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Like many internet services Twitter is plagued by people who try to exploit the other on there for often ill gotten gains.

I was asked about this today and thought I’d post on it.

With this in mind it’s hard for some people to tell who is ‘real’ and who isn’t on Twitter.

First, let’s say that on Twitter and all over the Internet ‘real’ is relative. Let’s say this post is more about how to tell who is trying just to get followers and who is more worth following.

These uncouth people follow in an effort to gain follow backs.

Here are 5 pointers to help guide your way:

Profile and picture

Does your prospective followee have a profile and a picture? Real, wise people, make an effort and write something in the profile space and add something of a picture, even if it’s just a logo.
Does this person sound interesting to you?
Not everyone does though, don’t go by a lack of profile alone.

Following Vs. Followers

Does there followers and following count seem off?
If you look at the number of people your followee is following and it seems a lot higher than the number of people they are following they could just be accruing followers. The reverse is the same, if the number of people they’re following seems abnormally high they could just be trying to gain followers and not doing a very good job of it.

How many tweets?

So they have many tweets under their belt? if your followee has only one or two tweets then it might be a good idea to revisit them later to see how they’re doing and think about following them then.

What are they tweeting?

Is there nothing but links in their Twitter stream? is it all junk? are they conversing?
You might see a few questions in Twitter stream, you might see what looks like it wouldn’t make any sense, you’re only looking at one side of a conversation.

Are they ‘@ing?

If you see a number of tweets aimed at people there’s a good chance there is a real conversation going on there. i.e “@TechBurgh I like that one. Nice and Simple “

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.

Should his schedule permit, Andy is available to help you with your SEO and Web Analytics needs.