When talking with new clients about setting up a Twitter account, one of the initial questions they ask me is, “How many people should I follow? 100? 1000? 5000?” It would seem like ‘more is better’, but this time it really only applies to Followers. Also Twitter imposes an arbitrary limit on the number of accounts you can follow…and that limit is you can Follow 2000 other Twitter users on each account. When I get this question, I tend to share with them my own experience ‘pushing Twitter’s limits’. 😉
At the time, I had about 1400 Followers when I hit my 2000 limit and found I couldn’t Follow any more Twitter users. I did some online research and found a few articles that said, to get over Twitter’s limit, I’d need an approximate 80%-90% Following:Follower Ratio (this is not an exact ratio because no one knows… Twitter won’t tell anyone what their rule for this actually is). So I did the math and it looked like I needed about 1600-1800-ish FollowERS to be able to be FollowING more people. Once achieved, then I’d be able to follow new Twitterers again.
The article, and info on Twitter Support, seemed to say that all you had to do was get over the 2000 Follower mark and the ratio limits would be lifted from that point forward. After all, I had seen accounts following 10,000 or more users, SO I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, spending the next three full work days getting my next 600 Followers. This required a great amount of pleading, begging, messaging, UNfollowing people who weren’t following me back (btw, my online tool of choice was http://www.Tweepi.com.), then finding users willing to follow me once I followed them. All a very convoluted and frustrating process, even with supposed accounts to help you find people willing to do this. Many still did not return my follow which meant I had to then UNfollow them and try to find more people to take a chance on. Over and over, round and round, unfollow 100, follow 100, get 10 follow-backs, unfollow 90, follow 90, get 5 follow-backs…blah blah blah…UGH!!
FINALLY! After three days of this I was able to Follow my 2002nd person. Woohoo!! I was home free, off and running, nobody could hold me back now!! hahahahaaaa! But then… as soon as I went back to FollowBack all the people whom I was unable to before, I AGAIN ran into Twitter’s ratio limit at about my 2150th FollowBack. W…T…H?? I went BACK to researching and re-read Twitter’s support page (https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885-i-can-t-follow-people-follow-limits). The language is a little ambiguous, and could be read a couple different ways…EITHER the ratio applies up to the 2000 Followers mark OR remains in effect forever even past the 2000 mark. NOW I see that the 80-ish% ratio continues to be in effect forrrr…ehhh…verrrr even after 2000 Following. Boooooooo! 😦
Now, I’m having to rethink how I’ll use Twitter moving forward. Do I need to create more accounts to get more followers? I can now see why there are so many multiple and spam accounts out there. I think Twitter may actually be causing their own worst problems with their arbitrary rules. Not sure, but at least I can FollowBack those who Follow me, even though I still cannot Follow ALL the accounts I find interesting or helpful.
If you found this post helped you, please let me know in the comment box below. I also have other posts about how to use Twitter more effectively.
For UNFollowing people who don’t follow me back, I’ve also found and been using these free sites…let me know if you try and like them!
I’ve chosen NOT to add additional accounts to increase my following. Rather, I’m learning to play within the Twitter guidelines. Ugh, I feel like such a conformist haha. I’m more proactive about monitoring my Following:Follower ratio.
If you visit my Twitter account at ConnectWithGreg™, I usually have maybe a few hundred fewer Followers than Following from my natural progression of Following, Waiting To See IF They FollowBack, Then Unfollowing Those Not Interested In A Mutually Beneficial Connection.
I’m finding better people to follow (more likely to follow back) using Twiends.com.
I usually give them 3-7 days to Follow Back, before I have to unfollow them to be able to follow more people.
I like JustUnfollow.com to manage my Unfollowing.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2015
Here is a link to Ted Coiné’s blog – a fantastic explanation of my Twitter Follow-Back Policy and why I use it…AND much expressed much better than I could have written it myself. haha
How about you? Have you had or heard of any similar experiences? Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts? Workarounds? Strategies you’d care to share? I look forward to discussing them in the comment section below.
Follow me on Twitter and I will Follow You Back!