Twitter mystery resolved. Why the number of your followers is growing slowly / falling / or stuck!

I have seen it happen thousand times… Some of the greatest people and companies I follow have surprisingly low number of followers. They appear in my Twitter stream all the time, they tweet a great content but yet their followers’ count is far from impressive. There are many tweeps who are funny, original, interesting and who spend great amount of time on Twitter, yet they are stuck on the same amount of followers. This article answers the big question many tweeties are dying to find the answer to: WHY?

Here are the top reasons why your followers’ count is either stuck on the same number, growing very slow, or worse, falling down:

You are not following anyone. This is absolutely the number #1 mistake people make on Twitter. If you are Bill Gates or @mashable, you can afford not following anyone yet be followed by load of excited tweeps. However, most of us are average Joes not known to the world, so you have to reach out to others in order for them to notice you.  You don’t have to follow everyone back (though that sure will boost your followers count more than anything else), but you sure should follow people in your interest area who are likely to follow you back. For example, if your interest and tweets are about travel, follow people who are tweeting about travel. Seems obvious, but many people start doing this and after they reach certain number of followers, they stop. You stop following, you stop being followed. Very simple.  

You are not retweeting. RT or round-trips or retweets are the essence of life on Twitter. People retweet the content they find interesting or they think would be beneficial for their followers. If you RT good tweets, your followers will be happy that you shared with them something important they may have missed on Twitter; you make the author of the tweet happy, because by RTing you are giving him/her greater Twitter exposure, and in the end, you are more happy because you are getting noticed by the people whose tweets you retweeted as well as other tweeties who give the credit for a good tweet to the original author AS WELL AS the person who helped them notice this tweet (which is you, the retweeter!). So tweet your own stuff but retweet as well – half to half is a good ratio. 

You don’t talk to others. How many of your tweets are @ replies to others? If you rarely or never react to other people’s tweets & ask or answer questions, you are talking to yourself, which is not what social networking is about. Though Twitter is not good for micro conversations, it is important to have some conversation once in a while in Twitterverse.  A good way to reach out is to thank for retweets and mentions, comment on people’s tweets and/or ask questions. Of course, everything within the boundaries, so beware chit-chatting with others extensively and filling your followers’ stream with “Hello how are you, what is the weather” type of interactions. Think about adding value to your followers in your conversations. Giving an opinion on a tweet (i.e. “Great tips! Thanks”) while including the original tweet that you are reacting to will not annoy your followers and allow you to have a conversation that is adding value to all.

Your tweets are only about you! Unless you are Ashton Kutcher or @adventuregirl, people really don’t care what you had for lunch or what you are wearing today. Think about what people really care to know, something helpful, interesting and “hot”. If you can come up only with things that concern you, do yourself a favor and look at “trending topics” in Twitter. This will give you an idea what people are talking about – most of the time it has nothing to do with you. Not everyone has a talent to be original, funny, and creative, but we all can be good listeners. Learn to listen to Twitterverse and you will soon be its star. 

In short, if you want to succeed on Twitter, you cannot be in your own world. You cannot sit around and wait who will find you – you have to find others. Don’t wait for others to talk to you – you talk to others. Don’t wait to be retweeted – you retweet others’ posts. Don’t wait for people to follow you – you follow them. The interaction that adds value is the key on Twitter, so keep this in mind.

Best of luck in Twitterverse as well as everywhere else, my friends!



I invite you to connect with me!


About Lucie
I am curious and passionate about all things social and pretty much anything else I put my mind into.

37 Responses to Twitter mystery resolved. Why the number of your followers is growing slowly / falling / or stuck!

  1. 5kidswdisabilities says:

    Great information on Twitter. I am afraid I’m new to blogging and that is about as technical as I can go! (I LOVE the technology, though.)
    Lindsey Petersen

  2. Hmm that’s interessting but actually i have a hard time seeing it… wonder what others have to say..

  3. Thank you so much Lindsey for your response. Good luck with blogging, I am sure you will do great!

  4. AetnaJo says:

    As one who enjoys Tweeting daily, I find this to be great information for most Tweeps and is something that all newbies should learn if they want to grow.
    Bring it on and Happy Tweeting.

  5. Thank you Lucie – I started to really ‘get’ Twitter about a month ago but would like to up my followers – I am following double the amount of Tweeps who follow me at the moment and now that TwitterKarma can’t be used to prune I’d like to increase my followers. You post was very useful.



    • I am glad you found my post useful. My advice would be to interact more. Get into conversation and have fun. The numbers will then come your way. Make friends that is very important. The only way to make friends on Twitter is to retweet, comment and be creative. Do that and you will soon rock it! 😉 Btw. you can use refollow to weed out followers (shh… 😉

  6. gajah_pesing says:

    thank you, it’s nice post

  7. Do you think same rules apply to Facebook pages? I am especially interested in “Your tweets are only about you! “. I noticed that a lot of brands on Facebook are talking only about themselves while others curate articles around a topic for their audience.

    • Absolutely!! I see this mistake each and every day. The businesses keep talking about what they are selling but they are completely missing the point. Social media is not traditional marketing channel and it cannot be used the same way. It is a two-way street, no matter if you are using Twitter or Facebook, it should all be about interaction and engagement. The brands that use social media to provide value and talk to their fans are having much better results than those that just talk about what they have to offer.

  8. novatwitman says:

    Thx got the tips! 🙂

  9. Pingback: 2010 in review « OnlineFantastic's Blog

  10. Great tips! Thanks for helping those like me new to the Twitterverse to make sensew of it

  11. Jack says:

    Very interesting but I am not convinced. I follow many of my followers and one day I’m up the next I’m down, but I don’t tweet to amass millions of followers so that I can ignore them like many of the so called stars etc I am following, who if you are not in their immediate circle you are not considered worthy of a retweet or even an @ reply. Twitter is a great place to make new friends, you may never meet them but its nice to talk to someone from another part of the world.

    • Jack,
      Twitter has a lot of benefits – I met some great ppl on there. Yes, many heavy hitters ignore tweeters with small following numbers, but many don’t (i.e. @SuuperG). It takes time to navigate Twitter but once you get a handle of it, you will love it. 😉

  12. As a new tweeter, this is great advice. Thanks

  13. Mike Ames says:

    Great content. I really like the simple yet powerful posts that you can actually do something with and this surely qualifies. Thanks

  14. Pingback: Top Twitter Tips & Tools For Week 15, 2011

  15. Marcus Schaller says:

    And don’t forget NO Spamming! Great post, thanks!

  16. Fabrizio says:

    Thanks Lucie. Though I’m not into be followed and I’m considered an expert I really learned from your article. In particular where you suggest to talk to other. Great I’m became a follower!

  17. Awesome post Lucie! I agree with all the points mentioned by you. Even i had written a post on similar lines of Presentation by Pramit J. Nathan (@pramitjnathan) on Twitter. Here it is:

  18. Very well put enjoyed that

  19. Bryan Hall says:

    very insightful, thank you for taking the time to make this info available to novices like me!

  20. Colin Finlay says:

    Some great points from a social media ninja! Thanks for the insight Lucie! Safe travels!

  21. RobRob says:

    Two years later, this is still about the best Twitter advice I’ve seen! I know I’m guilty of some of these errors, but I’m also tempted to send this to a few tweeps I follow who could use the advice. 😉 Thanks for a great article!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: