Can You Spot A Fake Profile?
Welcome to another episode and a bit of a landmark really, our 250th one! Thank you so much to everyone that subscribes, listens and/or reads the show notes.
I consider it a real privilege to host and produce the show and I’ve had such an amazing time putting together all 250 of them!
It’s been a bit of a funny week. I came back from Madrid on a real high as you can image…..what an amazing weekend topped off by my team winning the biggest prize in club Football!!
In this weeks show I’m going to follow up on the issue of bought followers and share with you what these fake profiles actually look like. Having received some of my purchased followers I have now had a chance to look at them more closely.
But before that…..
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
- Introducing Our Research & Insights Series
- What the Next Generation of Millennial Decision Makers Are Reading on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Improves Video Marketing Metrics via New Integration with Moat
- Ever received a huge load of unexpected invites at once?….it’s likely to be a bot! #autoban
It looks like mobile profiles are changing to the same format as the desktop version…at last! Beth Granger shows us what she sees here;
The new ‘invite to follow a company’ feature I told you about last week could become very annoying! Now that it is rolling out to more companies people are starting to feel like they are getting spammed! That said, I also heard from someone this week who reported that they have used it for over a week, increased followers (although not engagement) and received 3 business enquiries directly from the invites!
Apparently, you can’t personalise it and invites are restricted to your network and if you have invited them once and they reject that advance, you can’t invite them again.
All that said, if you get the feature soon, I would advise making sure your Page is up to date and has fresh, interesting content before sending out any invites.
My guess is that this feature will work well for a short amount of time while it still has a novelty factor in it’s favour, in time it will just become annoying!
The New About section (previously summary) has an added advantage in that it has it’s own edit section, separate from the headline. Why is that a big deal? I will let my mate Angus explain…
Headline News – A Share outperforms the original!
Thanks to AJ Wilcox for bringing this to my attention, a very rare find indeed! Is there something about the share that makes it special? I’m not sure I can see it but maybe Eddy has considerably more influence than John?
and here is the original, it still did well but falls short of the above engagement;
Can You Spot A Fake Profile?
Following on from Episode 248 I have now received my new, shiny followers I paid good money for!
I actually ordered 500 but only received 242 but I’m not sure I can be bothered complaining, 242 was plenty to achieve my objective.
Interestingly I also saw this article this week on a similar subject;
I don’t agree with the headline but there is no doubt that they are getting harder to spot!
My new followers consisted of 180 from the US, 37 from Hungary and 27 from Bangladesh, none of which looked Asian in their profile pics.
The first thing of note is that these were connection requests, not followers. I suspect they don’t know you can follow people so when they see a profile url they assume you meant connections. The follower product appears to be for company pages only. In many respects, a connection is better than a follower but it’s not what I paid for! I contacted 10 of them after connecting with a variety of personal messages that would be difficult to ignore such as the ones below;
Of course, I received no replies at all!
The interesting thing was that reverse searching their profile pictures always brought up nothing which stumped me for a while until I read the above article which revealed that they create the profile photos via an algorithm generated method from https://www.thispersondoesnotexist.com/
Having been through all the profiles I started to notice patterns and concluded that these are the signs that a profile is likely to be fake. A fake profile will probaly have at least 2 of these features;
- Name does not fit the gender or location
- No summary/about section and a generally very sparse profile
- Often only ever worked for one company
- No skills or recommendations
- No education
- Less than 500 connections
- Working for a company that is not based where they live
- Interest section only shows companies they follow, not influencers, publications or groups
- Rarely a background image (some exceptions)
- Never online or available via mobile push notifications (green dot/circle)
There are, of course, plenty of genuine profiles that may display some of these characteristics but virtually all the fake ones had at least 3 of the above.
Above is one example, a Caucasian male called Daphne from Bangladesh! One company (who do exist) and follows several companies (who have probably paid for followers)
Above is another example from Hungary, I never knew the name Chandler was popular in Hungary….but maybe it is!
I started to notice similar companies appearing time and time again in the Interests section, these companies could have just been selected randomly but I suspect they have probably paid for followers
The ones that are harder to spot are those that are active. These will be the profiles that are used for bought Likes and comments. I’m glad I was sent these though because that led me to find people who I strongly suspect paid for comments. I couldn’t find any posts that they have commented on that have done especially well or gone viral.
This comment is an example of one from a fake profile using the ‘tailor your own comments’ product;
This particular post from someone called Nick showed 126 Likes and 37 comments and out of the 37 comments, 11 are from genuine people, 16 are his own replies and 10 are from fake profiles. I didn’t check the Likes but given the number, I suspect a percentage of them were fake as well.
Interestingly Nick’s previous post achieved 30 comments with no fakes! In addition, the fake comments in this post came after the genuine ones (bar a couple) so the fake comments appear to be having no impact on organic reach……because their connections are all fake or idiots (like me) who have bought connections!!
To be fair, Nick maybe just experimenting with this (he hasn’t posted much at all) or perhaps the company that sells these services are just experimenting with his post – who knows but it clearly doesn’t work!
This was a close decision but the above just won it because it is more comment worthy, the one from Nick below is more appealing to me but just doesn’t require you to comment.
If you want to see the 3rd contender you can click here, I’m not going to embed it into these notes!
This question came from John Espirian;
When comments appear in the feed (e.g. “Mark Williams commented on this”), do you know whether that’s limited only to “top-level” comments? I don’t recall seeing a reply on a comment appearing in the feed (the equivalent of “Mark Williams commented on Barry Smith’s comment on this”
It’s a great question and one I haven’t thought about before. I’m pretty sure John is right, Our feed shows only original comments, no reply to comments (arguably it should) and that is a very relevant point to consider when thinking about visibility.
That’s all for this week, keep sending in your questions and post of the week suggestions.