I think it’s fair to say that we’re living in the “I want to be a celebrity” era. And even though there’s nothing wrong with it, there are people who inflate their numbers on social media to give a false impression of their success. In this episode, I get into social media verification and how to tell if someone’s social media followers are fake.
There are right ways and wrong ways to become a celebrity on social media. If you do it the wrong way, and people figure it out, you’ll have a bad reputation.
In this video and article I teach you how to bulletproof the way you build your brand. I also show you how to know who is legit on social media.
Eight years ago you could buy fake followers and get away with it. People looked at people with a lot of fake followers and said, “Oh my gosh! This guy’s got such a big following.” That no longer works today. Today there are social media tools to catch everyone with fake social media accounts and followers.
If you went to a bank 100 years ago to get a loan to buy a house, they took your word and the word of your neighbors to determine if you would make the payments.
Today, you have a FICA score. You can no longer go to a bank and say, “Believe me. I’ll make the car payments. Believe me, I’ll make the mortgage payments.” They have ways of testing your credibility. They won’t just give you a loan.
The same is true with social media.
People often come to me and ask if they should buy a $1,000 or $3,000 program from someone. The seller claims that if they buy the program, he’ll help them take their business to the next level. People want me to tell them if the person is legit.
Look, I’m not here to audit people for you. I’m not a consultant. But I will give you direction on where you can go to do your own due diligence. At the end of the day, my goal is to develop you into a leader, an independent entrepreneur that can do this on your own, without needing to message me to ask what I think about the guy.
Social Media Verification Tools
Now let's get right into the social media verification tools you can use, and what you should look at when evaluating whether to purchase training from or partner with someone.
Twitter is famous for a couple of things. One of the things Twitter is famous for is for having the most fake followers of all social media platforms. This is one of the reasons why people still haven't bought Twitter. Twitter's been on the market for a while. A lot of people said they were going to buy it. No one's yet bought it. They're not interested because there's way, way too many fake accounts on Twitter.
So what do you do with Twitter? Some of the people you see on Twitter may have 200,000, 300,000 or more followers. But how do you know if they are real? There’s a website called TwitterAudit.com. Be sure to test it out with someone you’re following. Put their Twitter name in there, and I guarantee you, you will be shell-shocked by how many of their followers are real or not. The rule of thumb is anything above 60, 70, 80% is solid. Anything below 50% indicates they bought some fake Twitter followers.
And if they are below 10-15%, they’re trying way too hard. Those people are like the boy back in school that put some socks in his underwear to make himself look a little bit stronger than he really was. If you’re buying fake Twitter followers, it’s like you’re putting socks in your underwear. Take the socks out, and man up.
The reality is that today everyone knows if you’re using socks. Everybody. So go to TwitterAudit.com and test it out. Test your own account, test my account, test some other people’s accounts. Then you will know who has legit followers and who has fake Twitter followers.
Follow the authentic people on social media who are actually making an effort to do things the right way. There are plenty of people that are doing it the right way.
And if you do it right, and you bring value and aren’t trying to con people, eventually you’ll get a lot of proper followers.
Next, let's talk about YouTube. YouTube is a little bit different. YouTube does not play. So if you try to play games with YouTube, they will simply shut down your account, especially if you’re trying to monetize YouTube.
You can buy YouTube views, but you don’t want to do that, because you could be flagged by YouTube. If you’re flagged, you lose your opportunity with YouTube.
A Few Simple Rules I Follow on YouTube
Here's a few simple rules that I follow with YouTube channels. If the YouTube channel has chosen to hide their subscribers and comments, I'm concerned. I don't do any business with anybody if their YouTube channel has hidden subscribers and comments.
The other day a kid flew in here. He brought a camera guy with him to interview me. His YouTube channel had only 1400 subs. But I liked him, and agreed to a one-hour interview. He actually did a great interview and asked a lot of great questions.
Why did I agree to the interview? Because he was authentic. He was real. He was transparent and open. You could tell that he’s not really killing it, but I LOVE the fact that he doesn’t have a problem saying, “Look, I’m really trying.” To me that’s honest. I want to do business with people like that.
Our Comments Are Wide Open
Early on we had to make a decision about whether to keep our comments open. But what if people left negative comments? That doesn't matter. We're not for everyone. When people don't show subscribers and comments, they have something to hide.
Look at Ratios
Another thing to look at is ratios. What do I mean by ratios? If you look at a video that has t 100,000 views, but it only has 49 likes, they bought views. If a video has 100,000 views, but it only has 50 comments, they bought views, because those ratios don’t make sense.
A social media verification tool for YouTube is SocialBlade.com. Social Blade is unbelievable. I believe it's the number one tool for anybody that wants to verify other YouTube channels. You can literally pick three different channels, like yours and two other channels, and size yourself up against different channels.
You can see how many subs, views, and minutes you’re getting per day vs. your competitors. And they'll literally put the whole chart together for you for free. When I run it with some companies, nothing comes up because they made it private. But again, I don’t do any business with people that keep it private because I don’t feel that company or individual is transparent. If I’m going to do business with you, I need to know exactly where you stand with the content you’re creating.
Six years ago when we had no idea what we were doing online, we started a website called GoAskNewton.com. It was a website dedicated to educating people around the world on the basics of money. We reached out to professional bloggers who were blogging about money and said, "Why don't you create content for our website and talk about money?" I’ll never forget one of the messages we got back. It said, “Why would we create content for your website when your website is ranked 16 million on Alexa?”
You know what 16 million is? It means my own father's not visiting my website. That's what 16 million means.
He said, “Why would I take time to write an article for your blog when my website is ranked 400,000?” That message in itself told me everyone knows what type of a product you have.
We now have a lot of people that say things like, "I have thousands of people every day that visit my website." And I'm like, "Wow, that's impressive.” And then you go on Alexa.com and it shows that their website is ranked 13 million. Do you know how many people visit a website if it’s ranked 13 million? Between one and five a day -- and one of them is themselves.
So Alexa is a tool that tells you a website’s ranking, compared to other websites. Our team gets reports all the time, and we check Alexa rank to size ourselves up against other people.
There’s also another tool, WeeklyM.com where you can put in an Alexa rank and it tells you how many visitors the site gets monthly. For example, it will tell you that is if someone has an Alexa rank of 10 million, they get one maybe one visitor per a day. If they’re ranked one million, they’re getting 1,500 visitors per month. If they’re ranked 100,000, it means they’re getting 30,000 visitors per month.
Listen in here for what Instagram has done regarding fake followers.
There are a lot of great podcasters out there. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire is one of the best podcasters. I was on his show recently, and I believe he has one of the best, if not the best podcast for entrepreneurs.
If you want to check how many downloads a podcast gets, you can use Podtrac.com.
And last but not least, Snapchat. You can’t buy Snapchat followers. Do you know why? It’s because no one knows anyone’s numbers, so who cares? That’s one good thing about Snapchat. Nobody’s selling anything to buy new friends. No one cares because no one knows. You have no idea how many followers or views people have.
Snapchat is figuring out ways to improve and they’re doing a pretty good job. They’re struggling a little bit with ads, but I have a feeling they’re going to figure it out because unlike Twitter, they’re doing things the right way.
Evaluate Social Media Platforms
I created this episode because many of you asked who and who not to follow. Just use the tools listed below to check people out so you’ll know who’s real or not, and who to follow.
And by the way, don’t try to dominate every channel. On Twitter I only have 64,900 followers. We tried creative ways to get followers. Twitter is good, but it’s not for us. Instagram is okay for us and very good for others. For instance, it’s very good for my personal trainer because they’re all about physique and looking good so pictures work.
Don’t think you can be good on every platform. Some parents say, “My son can play pretty much any sport.” If they want their kid to be great, they have to pick one sport. So pick one main platform and make it your best platform.
Resources Mentioned on This Episode
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