Social scoring and the business case for blocking Twitter spammers

Judging by her school-issue personal photo, Twana Florance appears to be a mild-mannered, middle-aged matron from Twin Falls, Idaho.  But there is no Twana Florance. Twana is probably some teenager in a Third World country hired to propagate and populate fake Twitter accounts that will later be sold on eBay.

Twitter has done a good job clearing out most of the porn stars and MLM hacks who almost brought the service to its knees by mid-2009. But the new breed of spammer is hiding behind a tender smile like Twana.

For the time being, it’s the stupid tweets that give it away but the spammers will probably get around that soon too. What does it hurt?  What does it matter if spammers trick you into following them?  Believe it or not, blocking spammers like “Twana” might actually lead to important business benefits in the future.  Here’s why.

Social influence and spam

A few months ago my friend Steve Dodd made an interesting observation. Chris Brogan, one of the top five social media bloggers in the world who currently carries enough Twitter followers to form a small nation, tweeted out about a specific issue … and I did too. Steve — who has a great analytical mind — noticed that my message, sent out at the same time, was re-tweeted about the same number of times as Chris. However, the number of RT’s compared to my number of followers was a vastly larger ratio compared to Chris.

“If a higher percentage of people re-tweet your message, wouldn’t this indicate that you are more influential than Chris?” Steve asked.

At first I dismissed this as a mildly-interesting aberration but the more I thought about it, the more I think Steve might be on to something.

One of the reasons Chris has so many followers is that he typically doesn’t block any one. Chris stated at a speech I attended last year that “half the people who follow me are spammers and porn stars.”

In the old days (six months ago) of social influence, having a large number of followers — no matter who they are — was a status symbol. But in this age of algorithms and Klout scores, simply having large numbers of non-human followers could work against you because that “conversation ratio” is going to be a measure of influence.

Here is what the new social scoring systems are reflecting: Spammers don’t engage. Spammer don’t re-tweet. Having spammers among your list of followers will drive your social influence score DOWN.

Ethics of blocking spam

From the beginning, I have done my best to look at the profile of every person who follows me to determine whether I should follow back, just let them follow me, or if I should nuke them.  I probably block about 25 percent of the people who try to follow me because I attract a lot of crap I guess! Yes, this takes a little extra work, but the 18,000 people who follow me are legitimate, real people to the best of my knowledge.

When I adopted this strategy, I didn’t have social scoring systems like Klout in mind. Ejecting spammers was just the right thing to do (and still is) for four reasons:

  1. My Twitter Tribe matters. If I follow you, I choose to do so. No auto-follows, ever. Before I follow, I have read your bio, some of your tweets and probably clicked your link. I have a quality audience and it’s staying that way.
  2. I want an audience to be proud of. This probably sounds old-fashioned but I don’t want to do anything in my life that I wouldn’t be proud to disclose to my children. And if they examined my Twitter audience, I would not want them to see a bunch of nymphs peddling their videos. Anybody can see who you’re following. What does your audience say about you?
  3. I want to protect you. If I block the spamaholics I keep them from my tweets and I keep them, in a small way, from you. I see so many of these folks who copy “Follow Friday” lists trying to lure followers. No. Stay away from my friends dammit.
  4. Because I just do not want to play that game. I’m not going to be passive and imply that what they’re doing is OK.

The business case for blocking

Blocking sends a message and that’s important. But I increasingly believe that having a quality list of followers who actually exist and care about you is going to make a difference because measures of social scoring are going to be a big deal. I recently wrote about the importance of Klout scores and other systems that will emerge. If you missed it, please read it because it’s an important trend that is even having an impact on SEO strategies.

And by the way, Chris (with 167,350 followers) has a Klout score of 84.

Me?  I currently have just 10 percent of the followers Chris has but have a Klout score of 76. My hypothesis is that the quality of my followers is one contributor since I do not pretend for a minute to have the reach or power of Chris Brogan.

I don’t want to turn this into a debate about Klout or its social scoring competitors. Whether you or I philosophically agree with what they do is irrelevant because these systems exist, are growing in importance, and we need to deal with this fact dispassionately.

My point is that there might be a legitimate business case to support a strategy of blocking spammers, as well as an ethical one. What’s your take on it? Does this make sense to you?

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  • I always block spammers that mention me but not the ones that just add me. I simply don’t follow them back and find after a while they just unfollow me anyway.

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  • Mark, your thoughts echo my own. I am relatively new to Twitter, but from the beginning, I have been wary of just automatically following anyone who follows me. I take the time to check out their bio, look at their website or blog. I send a DM mentioning what it is we might have in common. Sometimes that DM is reciprocated, sometimes not. If not, it gives me an indication that the person (or organization) may not really be interested in what we might share. Sure, it takes time to be so hands-on, but I believe it makes engagement with others more worthwhile.
    Good post, thanks!

  • Super advice, Cathy. Thanks for taking the time to share it today!

  • Thanks Ayngelina. Glad you have joined “The Resistance!”

  • I have a photo collection of these accounts Mark. I always report them. There are a ton on Twitter and Facebook. Drives me crazy.

    I think the only way to reduce spam is to report them and to block them.

    Also while I was pursuing Freelance work on ELance there were a ton of people looking for Facebook friends/fans. One I shared with some friends. They wanted 50,000 accounts created, with real pictures of real people and then get them real friends. And they wanted it within 30 days and to pay $500. Then there is who you can buy fans and friends and followers by the thousand. How do they do this? Has to be dummy accounts. I then lost a bid for work (too expensive) to a website that the guy decided to have someone in India get him Twitter followers. He got 1200 of them in May. He still has 1200.

    Real business needs real connections. And ethically you hurt everyone else and the network for not reporting them. It also hurts the network’s numbers. When Twitter claims 100mil accounts but really have 15-20mil users per day, or Facebook who has 540mil accounts but really only 60mil do anything on the network each day I wonder if it is better or worse for them to have inflated network numbers?

    Great post as always!

  • Thomas Moradpour

    Great points Mark!
    I’ll start blocking today!

  • Excellent point Mark! I’ve been very concerned about my followers, and how they could be misled by spam bots and malicious users. A few weeks ago, I caught a tweet which had been fabricated with a quoted RT and my username. It was promoting Playstation games and god knows what else. My heart sank, thinking about what might happen if my followers clicked on a malicious link. I had no control of what people were seeing as a quoted re-tweet from me, which was completely fabricated by spam. We should all do a better job at “nuking” the spam bots, and protect each other against malicious users. Thanks for engaging us to keep this in mind 😉


  • M_rialta

    Think it makes sense. Thanks!

  • Mark W Schaefer

    Great, thanks!

  • That is another troubling aspect of the spammers — when they hijack your name for their tweets. Drvie me crazy! Thanks for this insight Reza!

  • Super insights Howie. Thanks for taking the time to provide this comment today!

  • Anonymous


    One of the hardest things to explain to anyone interested in Twitter is how to deal with all the spam. I’ve been active on Twitter for two years and still haven’t mastered the never-ending task.

    I haven’t invested enough time in effort but here’s what I do:

    I block any obvious pornbot, spambot and anyone not wearing a shirt. I don’t auto-anything. I do like you and try to check out any new follower by clicking on their link and looking at their recent tweets. I may check to see what kind of lists they are on too. If they seem to be legit, I follow them back. I mostly engage with other B2B marketing professionals from client-side, other agencies , vendors and specialists, but if the new follower looks like they have interesting things to share, I’m interested.

    Every so often, I will use FriendorFollow to weed out the nomads that followed me, I followed back, and then dropped me like a rock to move on to grow their follows by five hundred a day, or more.

    The thing I haven’t done is block the ones I don’t follow back. Your post makes some good points about why this may be the thing to do. So, as part of cleaning my slate for the new year, I’m going to get my office organized, my desktop cleared off and I am running a twitcleaner scan to look for any spammers among my followers (this term amuses me more everytime I mention it).

    Thanks for the insights Mark and for leading the {grow} tribe.

  • Blocking makes sense. I get allot of bogus follows like the lead of this post. Sometimes I block and at other times I don’t because of timing. Am I getting lazy (twazy)?

    I really should scrub more often!

    Interesting post, Mark.

  • Mark, Very good points about ratios and influence and just the importance of kicking the crap to the curb. I zap anyone I suspect of being a spammer or troll, and sometimes they’re easy to spot: bad grammar, spelling, punctuation; the same thing tweeted to 50 people in the last few hours, etc.

    But there are times when they are NOT so easy to spot:
    1) someone new to Twitter who has a human picture, profile and handful of tweets who may not have a link as not everyone does. Don’t want to slight anyone new, as I was once new to the Twitter party, so how to determine if they’re friend or foe?
    2) someone who’s been around a while with a seemingly real mix of tweets, RTs, @replies that knows just enough to seem credible. They could be spammers… or just doing it wrong, not my style of Twitter.

    Bottom line: I certainly block, and when I’m pretty sure they are fakes, I block and report the spammers. FWIW.

  • I’ve always blocked the egregious and obvious spammers. It just feels like bad mojo to have toxic followers. That said, I tend to give benefit of the doubt when someone may just be misguided, rather than malicious.

  • Billy, I need to use more tools to help manage my following and follower lists, thanks for suggesting FriendorFollow.

  • I still don’t get this. You don’t get Spam from the people following you; only the people you follow. I don’t know where you find the time to check out every person that follows you. If someone judges my work by checking who follows me and finds a couple nymphs following me, they’re probably not my audience anyway.

    What’s next? Are you going to ID your blog readers too? Interrogate who watches your YouTube videos?
    I would rather spend my time working on great content and not worry about who is following me.

    Beside, Twana isn’t a spammer; that’s my ex-wife!


  • You can BUY fans, friends, and followers? Wow. Thanks Howie. I knew about selling accounts but not this. Wow! What on earth do they think buying friends gets them??

  • I have a very similar article in the works, but wanted to chime in here and say that this was a great article and articulated some of the same points that I make in my article.

    Thank you for the insight and inspiration.

  • Hi Jenn I think USocial and a few other companies like them came about because in 2008-2009 the Social Media Industry message truly was its all about how many fans and followers you had. I am not sure how they achieved this but I figured Mark gave me there perfect post to mention them. I have known about them since summer 2009.

  • Thanks for taking the time to say so Justin! Be sure to tweet me the link when it’s finished.

  • It’s funny. Twana is my ex-wife to. I KNEW we were connected in some way Randy. We both have lousy taste in women. No offense Twana.

    Of course the liability of spam is very low. I don;t check my “general” stream very much any way. So the risk is minimal unless I’m right about teh social scoring imapct. And I think I am. I think this way of “grading” people is going to become more and more mainstream, even if it seems distasteful.

    And it doesn’t take me that long to ferret out the spammers. I’ve been at it long enuiogh now that I ccan spend a few minutes each day giving it a quick check. Works for me any way.

    Thanks for stopping by, my ex-bother in law once removed!

  • Yes I give people the benefit of the doubt too. Like anything else, you tend to get better with experience and practice. Thanks Carmen!

  • Howie, I tweeted about this, and was promptly spammed by a rival to Usocial. Ha!

  • I only block people who are obvious. I give others a break — especially if they’re new. If they don;t have a photo or profile but are following people “like me” I’ll usually follow them back assuming they’re just learning. Sometimes I even send them a note of encouragement.

    Thanks so much for your wisdom Davina!

  • Twazy? You have been hanging out on Twitter too long! : ) Thanks Bob.

  • I thougth I had left a reply on here but don;t know where it went! Sorry for the delay Billy. This is a very helpful suggestion. I’m going to try it out!

  • I had a friend in Nashville call me up and tell me that he just bought an account with 60,000 followers. He asked me what to do next — I said: “Start over!”

  • The scoring thing is an issue I suppose. But if you’re a speaker or someone else in the public eye, there’s not really much you can do. I got 150 new followers today on Twitter. No way I have time to check those kind of numbers.


  • I vote twazy on this comment for sure 😉

  • Still searching for the relevant wind… do I tack or run?… plus, I AM still a youngster on Twitter; don’t take that from me Mr. 19k… Twitter–>my new *Braces*… Do I look younger now?

  • Mark, I couldn’t agree more. It goes with my hope that, in the end, the good guys beat the bad. I know people who think it’s silly to spend time checking followers, but if you don’t then maybe one day your “network” is going to be compromised and maybe you’ll have to start all over.

    Looking at the big picture, perhaps Twitter will one day be superseded and none of this will matter, but who can predict whether or when that will happen? In the meantime I’d rather take a little extra care and I look on it as an investment in my own future, an investment worth making even though the outcome is unknown.

    By the way, I wanted to make this comment on my iPhone, but couldn’t. Why do so many blog sites have a structure that doesn’t allow comments to be made via iPhone or iPad?

  • Thanks for that opinion and insight Mark.

    Sorry you had problems with the comment system. This is the third one I have tried in a period of three months and none of them seem to be perfect across all the platforms. Doesn;t seem like it would be that hard.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Mark.

  • I feel ya. I usually get about 50 new followers per day but if I miss a few days it seems overwhelming to to try to catch up. If was getting 150 like you I would probably have to get some help or change my approach. I’m trying to keep it real as long as i can! Hate to see the spammers win.

  • Anonymous

    That strategy works for me also. Never automatically follow someone who follows you.

  • Many of my friends think it’s madness that I frequently go through my followers and block people. They figure if they’re spammers, that Twitter will just find them. But I find that I’m followed by a lot of “people” who aren’t bots, but like Twana and I just don’t want users like that in my “crew”.

    Also, now I’m doing something that a fancy Social Media person does too. Which is cool.

  • By the way, I checked just to make sure. It turns out there are several nymphs reading this blog!


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  • Fully agreed. I would even take it one step further….

    The issue of spam is also the issue of relevance. Beyond the “gross spam” you’ve also all the tweets that are legitimate but not relevant. It’s a certain form of spam to me.

    That’s why from an influence standpoint, we recommend to use a different approach:

    1- map the communities of bloggers/writers in a domain. Interestingly enough, blogs and backlinks, by construction eliminate spam.
    2- when computing influence in twitter only account people that are “checked” by the community i.e, legitimate bloggers in that community.


  • And, here, I thought I was getting too “block/report as spam” happy. I’d noticed a trend of what seemed a more sophisticated tweet pattern, but someone like “Twana”–without any links at all, I would not have followed back but would have given the benefit of the doubt re: block/report.

    Yes, this does make sense to me–and I am not an SEO/SM expert/guru. What little I’ve bothered to look at re: scoring one’s Twitter value so far to me seemed laughable because they were based on the faulty premise that it’s all/only about the numbers and not the quality of the interaction (indeed if any)–or the randomness of anyone actually paying attention at any given moment. So what if you have 2000 or 20,000 or 1 million followers if only 0.1% are online at any given moment AND you are but only 1 of their 2000, 20,000, etc followers. Yes, there may be social/political/commercial values, but it feels to me more like chaos theory than well-defined metrics one can or should bank on. (Good advice to He Who Bought An Account With 60,000 followers!)

  • I have to admit that before reading your post, I only blocked those that immediately begin spamming me. The ones that just followed didn’t merit the time (however small) to block/report them. But this post gives me reason to change that.

    I liken the issue of allowing spammers to follow to selling goods/services at cost. Sure, from the exterior it looks good. Inflated revenue/ larger number of followers. But it has a drastically negative impact on future viability. A) the biz makes no profit / the tweep gets no engaging activity from spammer B) The biz cuts legs out from under future sales (no profit to invest)/ tweep — As you put it Mark — risks losing social influence points, attraction of new followers, and amplification of message.

    Lastly, I’d rather have 1 customer that generates $MM in profit than 1Mil customers that generate nothing.

  • Well said Mark, I agree entirely with your analysis. I too have been questioning the intent of my followers, as have many. In January 2009, Econsultancy decided to mass ‘unfollow’ all their followers, however they did it will a post & full explanation.Interesting how things change so rapidly and will continue to at the rate of technology.Thank you again for a great post! Wishing you and family a Happy, Healthy & prosperous New Year!Cheers Michele

  • Hey Mark, this is a fantastic observation (and I really appreciate the mention)! I just love how this community picks up and evolves this kind of advanced thinking. Spam (and other more threatening stuff) will become an increasingly difficult issue within the social media world in the very near future. In fact, it will be further complicated by new devices like TVs that are now being made “internet accessible” with Social Media applications for Twitter, Facebook etc. being the primary initial marketing thrust. In a recent article, it was stated by a professional “Hacking” company that these devices were the absolute easiest things they’ve ever intercepted. So, “Joe/Jane Consumer”, sitting in front of their TV, monitoring Facebook and firing off Tweets will likely very soon see some tweet/update from some highly influential/familiar person they follow boasting a huge “Klout-like score (actually sent by some hacker) with some really nasty payloads.

    I agree, Mark. If some kind of integrity validation is not being done, influence scores are virtually worthless (and can themselves be most likely easily scammed).

  • John Barnett

    This is a great article and a helpful strategy. As my company builds and becomes more effective with social media, we also starting to be plagued with Twitter spammers. I appreciate the insights, especially on the ethics and social scoring impact. I’ll be shooting the article link up to the movers and shakers so they can police their own Twitter accounts better.

  • Great John. Glad this was helpful and that i am enabling the moving and shaking! : )

  • I had not picked up on that infromation about the ease of hacking those devices. Thanks for the inspiration and the contribution, Steve!

  • I would like to hear more about why you would mass “un-follow” legitimate people. Seems like it would piss people off? Hope you can share more on that. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  • I really like that analogy. Great insight James. Thanks!

  • Obviously I agree with your premise. I think you’ve got the right mindset here. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It means a lot!

  • Interesting persepective. Yes, I suppose tweets that are not relevant are a milder form of spam and I would probably be a big source of those : )

    I’m not sure i understand some of yoru comments though. You lost me on “blogs and backlinks, by construction eliminate spam.”

    Would appreciate clarification if you have the time Dominique because I’m interested in what you have to say here. Thanks!

  • Fancy? Well that’s a first!! Thanks for the compliment I think. : )

    Twitter will not catch the spammers without our help. I have received a lot of value from Twitter and think it is worth my time to try to keep the community as clean as possible. Give a hoot – don’t pollute : )

    Thanks Melissa!

  • Yeah, probably those 50 new followers a day I mentioned.

  • Thanks Mark. Have a wonderful New Year celebration!

  • Mark, Chris Lake [Director of Innovation at Econsultancy]: “At the end of 2009 we also decided to unfollow all of the 19,000 people we have been following on Twitter. If this applies to you please don’t take it personally. We set up an auto-follow rule when we first started out on Twitter, and – frankly – it’s got a little bit out of control”. [Full Post:
    From what I can gauge this has not hampered followers, @Econsultancy currently have 29,211 followers & are only following 152
    In a recent post, Matt Owen, Social Media Producer, Econsultancy: “Why Klout doesn’t count” [Full post:
    Hope this provides further insight. Cheers Michele

  • Great post. I’ve been waging a personal war against what I term the ‘kudzu’ on Twitter for about 2 years now. It’s gotten steadily worse over the past 18 months, as you noted, by MLMrs and smut peddlers, and now by a varity of enemies who churns out untold numbers of these worthless accounts built by automated follow software. I’ve always felt if Twitter blocked the use of automated follow software, it would seriously crimp this cancer. And if everyone would stop automatically following everyone back, that would take care of the rest. I too have checked every profile, along with a quick snapshot of tweets, that follows me. I must’ve blocked hundreds, if not thousands of junk accounts by now. This is killing Twitter … and one of the reasons I have spent only a fraction of the time on Twitter the past year, as I did the first year I was using it.

  • I’m noticing that many new followers are businesses that I don’t care about. The latest is Hawaii Live Tweets
    @hilivetweets (mentioned only because it is most recent.)

    The streams not really spam, but I also don’t care to follow back. Currently I let them follow me, but your post makes me wonder if I should not only block spam, also these borderline cases as well.

  • I think you’re taking the right approach by giving people the benefit of the doubt Mark. One time I blocked a lady who had a provocative picture and it turned out to be a college student who was trying to learn from me. So I learned a lesson here to give people the benefit of the doubt and at least allow them to follow me even if it is a business that does not seem to make sense at the time.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Halleluiah! Well said. Love that term Twitter kudzu!! Thanks for the keen observations Jeff!

  • Dominique Lahaix

    Sorry for my poor writing 😉

    What I’m trying to say is the following. The blog ecosystem is to me much more reliable than twitter for identity validation and influence computation.

    1- Real people who blog do not link back to “fake bloggers” or “blogs that exist just to attract advertising dollars”.
    2-So if your posts get referenced/link to by C Brogan, J Owyang or B Solis, who are influential bloggers in Social Media: a ) you’re a real person, b) you probably have some influence in that space.

    Using this logic, we can identify the bulk of people that are relevant in a domain/community, along with their twitter, fb and linkedin profile and we can use this baseline as a way to cross check any other people for: real identity and relevance in the domain.

    If you take a new person, call him/her @ person, if none of the 1000’s people that we know for sure are relevant in social media follow him, then … 99.9%, it’s a spammer.


  • Wells said. Thanks so very much for clarifying. Makes good sense!

  • Mark – Thanks for thinking this through. I just wanted to loop back and share with you that this post has changed how I manage my followers on Twitter. I now block new followers that are clearly spammer (while allowing others that are at least real people – even if I don’t follow them). The new part is the blocking. I need to budget time some weekend (all weekend) to go back though my current followers and block the spammers there as well – but I think it will be worth it.

    Thanks again for taking the lead on this issue. I’d love to see the social measurement tools (and perhaps the platforms themselves – develop tools to help us better manage this – as suggested in Tom’s great follow up post here –

    Thanks again.

  • Great Sean. Thanks for the feedback!

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  • so it’s Kudzu then? never heard of that one, although Twitter is choked with bacn for sure, and spammers seem to get ever more insidious, I often have to wonder if I just block them or spam report them. I do think more people should follow the practice or complaints about the integrity of the entire Twitter experience is untenable.

  • Thanks Paul. For some reason I have been getting about 50 of these spammers a day now. The only way to choke it off is many people take the time to block and report these idiots. Thanks!

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  • Thanks Mark for a great article.

    I’m new to this twitter thing, so it’s great to have someone with experience in this tool to explain what matters and what doesn’t. I can already see the power of twitter and the engagement you can have with key people in your area of expertise. Where else can you send a tweet to mr. Stallone and ask him about his new projects? This is the most exciting thing about this tool, that and the power of the crowd. Much better than Facebook in my opinion. I’m tired of the spam with facebook, way to much noise over there. Maybe that’ll happen when/if I reach 20000 followers as you?

  • Muhammad, I’m so glad you’re getting into Twitter and enjoying my blog. If you’re struggling on Twitter, I would recommend reading my book, The Tao of Twitter, which can be found here: It took me MONTHS to figure it out and now it has delivered such wonderful personal and business benefits! Thanks for your comment and good luck!

  • Really interesting post. I think I have about the same as you.. 25% spammers following me. But unless they actually @ reply me, I don’t block them. I don’t follow back though (hate auto-follow, hardcore).

    Is there really any need to block them though? Does the Klout score really mean anything, as long as your engaged followers are engaged, regardless of that number? As in the case of you vs. Chris.

  • this might be part of my answer.. =)

  • i do report them on hootsuite when they’re hitting me up. my issue is the ones that never stand out in their bothering of me.. i just delete the “now following you” emails and move on. But should I?

  • Until I read this post I didn’t even know people did this. It totally defeats the purpose.

  • Mark – great piece.
    I too read every profile of a follower – those which are clearly “spammers” and other unmentionables – I block w/o a second thought. For those that appear to be “new” I will give them a week or two and double check if they have engaged or simply grown their number of following – if no engagement with any – they too will be pruned.

    I follow folks who engage or who bring value to the table so often that it matters not if they engage with me directly, I am the beneficiary of watching the engagement they have with others.

    My assumption is real folks follow me for the value I try and b ring to the table.

    You sir serve large portions of value at your table daily.

    Thank you,

  • Yes this makes sense to me Mark. Though I don’t have your size following, I’ve had to block a few followers due to questionable backgrounds, spammers, or didn’t care for the company they kept.

    Though I’ve never thought of my Klout score (probably should), having a minimum quality level regarding my followers is important. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think now is a good time to review my followers.

  • It’s the percentage who engage.  That’s the idea behind the post. If you tribe is filled with blank accounts, you will have a lower percentage of your tribe engaging with you. You are having lower demonstrated influence.

  • Thanks Christopher. Good insights!

  • Thanks for taking the time to comment, William!

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  • I’m relatively new to Twitter, but I block perhaps 10-15% of my followers.  If the person has 100s or 1,000’s of followers, but has 0 Tweets, then I block them.  If they appear to be a real person, I send a thank message and invite them to read my blog.  If their profile, Tweets, and link are of personal or business interest to me, I follow back.  I continually rethink this, but for now that is my practice.  My followers are about 75% of the number I follow.

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