Sam Flemming

A massive following on China´s social media does not mean so much, as many are zombie followers. As the internet grows up, internet companies try to fight the zombies tells CIC-founder Sam Flemming in AdAge.


Sam Flemming, founder and CEO of China-based social business intelligence firm CIC, says more brands are “trying to weed out zombie fans or stop the practices leading to zombie fans.”

That said, some brands and managers still chase big numbers. And there’s also a mystery component to some zombies — sometimes they just appear, even if brands, agencies or celebs don’t want them around.

Sina‘s Weibo isn’t yet 5 years old, and Mr. Flemming said it’s following a natural progression. “Phase One is looking at social media as a media, saying, ‘Bigger numbers are better,'” said Mr. Flemming, whose company helps brands vet the quality of followers. “Phase Two is looking at social media and recognizing it’s also an opportunity for engagement. And if you’re going to engage you’d rather be doing it with real people as opposed to zombies.”

More in AdAge.

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