Monday, June 24, 2013

SYTYCD: Did a contestant buy Twitter followers?


With so much focus from the fans about Twitter on last season's Dancing with the Stars, I decided to take a look at So You Think You Can Dance.  Fox has each contestant create a new account with the season and their name.  It is a level-playing field and the audience can decide who to follow during the season.  I think this is incredibly fair way to handle everything if the producers decide to do any Twitter voting. Fans spent half the season of DWTS arguing over the number of Twitter followers for Disney star Zendaya and how unfair any Twitter voting was for the celebs. While the SYTYCD contestants are in a different situation, I like the way the network handles the social media aspect of the show.

On Thursday, I created a Twitter list for the contestants so I could follow them without cluttering my already over-cluttered feed.  I wrote down how many followers each contestant had as of Thursday, June 20, thinking it would be fascinating experiment to see who is the fan favorite early on.

Last Thursday's Twitter count.

If you can read my chicken scratch in the photo above, notice that Malece Miller topped the Top 10 girls while Brittany Cherry was at the bottom. For the Top 10 boys, Nico Greetham was at the top with 2,410 followers and Carlos Garland had only 661 followers. If you checked their numbers today, you would see an increase for all of the contestants by now.

However, over the weekend, I noticed one contestant's numbers jump astronomically: Paul.  He went from 729 followers to over 5,000 within two days.  Really?  It made me think that only one thing happened: He bought followers. You can buy about 5,000 followers for about $75 via several internet sites. It's a deceiving way to make people think you have more followers than you actually do. Many of the accounts following you are fake or inactive when you buy them off of the internet.

What many people do not know is that there is a site that will track the percentages of fake followers. I did a little sleuthing and this is what I came up with for Paul's account.



His account is showing that over half of his followers are inactive on Twitter. Let's compare his account to Nico who had the most followers last week:


Nico, who is now up to 3,131 followers as of Monday, only has 13% of inactive followers. That is a a pretty typical number. Every Twitter account has some fake and/or inactive followers because of spam accounts or people who only open an account to follow celebs, but are inactive tweeters. The real number to focus in on is how many of the accounts that are following you are "good." This is where I raise eyebrows.  Nico has 84% and Paul has only 44%. Also, remember that Paul's follower count jumped from Thursday to Saturday...not on a show night after the audience watched him dance.

I am suspicious. I'm pretty sure that Paul bought followers because the pressure is on to be "America's Favorite Dancer."  Maybe he feels even more stressed to perform since he won SYTYCD Armenia? We all know how important social media is to connecting to the fans. I just think it's a really sneaky way to do it.

Chime in! Let me know what you think about social media, buying followers, and SYTYCD. Am I wrong? Is Paul wrong to do this?  I look forward to your feedback. 


34 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I personally would not be proud of my work if I buy the followed ...it is better moinsde be followed but even so proud of his work xxxx

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  3. Hi Kristyn - Normally I really appreciate the information that you are posting, but I really think that this particular piece is unnecessary and casts this contestant in a negative light before he has even had a chance to compete. Unless SYTYCD has drastically altered their format, the number of Twitter followers means nothing in terms of actual results. On DWTS, Twitter voters got to choose encore dances, dance styles for one week, etc. Not anything that, in my opinion, turned out to be significant, but certainly the results got the fan bases riled up. Here, only votes through online voting, text, or phone will count towards results for the bottom three. And, if you are correct that many of the accounts that "follow" this dancer are inactive or fake, he isn't getting any unfair advantage over anyone else through posts on his Twitter. For DWTS, you saw through much of the drama that was going on through social media and provided thoughtful insight into why much of what was being posted was inaccurate or unfair. In this instance, though, you seem to be feeding the drama.

    Laura

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input. I think it raises an interesting point...why would he bother to buy followers and create the illusion? His dancing and talents already got him to the Top 20. It's impressive. The rest should just speak for itself...including social media.

      The trend of buying followers is not exclusive to what I pointed out. So many celebrities do it to make their endorsements possibilities more attractive to ad execs. It's something that Twitter might want to address.

      As for Paul, he's going to continue to shine. There's no drama. It's just a fascinating evolution of social media and the pressures some feel the need to cave into.

      Delete
  4. Television America TODAYJune 27, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    The show is a fake imported junk show with fake identity dancers. No one in America watches a show with fake bad dancers with bad false identities. Nothing about the show is real. It's fixed and rigged. It has no audience in America aside from fake audience number demographics and fake votes. Get rid of this show permanently.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't think he bought followers. He obviously has a lot of fans from SYTYCD Armenia. I think a lot of people are inactive because in Armenia they do not have all the technology that we have. I like Paul and I can see why he won SYTYCD Armenia. I don't think you should call out dancers like that at this point in the competition because it could get in peoples heads and make them not vote/like him as much as they did. If you are going to say that, you should say things about all of them. I know he gained a lot in short amount of time, but Paul is a super nice guy and he wouldn't do that and buying followers doesn't really buy votes so there is no point in doing so.Just my opinion. Anyways, huge fan of yours and after buzz. I think you have great input on the dancers but I don't think it is right to say that about twitter followers.

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    Replies
    1. This post is a bit old, so the article doesn't matter much now that the competition is underway. Like I said to Laura, all that matter is his talent which is shining on the show. However, it raises the importance of social media and the pressures of "popularity" in the entertainment industry. The way his numbers jumped overnight is suspicious and it did not happen to any other contestant. Paul is not the most popular contestant on the show even though he's a really good dancer. That's why I raised the question. It is a fair question to ask since many, MANY celebrities are buying Twitter followers these days. (And I am talking super popular ones like Gaga and Bieber.)

      The advantage Paul has is understanding how popularity and the media are important for the show. He's great in his interviews and the camera loves him. This will help him post-SYTYCD. My little article will definitely not hurt him or his chances on SYTYCD at all. He's going to do just fine....and he will be in the Top 10...mark my words.

      Thanks for your input and thanks for watching, Sasha!
      :) kb

      Delete
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