'd give it a go.

Fake accounts make up approximately 23 million of Twitter’s 271 million monthly active users. These users could include those that automatically request data from Twitter to display tweets on screens or mobile apps that aren’t owned by Twitter.

Such a number begs the question are any brands safe from fake Twitter followers, regardless of whether it wants them or not?

The site Twitter Audit has been live since 2012 and takes a random sample of 5000 Twitter followers for a user and calculates a score for each follower. This score is based on number of tweets, date of the last tweet and ratio of followers to friends. It then uses these scores to determine whether any given user is real or fake.

Now of course this method isn't perfect however it gives the indication that regardless of the size or sector of the user, almost every account on Twitter will have attracted at least one bot.

AdNews used Twitter Audit to check out a few brands to work out what percentage of its followers were fake. The ones we checked passed the test, but some definitely need to try harder. The numbers may surprise you, and for transparency you'll also find the AdNews numbers below.

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