8 Reasons Why Your Twitter Following Isn’t Growing

8 Reasons Why Your Twitter Following Isn’t Growing

Your Twitter following isn’t growing. You don’t know why. You’ve tried everything, and you have no clue what to do next. But, what if the problem exists because of what’s already there? Are you even getting the basics right? Before you delve into growth tactics, there are simple things which may be getting in your way. Perhaps the signals you’re sending out aren’t inviting people in. Time to stop and take a good, hard look at it before you go any further.

Twitter is kind of my thing. It’s been the easiest platform for me to grow. The beauty of Twitter is that there’s such an active community on there and, better yet, despite some of it’s annoying features, there are no algorithms to hold you back.

The result of my fast growth on Twitter is either people thinking I’ve bought my followers (which I’d never do because I can think of 1001 things I’d rather spend money on) or people asking me how I’ve done it. They’ll come to me and ask if I can take a look at their account and tell them what they’re doing wrong.

Let’s kick this off with an important message.

What I’m about to share isn’t the be all and end all – it’s based on my opinions and the reasons I choose not to follow people. I’m fairly generous with following, especially when it comes to other bloggers. That said, there are some things I see and they immediately make me think twice. Others may think completely differently to me, and that’s fine. I don’t believe in trying to assert rules of a “right way” and a “wrong way” of doing things, so the following are just suggestions.

You might read through this list and think “crap, I do that!” So, listen: just because you’re doing some or all of these things doesn’t mean you should feel bad about yourself. It is, in no way, intended to do that. It’s meant to inform you so you can make tweaks and, hopefully, get your account off the ground.

You came to this post because you wanted to know why your Twitter following isn’t growing, so let’s have a look at some possibilities.

1. Your account is purely promotion.

Brand, blogger or business, if you’re shoving what you have on offer down people’s throats, they’re not going to want it clogging up their timeline.

Do I use Twitter as a tool for promotion? Of course I do.Β Five or six tweets a day are to promote my blog posts. But, I actually get quite uncomfortable if I don’t get the chance to tweet or retweet other things in between. Looking at my own profile being full of promo irritates me as much as seeing it on someone else’s.

We get it – you’re using social media as a marketing tool. That’s cool. You just need to remember that there’s a fine line, and if I come to your profile and you haven’t done anything else for days, I’m not clicking that follow button. This covers purely promoting your blog, your product or your other social media profiles.

Once you’re mixed into my timeline, you’re maybe thinking it won’t matter. They won’t be consecutive, after all – the content from others I follow will mix in and it’ll all be good. You’re not wrong but, right now, this is the first impression I’m getting of you.

Treat Twitter as a behind the scenes. Give people snippets of your life beyond your blog or business. Share your thoughts about random things. Provide little nuggets of wisdom. Terrifying as it is sometimes, be you! It’s the best way.

2. All you do is retweet other people.

I am the first to shout about how important it is to support others. One of the best – and easiest – ways to do this is to retweet them.

Yet, if that’s all you’re doing, is there any point in me following you? If I follow you, it’s because I want to see YOUR personality, and what you’re about. It’s great to be generous with your retweets but if that’s all I can see – how am I supposed to find you in amongst all of that?

Worse still, if all you do is retweet celebrities, I’m out.

3. You have blatantly obvious automated tweets.

By this, I don’t mean scheduled tweets, but rather the ones along the lines of “I’ve had x amount of unfollowers this week.” What this tells me is that you’re a little hung up on numbers. If you want to know that information, no worries – just don’t broadcast it for everyone to see.

Often, I think people simply forget to turn it off whenever they sign up for these services, but I’m not going to follow you and hang about until you’ve done it. What if you never do?

4. You don’t have a Twitter bio.

Come on. Stick a few lines in there about how AWESOME you are…

…Okay, maybe not. I can’t imagine bragging will do you any favours. I can tell you what will, though: showing people a little bit of spark. Or, at the very least, give people an opportunity to think “hey, we have something in common.”

I see the words “cat lady” in a bio, I’m sold. Similarly, when the words “mental health advocate” make an appearance, I’m tempted to follow this fabulous person who is fighting for a cause so close to my heart. These are personal things which instantly draw me to the account owner. If you’re going for a more professional vibe, then at least let people know what it is you do.

Writing bios is hard, especially when they’re so short, but give it a go. You can always edit it, but give people something to work with. If you need a hand, take a look at this article for some guidance.

5. Your profile picture is a logo, or something else impersonal.

I actually have mixed feelings on this. The reason I’m including it in this list is simple: other people have told me they don’t like it. Who is behind the account? Who am I connecting with?

Social media is about networking, connecting and building relationships. Whether those are personal or professional, people still yearn to know who is at the other side.

I get that not everybody is comfortable with having their picture on there, which is why I’m a little more forgiving – especially if I can tell it’s a blog logo. Yet, if it’s a generic stock image or what looks like clip art, I’m less keen because it doesn’t really tell me anything about you.

6. You only use it to share Instagram links.

I see this a lot less often than I used to, but if this is the case, I might follow you on Instagram, but following you on Twitter? Pointless.

Again, maybe this is automatic and you haven’t turned it off. The message it sends is that you’re more active over on Instagram than Twitter, so why should I bother following you on both?

7. You’re not original.

Don’t panic – this is a very specific example, and I’m not about to pick apart personalities.

What I mean by this is, if your timeline is full of thoughts and quotes that are not your own, I’m not interested. The occasional one is cool, and I’ve been known to do it myself.

I’m talking about tweet after tweet of words that you didn’t write. Perhaps this is because I’m fascinated by other people and utterly intrigued by who they are, so I want to know about them. Not the same old quote I’ve seen a thousand times. If I wanted to read this stuff, I’d follow accounts specifically for that.

8. You hashtag every word.

This could be a personal pet peeve of mine, I’m not sure, but when your tweets are exclusively hashtags (or near enough), I quickly lose interest. It’s excessive and unnecessary.

Up to now, I haven’t decided what irks me more – when people create a sentence with hashtags, or when it’s just random hashtags thrown together.

I understand the logic. You’re trying to reach as many people as possible, but you don’t needΒ every single word to be a hashtag to achieve that. Personally, with the exception of retweet accounts, I don’t see hashtags as overly important in general. You can search a normal word or phrase and still find what you’re looking for. But, if you want to use them, then by all means, do so – just pick a few specific ones.

Now, if you’re not doing any of these things and your Twitter following isn’t growing, then I’d like to point you in the direction of this post. It’s pretty much the flip side of this post, and has 8 suggestions for how to grow your Twitter.

8 reasons why your Twitter following isn't growing

8 reasons why Twitter following isn't increasing
8 reasons you're not gaining followers on Twitter
Are you struggling to grow on Twitter? Check to see if you're making any of these 8 mistakes

What I’d like to know is: what encourages you to follow someone on Twitter, and what puts you off? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

41 Comments

  1. 15th October 2018 / 11:09 am

    Hahah here’s nothing worse then #someone #who #does #this but you do fall into the trap of doing it because looking at keywords for hours on WordPress and host addles your brains πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ great insite Ruth thank you!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:12 pm

      That’s true! Things do get a bit hectic in the brain πŸ˜‚

  2. 15th October 2018 / 11:30 am

    I don’t usually follow people who only RT others. I’m more forgiving with newer accounts to a certain extent as I think sometimes people are nervous to express their own thoughts to begin with. One of my biggest gripes are the people who constantly RT their own tweets. The type that say ‘A blogger is XYZ’ or ‘here’s my clever remark for the day’ (that you have seen numerous times before). You know they are scheduled tweets and are there to be seen not to actually interact. Scheduled tweets are great but when I feel like the person isn’t actually around at all I am not interested in following them. I have always thought you have the perfect balance with scheduled tweets, promotional tweets and overall interaction πŸ™‚

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:11 pm

      That’s true, and I think new bloggers use it as a way of networking, which I actively encourage. That’s a good addition to the list, too. I appreciate that feedback – thank you! πŸ™‚

  3. 15th October 2018 / 11:44 am

    This is so true. These are the exact things I check for when deciding whether to follow someone back on Twitter. I would also add NEVER REPLYING TO ANYONE EVER because that’s just plain rude!

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:10 pm

      That’s definitely a good addition!!

  4. 15th October 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Thank you, Ruth! This is such a brilliant post (as usual). I am probably guilty of too much promo, retweeting other tweets and not enough original comment of my own. This is partly because I work pretty much full time now and try to take weekends off social media. But also because I genuinely don’t think I have that much of interest to say. And you’re right, the thought of giving people snippets of my life and thoughts is terrifying to me. But after reading this post, I think I do need to give it a go. I promise I will try and thank you for the encouragement! xxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:09 pm

      Awwww, Lisa! I think taking weekends away from social media is a great idea, though, and I must admit my profile is a bit more full of promo because I schedule those tweets and spend the time with Neal. For what it’s worth, you’re a wonderful person and I’m sure people will only love you more when they see your more of your personality! πŸ’› Although, I should mention, you’re one of my favourite people on Twitter and in blogging in general, so I don’t think you’re doing anything majorly wrong! πŸ˜‰

  5. 15th October 2018 / 12:08 pm

    Your pet peeves are some of mine. I don’t accept people with no picture, mine is me, nothing special. I retweet blogs I enjoy and try to put why I enjoy them. But I have my own thoughts and their on my Twitter. Another great blog Ruth, thank you x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:05 pm

      I think it means more if you’re a bit selective with your retweets, too, because then it’s like “oh, they must have really liked it!” Thank you, Ellen!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  6. 15th October 2018 / 2:29 pm

    Yes to everything here! I think Twitter is all about finding that delicate balance between retweeting, self promo and showing your personality. I’m pretty generous with who I follow too, like you say, if there is ‘cat lady’ in the bio then it’s an instant follow from me. Also, if they are a blogger, I’m most likely to follow just to show my support. I’ve never understood why people share their Insta links on Twitter either, it’s like half a caption that never makes sense and a link, who clicks on that anyway? ha ha. Tons of hashtags and the automatic how many unfollowers tweet just makes a Twitter feed look messy. I think you are right, a good combination is less spam + more personality = twitter growth. Thanks for sharing Ruth, fab post as always! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:04 pm

      Exactly! I occasionally share my Instagram links to Twitter, but only if it’s a picture I really love and don’t want non-Instagram people to miss out on πŸ˜‚ Definitely agree that that combination is the best way forward!

  7. 15th October 2018 / 4:32 pm

    literally just said to someone how much i hate people who hashtag every word!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Nice to know we’re on the same wavelength πŸ˜‰

  8. 15th October 2018 / 4:40 pm

    I don’t follow accounts if the bio looks too spammy. Lots of emojis and links but nothing about you? I’m out. This is a great list though.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:02 pm

      Agreed! I love emojis as much as the next person, but there’s a time and a place – filling your Twitter bio with them isn’t it.

  9. 15th October 2018 / 4:43 pm

    I agree with pretty much all you have pointed out here. I’m also very generous in terms of who I follow and follow back, however, I have a few “personal turn-offs” that make someone a “no-follow” for me. The biggest one is unnecessary and prolific profanity. I don’t understand why people waste characters on a string of cuss words in their profile! Really??? Be a little more imaginative, please! I also don’t follow folks who have personal details in their profile that cross the line into “too much information” … I’ll let you use your imagination to figure out what I mean there!
    Thanks for a great post Ruth!
    Joan
    My Best Friend Adeline
    http://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:02 pm

      Those are good choices! It is surprising the things some people choose to put in their Twitter bios, I must admit…

  10. 15th October 2018 / 6:48 pm

    I’m probably guilty of retweeting others too much – but I like what they have to say or their other bloggers post I’ve enjoyed. Thanks for the tips Ruth, they will definitely come in handy.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:00 pm

      It’s hard not to get carried away, especially as it is one of the easiest ways to support other bloggers!

  11. 16th October 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Well my bio has mental health champion and cat lady in it so we were obviously going to be friends! Some great tips here Ruth – thank you!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      16th October 2018 / 3:00 pm

      Without a doubt – it was destiny! πŸ’›

  12. 16th October 2018 / 11:08 pm

    I am so guilty of using twitter just for promoting blog posts. I feel I have so little time to tweet anything in between! Great post Ruth, I will definitely trying to employ some of these to up my Twitter game!

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      18th October 2018 / 10:55 am

      It can be hard to squeeze in those additional tweets, to be honest! I often forget!

  13. 17th October 2018 / 4:30 pm

    I couldn’t agree more that I’m so put off by those who only promote their own posts & never have anything of their own to share! It’s so important, as well as beneficial, to interact with other bloggers. The community is mostly only lovely individuals, so communicating with them can only make you happier!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      18th October 2018 / 10:59 am

      Exactly – it’s rewarding in more ways than one! A much better way to build your audience, and make friends along the way.

  14. 19th October 2018 / 6:07 pm

    Yes! I couldn’t agree more. I pretty much don’t follow people if they do one or more of the things you’ve mentioned in this post, but I was always worried that I was being unfair, and I’ll admit I’ve followed people who do it because of my anxiety, so it’s quite comforting to see from your post and the comments that other people do it as well.
    Reading this is a nice reminder for me to see whether I’m guilty of any of these as well and, if I am, do something about it. These are great tips for everyone, regardless of whether they’re new to Twitter or have been on there since the site was launched. Great post, thank you for sharing!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      21st October 2018 / 11:48 am

      I know what you mean – the responses of this have made me feel much better. I was a little bit apprehensive about publishing it because I thought “what if I’m just being harsh?” so it’s reassuring to know others feel the same way!

  15. 19th October 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Great post! I am actually totally guilty of at least one of these things. in my defense, i DO have a personal Twitter as well, that gets a lot more of my personal quips and whatnot. I find though, as I grow the new one, that I don’t really care about the other one as much, so, that will most likely change as I move along here.

    I am happy I ran across your twitter and subsequently this blog. You are pretty rad my dear, pretty rad.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      21st October 2018 / 11:44 am

      Well, then, that makes a lot of sense! But I, for one, would definitely like to see more of your personal quips popping up. πŸ˜‰ The same thing happened with me and Instagram – I had two separate accounts, then realised I was no longer updating my personal one so got rid of it.

      You’re pretty awesome, too!

      • 21st October 2018 / 6:04 pm

        <3 Thanks! I have made a note to take this advice and get a little more personal with my Twitter.
        I'm not sure if I was just being shy, or if it was my inner workaholic Capricorn showing her horns, but I think it will be refreshing to have a little fun with it!

        -Kat

  16. Nicole
    20th October 2018 / 6:03 am

    One reason to toss in there – political stuff. Now unless you are politically driven (like your career, in some way, revolves around it for example) I would avoid the politics. I know 1,000 people could disagree, but left, right, middle, I don’t like seeing politics in my feed (I would rather read politics separately on purpose, not just thanks to scrolling through Twitter!). Also, offensive remarks about religion gets me to unfollow. Aaaaand my last thing before I get off my soapbox is things people like sometimes get me to unfollow too! Don’t forget sometimes Twitter shows that stuff. npyles86@gmail.com

    I do love following people who show they interact, and add personal touches to their account. That means a lot to me!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      21st October 2018 / 11:42 am

      I understand what you mean about politics. For me, I like it to be a break from everything going on in the world, just a nice little bubble, so if people are very full on with their political views, it’s not someone I’m likely to follow. I think people definitely forget that people see what they like as much as what they say, and I’ve unfollowed a people because of this, too!

  17. 20th October 2018 / 11:40 am

    I loved reading your insights and I agree with so many of them. This post is super helpful, as I do struggles with twitter as I wouldn’t say I’ve had it that long to understand it! Some really good point I’ll be taking onboard!

    Finlay Grace xx

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      21st October 2018 / 11:39 am

      Glad I could help! Twitter takes a minute to get your head around, I think, because it moves so fast but once you do, it’s not so bad! πŸ™‚

  18. Pauline
    21st October 2018 / 9:24 am

    This was super helpful. I think you and share a lot of the same dislikes when it comes to some tweets. I love how generous and sweet you are with sharing the blogger love. I especially liked your bio tips.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      21st October 2018 / 11:36 am

      Aww, thank you, Pauline! So glad you found this helpful.

  19. 4th November 2018 / 5:22 am

    You have no idea how helpful this post was. I’m very new to the whole twitter-verse and so I’m guilty of doing a lot of these things. But now that I know better, I’ll do better. Thank you Ruth! xx

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      6th November 2018 / 10:36 am

      Glad I could help! πŸ™‚

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