5 Followers NOT to Follow on Twitter!

Would you like to streamline your Twitter?

Since using SocialBro each day to monitor my Twitter account I have become more aware of who I follow and who I interact with on Twitter.

You may remember my blog Who do you Follow on Twitter?, my very first post of the blog challenge, it was a popular post.  So I thought I would do a part 2 with my new honed skills following my use of SocialBro, which I wrote about in 5 Ways to Analyse your Twitter with SocialBro.

In this post I am going to give you some tips of who NOT to follow on Twitter.

1. Spammers or Bots

Ok so you want to increase your followers but by following back spammers or bots will only increase the useless information on your news feed each day making it virtually impossible to see the good stuff.  They bring no value to Twitter apart from making your follower numbers look bigger than it genuinely is.

You can identify these followers quite easily, the following are some examples:

  • Their profile picture is a scantily clad or very attractive woman.
  • They follow a lot of people but haven’t posted any tweets!
  • If they do have tweets, they are usually about making money or offering free $100 gift cards if you follow them.

If you use SocialBro it’s likely that you’ll notice they will unfollow you after a few days if you haven’t followed them back.

2. Mentions of Money

I always take a look at my new followers, I make it part of my daily routine.  If there is any mention of making money, whether that’s in their bio or in their tweets I look further and investigate whether they are genuine people or just out to make you click on links which take you to a variety of money making scams.  These aren’t so easy to spot as spammers or bots because they sometimes come across quite genuine in their bios.

If you’re not sure, then follow them but keep an eye on what they are posting and don’t click on any of the links unless you know they are 100% genuine.

3. Zero Interaction

I come across followers who have a huge following of people, they appear interesting in their bios and they sound like the sort of person you’d like to follow.  BUT their tweets are just made up of articles, and not necessarily in the same genre they claim to be interested in!  For example, someone followed me last week, he had a lot of followers, his bio said he was interested in social media and SEO… so I thought, ok let me check out his tweets.  All his tweets were articles, but nothing whatsoever to do about social media and SEO and no interaction with his follower’s.

You can identify these follower’s by looking at their tweets… not just the first few that come up when you click on a user, but scroll through a page worth of their tweets, there will be zero interaction with anybody and just lots of article links.

4. Follow Me and I’ll Follow You

This is self explanatory, some of these followers will be quite open about it in their bios – making it clear that if you follow them they will follow you back.  Or there are the ones who put the hashtag #teamfollow – try putting that into a search in Twitter and you’ll see the sort of people it will bring up.  I’m not suggesting they’re not all genuine users, some people may put this very innocently and be unaware of the implications.

Then there are the people that follow you and if you don’t follow them back within a couple of days they will unfollow you.  It’s very rare for me since using SocialBro to see that someone genuine has unfollowed me.  9 out of 10 times it’s someone I hadn’t even followed anyway.

5. Target Audience or Interest

This last tip is more of a personal suggestion rather than a do not follow.  If I gain followers that are not in my target audience for my business, or I am not interested in them personally then I don’t usually follow back.  I ask this question when I click on a new follower.  Will they possibly require my services or am I interested in what they are offering?  If the answer is no then I don’t follow them.  You’ll get the No. 4’s who will unfollow you and then there will be those that continue to follow because they are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Any more tips?

I hope my tips have been useful, and if you have any you’d like to mention please leave a comment.  I am always trying to find ways of saving time, or being more organised and with so much happening in social media it can start to take over your life.  I hope what I have suggested is helpful.  If you haven’t yet read my previous blog posts about Twitter and SocialBro check them out – Who do you Follow on Twitter? and 5 Ways to Analyse Twitter with SocialBro.


  1. Thanks Jo, very useful

  2. Top list Jo. If somone follows me who has made hardly any tweets at all, or doesn’t have a profile picture then there is no chance of me following them. Begging for followers is a big no-no for me; if you’re interesting enough people will follow you.

    • Thanks Rob, I agree about not begging for follower’s, although I would like to try and hit 1000 before the end of the blogging challenge… :)

  3. Great stuff Jo. I am still very new to twitter and trying to get my head around it all (I feel about 100 when I say that)… It is good to hear more about the social norms and the sort of things i should look out for. Thanks :D

    • Thanks Sam, pleased the post was useful… You’ll soon get the hang of Twitter, it’s only now that I’m starting to use various tools to help me manage it better. Watch this space though as I just found something else which lets you monitor all your social media in one place, testing it this week! :)

  4. Great list!

    When you are just starting out on twitter, the way to grow your followers, is to follow people, and hopefully they will follow you back, yes? So, on one hand, in the beginning, you can and should follow people who might not be the ideal-est of followers (no spammers or link-only posters though). I went back later and pruned my list, and now that my follower list seems to be growing by it’self, I do what you suggested: only follow the relevant people to my niche. :)

    • Very good point Rachel, when I started using my Twitter account for my business I already had a reasonable following… so I didn’t think of it like that, so thanks for pointing it out! :)

  5. Hey Jo,
    I would always recomend following the key people in your niche. Watch and learn how they are using twitter to engage their audience? Look at the number of tweets they send per day, yes most of it will be automated, how many have links, how many don’t. Create a swipe file of the tweets that illicit the best response and tailor them for yourself.

    With regards to number of followers, it is not important. It might look impressive but the important thing is to have a following that are engaged with you and what you do.

    • Great advice James, I think following your competitors is also along a similar line. In fact I don’t think I would have managed to build my social media presence up without seeing what the others were doing.

  6. Mike Garver says:

    Jo, it’s been over a year since the last comment, but you put this up today and I wanted to comment on this great ‘hook’. You have a very educational site for TwitDummies like myself. I actually thought you were going to tell me 5 ‘followers’ not to follow. ;^)> I’m so glad it was more than that, because I could’ve added to that ‘list’. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your new e Course you just started today…. I wrote my book, NOW WHAT!

    • Thank you Mike, pleased the article exceeded your expectations! Would love your feedback on the eCourse, I hope to improve and update it when I can. :)

  7. I only recently set up my Twitter account and haven’t done anything about following real people yet (as opposed to magazines etc) so these are great tips on how to follow the right people from the beginning.

  8. Great tips here thank you. I’m new to Twitter, well engaging on it anyway, and am only just starting to get my head round it. I bet I’m already following some bots or spammers. Time to weed out who I’m following I think! I’ve just been blindly following people back because I thought it was some sort of unwritten etiquette. I shall be more discerning from now on. Thank you, really useful.

    • A great way of analysing your followers and those you follow is by using SocialBro, if you use Google Chrome you can get this as an add-on. I find it’s really useful to get an overview of your Twitter account.

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