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Beware – Low Life Twitter Tactic To Build Large Followings

Last updated on September 1, 2014

Many of you have probably already seen and understand this low-life Twitter tactic but it happens so often I thought I’d mention it for those that haven’t noticed it yet. Everyone want’s large numbers of followers, right? Twitter is no exception and there’s an almost pathetic desperation for some people to “appear” to be popular. There’s a not-so fine line between social proof and being a deceptive ass because you were beat up or ignored as a child. Cheating is cheating and it ruins your reputation.

TWEET THIS: Cheating is cheating and it ruins your reputation

The low-Life Twitter Tactic

So here’s how it goes… An insecure person with a slight lack of morals finds themselves on social media and they’ll do almost anything to feel popular. After all, here’s their chance to finally be something they’ve never been able to achieve before, thanks to the cover of the virtual curtain. So they find the easiest way around common sense and look for Twitter tools and tactics to find the huge following they crave.

First, they find an online Twitter tool that will mass follow and unfollow people. So they follow and follow knowing a bunch of people will follow back. And the ones that don’t follow back? Well, they’re unfollowed of course, but that’s SOP in Twitterland. Twitter pretty much forced that tactic when they decided they’d only allow a certain following/followed ratio.

So here’s the low life part…

Not only do they unfollow those that never follow back, they even unfollow those that do. After all, how’s one to feed their ego if they have to follow as many people as there are following them? We need to have a huge following while following only a few ourselves to feel like a true bigshot.

A couple examples of Twitter mass following and unfollowing

You know what, I’m not a great writer so why don’t I give a couple examples? These accounts were easy to spot because they had no reason to follow me and they’re following a small number of people in relation to those following them. I fully knew what they were doing so I actually took screenshots just for this post. I so smaart!

Notice within each image there are three separate screenshots. The first one is the follow notification within the Android Twitter App. The second screenshot shows their profile where they’re following me and I followed back. The last screenshot shows they unfollowed me because that’s just what they do. Can you say, “no integrity“?

SociaPath @SociaPath

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Mark Corke @MarkCorke

Mark Corke
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What to look for

Here’s the question to ask yourself; If they’re following very few people and have massive followings, and they have no reason to follow you (like you’ve been communicating or something), why would they follow in the first place?

Don’t risk your ruputation

Please don’t risk your reputation by buying followers or cheating others to look like a social media guru, it’s not worth it.

About This Author

Brian D. Hawkins is a late-blooming thought leader in his mind. So please don't disturb his happy thoughts. It's all he has.

Brian D. Hawkins has been a blogger for over twenty years, having written thousands of public articles on dozens of websites. He currently blogs for and his personal blog at


  1. Seems like a major waste of time and yet so many people use schemes that they then find ways to justify. Small minds I’d say; it’s a shame…

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      Yep, a huge waste of time Mitch but so many are absolutely obsessed with numbers that they take risks for very little benefit. Small, reckless minds. 😉

  2. I have to say that I have a lot following me and I don’t follow that many back, but that’s just how my Twitter has gone over the years, I’ve had so many “scrapers” in the past, similar to the ones you have mentioned, that have followed me and if I follow them back, they usually unfollow with in a few minutes or hours.

    Then you get the ones that follow you and then if you don’t follow back with a few minutes they unfollow!

    I’ve adopted the Twitter lists, more over than following these days, I fond them so useful, but that doesn’t mean I don’t follow, on the contrary, I give tweeps the benefit of the doubt, but if they SPAM me via DM etc, then they’re gone!

    It’s quality of quantity at the end of the day, I hope that doesn’t make me sound too harsh.

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      I’m sorry Karen , I completely missed your comment here. I’m doing the Twitter list thing too. That’s really the only way to keep up with people you want to follow closely and still follow a bunch of people. Lists are pretty powerful in so many ways.

      I also agree that the bad apples are hurting the overall experience to the point we get very skeptical when it comes to following back. When I see someone I’ve never interacted with before follow me and they have thousands of followers yet are only following a handful of people; I know what they’re doing.

      • No worries Brian, What’s your thoughts on unfollowing those on Twitter that haven’t tweeted in a long period of time?

        • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

          Actually, I recently upgraded and that tool has a “recommended unfollow” section. I have a handful of accts and I was surprised at how many people abandoned their accounts years ago. Some people haven’t tweeted in four years. I’ve been unfollowing all of those accounts because they’re not even people any more.

  3. WOW Brian !!!! Freakin dead on! I must admit, I use automation but do my best to engage with people. So many times Ive seen people follow and the very next day they unfollow….. I call that being an EGO freak… needing to have a huge following BUT with out engagement, you have ZERO ! So many so called GURUS use this tactic and a few others! I steer clear of the (what I call) “the bottom feeders”!

    Appreciate your post and I would love to re-blog it with your A.O.K 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Joseph Montes

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      A little automation doesn’t have to be a bad thing Joseph , I use Buffer like crazy. I actually just called a couple of people out yesterday on this same subject. I’ll try to embed one of the tweets but if it doesn’t work I’ll change it to a link. I appreciate your input. 🙂

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting those that are going to unfollow right away because of the follower/following ratio but I still get unfollowed by some every week. I have no problem being unfollowed, I just don’t want to be followed just for them to auto unfollow to build a one-sided list.

      Anyway Joseph, I’m using right now and it tells me when I followed (if recent) and when they unfollowed. So if it’s within a few days or I see they just dumped the majority of those they follow, I not only unfollow but I also ban them. I don’t want to keep going through the same process with them so I make sure they can’t follow back again.

      I’m not a big fan of “reblogging” to be honest. That’s one of the reasons I pulled away from Triberr for a while but I did recently join one tribe. Thanks for asking though. 🙂

      • Thanks Brian!!!!

        I like your style! Unethical practices tend to reveals UNETHICAL people! I have ZERO time for them/that!!!
        I haven’t really dialed into Triberr yet, still in the air on that one 🙂

        Have an AWESOME Sunday!
        Joseph Montes

  4. Hi Brian,

    Your headline caught my attention because it’s about tweeter. I know I’m late commenting here. But I just want to tell you that I am struggling with tweeter. I can’t seem to like this social media, it’s like pulling my teeth just to use this. *sigh*

    Anyway, I only follow those who I have connected on their blog or my blog. I don’t really follow every single one of them coz it’s really hard to engage with everyone but only choose those who constantly communicate or connect with me.


    P.S. your social media share button is floating in the middle of my tablet while I was reading your post, it’s really distracting, I thought I’d let you know. Perhaps your mobile or tablet readers will appreciate if they could read your post without that button getting in the way.

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      First, sorry for the buttons Angela. I had the option checked where the buttons aren’t supposed to show on tablets or a range of mobile devices. I’ve had that happen to be on other blogs and it drives me crazy. I removed the floating bar and put them above and below each post. If it still gets in the way I’ll replace the plugin. I appreciate you letting me know.

      Twitter is an unusual platform and seems to have become less social or intimate as it once was. Personally, it’s still one of the top social referrals to my blog (not this one, – this is just a personal blog that I post to occasionally.) I don’t try to use the main Twitter feed to interact on more than a casual level. I have Twitter lists setup for that. Some are public and some are private.

      Using lists lets my follow-back people I wouldn’t generally follow. I haven’t been very proactive on following people (I need to start) but I will follow most people back as long as they are real people, not playing the game described in this post and a few other things I look for.

      I look at it this way; I’m not on Twitter to enhance my social experience, I’m there to open a method of connection for those that choose. Many of those people are blog readers and/or customers. I don’t want to alienate the very people that are helping my online business so I can have a good personal experience myself with a few close friends. That’s just my way of looking at it but it’s really just a matter of preference and objective. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to go short of the low-life tactics like I mentioned in the post.

      BTW, I subscribed to your YouTube channel as Hot Blog Tips and circled you on G+ as well. 🙂

      • Thank you, Brian, for subscribing in my channel. I believe I have subscribe to you too. Thank you also for including me in your Circle. I really appreciate this so much.

        Oh, btw, I haven’t told you this before. Did you know why I have added you? This is kinda embarrasing but I’m gonna tell you anyway. Your last name is the same last name with my ex-husband’s. His last name is Hawkins. I thought you might be related to them. I don’t hate my ex. In fact, I pray for him everyday. My other daughter is also a Hawkins. I just thought it’s a real catchy last name. Okay…will see you around…

        • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

          That’s pretty cool Angela . There’s a lot of us running around with the Hawkins name but I doubt I’m related to your ex – unless he’s very wealthy and then I’m certainly next of kin. 😉

  5. Hey Brian!

    I noticed that too. I recently created a new account and the same thing happened to me. Haha.

    Glad to read your post and thanks for sharing!

    • Brian D. Hawkins Brian D. Hawkins Post author

      I get it on several accounts everyday Reginald, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

  6. Twitter follow / unfollow tactics are completely legit way of gaining followers and conversing with the audience. Unlike the discussion of ethics, marketers will discuss the results, and results speak louder than words. If you want to have a golden medal for engagement, than you’ll get the golden medal.

    Doing follow/unfollow the wrong way won’t yield you the results. So, carefully curated content for your industry, with high quality tweets, coupled with contextually targeted follow tactics is the bomb. We create impressions, gain retweets, clicks, and drive traffic for ourselves as well as our clients.

    You shiny “social” bubbles out there are missing out the fun. It doesn’t make you any better professional than the rest of us that do.

    • You can do it anyway you like @011Bojan:disqus but if you think tricking people into following just to immediately unfollow them isn’t hurting your reputation then we can not have a rational conversation. To each their own.

      I can point you to people that have gained over 100K followers doing exactly what I’m referring to yet gain less from it than someone with 5K followers that actually care about trust and their reputation. Any marketer worth their salt knows you can’t sell long term when the buyer doesn’t trust the seller or product.

      It’s just sad to see someone with that many followers and the first thing you notice is all of the zeros (or just a few) next to the the retweets, favorites, and comments. If no one is listening, no one is clicking.

      By the way, the Twitter account you have linked to Disqus (@011bojan) shows you have 5 followers and are following 10. That’s probably just an old account, but it’s pretty funny after what I just read. The website you have linked doesn’t show offering any such thing and the Twitter account associated with that site doesn’t seem to be following people just to unfollow. So I have no idea why you decided to make the argument for a low-life Twitter tactic. Maybe you you misunderstood the post, I don’t know.

      Thanks for taking the time to voice your opinion, that is always appreciated – even when we disagree.

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