David Ogilvy once said "Don't count the people you reach. Reach the people that count". However, his assumption that you were counting people when measuring advertising reach is now looking very unsafe.
In the article below (from his superb newsletter that I highly recommend) Stephen Waddington creates a bogus twitter account with a blatantly robot avatar and name. He nonetheless garners 10,000 followers in 24 hours by creating a single tweet and spending just $25.
Nearly all the 10,000 accounts are similarly bogus but nonetheless, the power of this account to influence twitter users reading its opinions and endorsements is considerable - readers would assume "PRbot" was a big player on Twitter.
Clearly this makes Ogilvy's statement even truer but it does drive to the heart of modern ad metrics and "influencer marketing". What is the possible benefit of counting visits or reads from these accounts, particularly in a B2B context? And, much like Blade Runner, can you tell the humans from the bots?
Clearly, experts reaching the other experts that count is more important and nuanced than ever.
10,000 fake followers Back to my experiment. Within 24 hours the fake @RbotP account had more than 10,000 followers. They have a series of related characteristics: Low number of followers Profile image that doesn’t identify as an individual Incoherent biographies Extreme political, porn and spam content