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Updated 7 Jan 2021

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Twitter Accounts That Follow Back

Finding twitter followers can be hard, so it's tempting to use the follow-back strategy on twitter's platform to do this. Growing followers on your account this way can work, and millions of followers have been gained this way. But it can also result in a lot of wasted effort, or worse, a suspended twitter account. Let's dive in and see how follow-back works, and how to do it safely if you really must.

How does follow back work on twitter?

Unlike facebook, following on twitter is one-way. You follow the users who's tweets you want to receive. They won't see your tweets. If you want them to see your stuff then they'll need to follow you back. This can happen in any order, i.e. either person can follow first.

Most users on twitter do not follow back, so follow back is the exception rather than the norm. If you want follow back to happen then you'll need to do certain things to make it happen. There are really only three ways to do this:

  1. Follow users who are very likely to follow you back
  2. Ask users to follow you back
  3. Set yourself up as a follow-back target

1. Following users who may follow you back

A follow back is more likely if you pick the right person to follow first. There are a couple of ways to do this, but the most common are using follow-back lists, looking for follow back clues in bios, or looking at friend/follower ratios.

Lists of twitter users that follow back

If you do a search you'll find lists of twitter accounts that supposedly follow back. I say 'supposedly' because this really is hit and miss. These lists very quickly become out of date, and they are never quality controlled. So you'll follow a lot of fake accounts, bots, porn accounts, etc. Also, many of the twitter users you try follow may be dormant or removed. The older the list the fewer follow backs you will get back too.

Follow-for-follow accounts

Users may leave clues in their twitter profile bio if they follow back. Their twitter profile may say things like 'follow-for-follow', 'I follow back', or something similar. Of course, this may not be true, so you should check their friend/follower ratio before you follow them. Do they have 1000 followers but only 50 friends? Then they are probably not following back. You can do an advanced search on twitter to find profiles that show these bio keywords. You can also find tweets that say following back is done.

Friend/Follower ratios

If someone has 1000 followers and 1000 friends then it's more likely they will do a follow in return, but of course there is no guarantee. Someone who only follows 10 accounts is very unlikely to follow you back.

2. Asking people to follow you back

You can do this, but it's only likely to work if the other person is willing, and most people are not. Just randomly following accounts on twitter and asking them to follow you back will not work. You will need to target someone who actively follows other people back.

Also, beware of spamming others. If you send a lot requests out for follow back you will eventually be reported. After too many reports twitter will take action against your account.

3. Becoming a follow-back target

You can list yourself as a follow target by adding yourself to follow lists and adding 'follow-for-follow' to your bio. But beware that a lot of bad accounts will follow you, so you'll want to be selective about who you follow in return. Also, this may be a slow process.

Does this really get followers?

Look, to be honest you will increase your followers if you do reciprocal following with the right people. You could add 5 followers a day, or if you are really active you could see even bigger daily follower gains. Getting your account growing can be exciting, and having that will help motivate you. But the thing that matters most is whether that helps your brand in the long run.

Will your followers be engaged? Will your followers look at your tweets. Or did they click follow because they wanted you to do the same in return. That is fine as long as you and your followers expect the same thing. In fact, many people use twiends for that exact purpose. It's not wrong, it's just a different goal.

The best way to go about it is to return a follow if you are interested in that person's tweets. Check out people's content first. Use twitter to make good connections. Follow someone if you like what they're posting. Large numbers are great, but sometimes growing your twitter following a little more gradually may lead to better results.

Risks with following people back

Using this strategy to grow your followers has it's problems. Your social media account is likely to face some challenges. Having a really big follower list is great, but adding that large a number of friends to your account so quickly may not be something that you want to do. Here's why:

Bots & fake accounts

Whether you are following accounts on lists or other people are following you, you will pick up a lot of bots and fake twitter accounts. It comes with the territory. These accounts tend to use automation tools for twitter, so they are very active in this space.

Twitter's automation rules

Following accounts back can become a grind. It's slow repetitive work. So it can be tempting to use tools for twitter that auto follow people back, or that automatically follow people with target keywords. Just be aware that twitter does not like automation, especially when it comes to following on twitter.

If you use any type of twitter tool to automate your following then you will eventually be locked by twitter. Keep doing it and you'll get suspended too. Twitter knows when you use automation apps. The same goes if you use tools to automatically message people asking them for follows.

People will unfollow

People may trick you into following them on twitter, and then unfollow you afterwards. This is known as twitter follow unfollow. A lot of people do it. You can sometimes spot it by looking at their friend/follower ratio first. If they have a low number of friends relative to their followers then they are likely to unfollow you via twitter.

Inactive accounts

You will pick up a lot of inactive accounts when you use this strategy. Unfortunately, twitter has quite a low retention rate for new users, so many accounts become dormant on the platform. This is actually a problem for most forms of promotion on twitter. You'll be picking up followers all the time that may become inactive after a while. Active users today may become inactive users tomorrow.

Spam

If you follow everyone back then your timeline will become pretty full, pretty fast. If you are not selective about who you follow then you will end up following some spammers too.

Engagement may deteriorate

It may become harder to engage with other accounts you followed if you do a lot of mutual following. Account tweets will become buried.

You will be forced to unfollow accounts

Eventually your friend count will far exceed your follower count and you will be under pressure to bulk unfollow other accounts. In order to gain 10,000 followers you may have to return follow 100,000 users. Following that many profiles will force you to unfollow around 90,000 accounts due to twitter's follow limits. Twitter won't like that.

A better way to do it

Sometimes it pays to think outside the box. What if the person you follow is not the same as the person who follows you back? This would allow you to be selective about who you follow. You could try and find someone who's tweets you'd like to receive. And in return, someone who may be interested in your tweets could follow you.

This is basically how twiends works. We try and create a community where users can follow each other in a safe way. You can search by country and interests and follow a few people to get started. In return, other people can find and follow you. It's a good compromise, and it's a great place to start if you are trying to grow your followers on twitter.

We also help twitter marketing pros who want to promote businesses on twitter's platform. Social media managers growing twitter audiences can do that safely on twiends. Check out our featured promotion trials today!

Twiends™ uses the Twitter™ API, displays it's logo & trademarks, and is not endorsed or certified by them. These items remain the property of Twitter. We do not sell followers, we only provide display advertising. Bots & fake accounts are not permitted on twiends. © 2009
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