"Hey I have 2,000 followers on Twitter!"
"Oh yea, well I just got 20,000 new followers on Twitter since yesterday!"
Seems unreal that, over night, 20,000 new people found you on Twitter. And more-than-likely, they are unreal.
While looking for new ways to market my little Twitter gathering of less than 150, I found several sites that, for a fee, will boost your following (popularity) on Twitter. This little research was connected to something else I didn't know about. I found that there are ways to see how many followers you have...that are not really following anything - ie: the "fakes".
There are websites with tools for researching the fakes and if you're on Twitter, I suggest you use them. Your "20,000" followers may not re-tweet you or respond to your tweets because they aren't real.
For example, my Twitter breaks down to this:
66% are "good", 30% are inactive and 4% are fake
Statistically, that isn't too bad. Comparing it to another site that follows me. That Twitter account has over 15,000 "followers":
10% are "good", 6% are inactive and 84% are fake!
So what does this mean? When I post something, the majority of my followers will see it. If the site I mentioned above posts or even re-tweets my post, approximately 84% will not see it. That 84% is just there for bragging rights and show. They are worthless otherwise. Some of these sites that have pay-for-followers also have pay-for-re-tweets where you can, for even more money, pay for them to occasionally re-tweet your posts to their followers - however many of those followers are real, I don't know.
What's funny is that one marketing site on Twitter which boasts about helping your market strategy, has over 12,000 followers. Only 2,800 of those are real. As a marketer, if you were selling a product door-to-door would you try to sell to 10,000 homes that were vacant?
The sites that search for fake accounts use different algorithms so it's hard to tell if they are accurate or just spitting out numbers. Some sites break it down, as I did above, or just give you a score. For my Twitter account, my score as of this writing is 93% with 125 real followers and 9 fakes. I'll take that. I would rather reach a real audience than a pretend one.