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Performing Your Due Diligence on Social Media

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

In the digital age, many professionals conduct a portion of their due diligence on social media.

 +Companies research clients.

+Clients research companies.

+Employers look up employee candidates.

+Candidates read up on potential employers.

Here are a few tips to help determine which social media accounts and profiles have a genuine presence and following…and which do not.

Facebook Fakers

No company wants to have 13 straggling followers on their Facebook page, making their brand look unimpressive, limp and lifeless.

A simple fix? Buy ‘likes’!

Yes, many have chosen to simply purchase ‘likes’ to give the appearance of an actual following. In other words, they’re cheating.

The simple way to tell a cheating brand from a genuine one is to look at overall engagement and ask “is the engagement proportional to the size of the following?”

If no, there are two possible reasons: poor content that is not attractive and tailored to the brands following, or they have no actual following.

Twitter Cheaters

Much like Facebook, Twitter cheaters lack actual engagment.

I recall seeing a small ad executive’s pitch for services at a stuffy (and borning meeting). I sensed  the guy was full of hot air and checked out his company’s Twitter account. Over 25,000 followers and when I looked over the alleged followers, most of them had sent no tweets and still had the egg-head default profile picture Twitter automatically assigns.

Tip: If you’re checking out a company or individual, visit Status People, a site that analyses the percentage of genuine and fake Twitter followers on any given Twitter account.

Quick Disclaimer

Just be mindful that not all users with large followings are cheaters. From Mashable:

“People with large real Twitter followings, from celebrities to activists like Yoani Sanchez, are made to look guilty when they are in fact innocent. Fake followers created for sale to impostors like Santiago Swallow follow real users in an attempt to outwit Twitter’s generally very effective spam management systems. The more followers you have, the more likely it is that a fake follower will follow you. By trying to inflate themselves with the electronic equivalent of silicon implants, fakers make the system noisy for everyone.”

Social Media: Playing a Role in Politics

Monday, April 15th, 2013

With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, many civilians and politicians herald her as a trailblazer as the first female Prime Minister of England.

Yet, several protests have already happened and many are set to happen when Thatcher is laid to rest this coming Wednesday. Unlike protests in pre-Twitter eras, social media plays a prominent role.

+Officials are currently combing social sites to preempt any possible protests or disturbances.

+From Yahoo News: Online campaign expert David Karpf noted that this is “a new kind of protest enabled by social media — a way for people to signal protest en masse without shouting from the rooftops.”

Social media’s influence in the political arena will only continue to grow as its usage rises. Here are a few recent political events in which social media has played a leading role.  

Civic Activities and Causes

A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project noted that “the use of social media is becoming a feature of political and civic engagement for many Americans.”

The study found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults who use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook “conducted either civil or political activity through this communication channel.”

Egyptian Protest

In January 2011, social media mobiled thousands of Egyptians in an effort to overthrow Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. With the help of Facebook and videos on YouTube, media on these outlets spurned an Egyptian revolution.

Presidential Elections

Many thought the 2012 presidential election could be predicted via social media. Reports after the election noted that Twitter sentiment for election result was split.

Although the data was mixed on social media’s ability to predict an outcome, it is notable that the most popular tweet of 2012 was from President Barak Obama immediately before he took the stage to announce his election victory. His “four more years” tweet was retweeted over 800,000 times and favorited over 300,000 times.


 Question: How has social media reframed your political landscape?