So, how do people on Twitter get 500,000, or even a million, followers, or more? Some of them earn their followers by making fun, re-tweetable comments, sharing expert information, or simply get followers because they’re famous. 

But a lot of people buy their followers! 

And that includes celebrities, politicians, wannabe rock stars, reality show hopefuls, and bloggers. Like one marketing exec we read about, who bought 250,000 followers for his musician clients for $25,000, or, a penny apiece.

Here’s how it works:

If you wanted more followers, a company would use software to find Twitter users with interests similar to yours, and have you follow them, because a huge percentage will automatically follow you back. They might also use “spamming bots” to follow you using fake Twitter accounts, or dormant accounts they’ve hacked into. 

Fake followers are frowned on by Twitter, but it’s not illegal. And the practice of buying followers, and YouTube views, and Facebook “likes,” has become so common, that the company StatusPeople created a program called Fake Follower Check. It figures out how many fake followers an account has. 

And according to Fake Follower Check, 70 percent of Lady Gaga’s 29 million followers, and 77 percent of Twitter’s own followers are either fake or inactive! 

So, which celebrity has the most “genuine” followers? Kim Kardashian - 43 percent of her followers, or 7 million people, are real.