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Report: 46% of Brand Followers on Twitter are Bots
Report: 46% of Brand Followers on Twitter are Bots
By: Sahil Shah

Time and again there have been reports on how effectively brands are using social media to their advantage. Right from the number of community members to active interactions, everything is being analyzed upon. Facebook being the top social network, offers a lot of strategic insights and understanding of how consumers are reacting to everything a brand does. But what about the other social networks? Especially the second most sought after network besides Facebook  i.e. Twitter.

A brand on twitter having a sizeable amount of followers is a sign that it’s doing well on the platform, when it is difficult to get followers organically.  A while ago, the race to getting highest number of followers on twitter began and brand marketers were and still are rooting for that. But do we really know what are all these followers doing with the brand and are they even relevant to the brand. The real answer lies in knowing what is the average engagement rate over the unintentional list of followers that a brand has sourced. Supporting this argument a recent study conducted by Marco Camisani Calzolari, a corporate communication and digital languages professor in Milan showed that up to 46% of brandfollowers with active profiles could be generated by bots. This again is a very interesting figure for brands who keep boasting about their followers but almost 46% of them are inactive. This statistic also reveals that the success of a good social media presence does not depend on the number of followers it has but the amount of interaction a brand receives online. The academic analysed feeds of 39 international and Italian brands, including @DellOutlet, @BlackBerry, @CocaCola, @IKEAITALIA and @VodafoneIT, trying to distinguish fake followers from real ones based on their behaviour. Calzolari said "The number of followers is no longer a valid indicator of the popularity of a Twitter user, and can no longer by analysed separately from qualitative information,"

This study has revealed something that could give brands a reality check, on them correlating “No. of followers” as the right metric. Infact a lot of studies have shown and proved the fact that the correct metric of judging an activity on Twitter is on the amount of interactions a brand receives on its page on a regular basis. The more the number of replies, the better is the engagement rate, which is the bottom line to the growth for brands on twitter.

Do share with us your views on how effective the “No. of followers” statistic for Brands is and what is the correct metric you think should be taken to understand the success of a brand on Twitter