Almost every day, I go through my new followers on Twitter, and follow back folks I’d like to engage with. I don’t follow back everyone, however. As I’ve joked with my partner, I have some pretty “strict” rules about following people back on Twitter:
- You need to use Twitter more than once per year
- You need to do more than just RT or share links
- Your conversations need to be more than you complaining at a brand about a customer service issue or just saying “thanks” to people for sharing something
- You aren’t a ninja expert influencer
- Your profile wasn’t written by a bot (I can spot several bot profile formulas now)
- You aren’t trying to sell me followers or teach me how to make money fast
But yesterday, I was reminded of one of my other rules of following on Twitter: If you use an auto follow/unfollow app I’m not following you back.
Some of you may wonder how I know someone is using this sort of spammy tactic to cheese the follower numbers. It’s actually quite simple:
- The person goes from a typical follow/follower ratio to not following anyone at all, without explanation*
- Sprout Social outs you to me because you use auto DMs and I see them from the last two times I’ve followed you.
- You’ve met this person IRL, and collaborated with them on content, and so you are very much aware they are playing the follow/unfollow game…because they’ve done that to you six times over the past year.
I notice when you use those follow/unfollow apps + don’t engage. So there’s no need to keep re-following me after we’ve done that dance. 😉
— Erika Heald (@SFerika) July 15, 2017