A few weeks I wrote about “The Shanty Towns of Social Marketing”:

“It’s a world filled with anarchy, impenetrable walls that make it hard for people from the outside to see what’s going inside and it’s an unethical world. In this world, you can buy Facebook fans by the thousands. You can ask them to “like” your brand in exchange for goods. They give you options to download your pricey apps in exchange for credits. Need 10,000 more LinkedIn fans? That creepy guy with the fedora and mink coat can help you. Have to pump up your follower number on Twitter by 100,000? Enter the greasy door next to the red neon sign, flashing “Open”. It’s a shanty town comprised of people who work for improvised, unsustainable companies that might go out of business any day.

An island filled with bottom-feeders, preying on the innocent. And supporting the cynical and unethical marketers.”

Either Mr. Gingrich didn’t read my post (likely) or he read the post and got a “good” idea (unlikely): No matter what, it seems Mr. Gingrich and his team (allegedly) were buying fake  Twitter followers. PeekYou dug a little bit deeper and they concluded that just 8% of Newt Gingrich’s followers are real people.


I briefly glanced at Mr. Gingrich’s followers and, well, it doesn’t look good.

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The egg screen of death.

What about Obama?

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Some eggs but not as eggtastic as Newt. But that’s just silly me, having a glance.

PeekYou went even further and analyzed the GOP 2012 contenders for comparison: Still, 8% of Gingrich’s followers are real, 20% real followers for Sarah Palin and Pawlenty tops the chart with 32% real followers. (Allegedly.)

I’m glad this happened.

Not many people have written about the rotten eggs of Social Marketing. It finally sheds a bright light on this unethical practice. (Especially when you boast about the number of followers.)

Clearly, Mr. Gingrich uses the follower count to stroke his own ego and get attention/respect from the clueless press. That’s about it.

A high number of fans is meaningless if no one ever shares your stuff or does anything to advance your cause.

Who knows, this might be the beginning of the end for these silly services. It’s a definite wake-up call for agencies and their clients to have a second look at their Social Marketing strategy. Especially when all you see is the egg screen of death.