Nobody likes following a Twitter account that is following 1000 people but has 10 followers. It just looks spammy and unconvincing. The problem is that we all start with 0 followers and 0 following, which presents a tricky situation. Of course you shouldn’t over follow other accounts when you sign up because even Twitter won’t let you.

On the other hand, you cannot force other people to follow you. So what do you do? You adopt a strategy that helps you grow your account gradually without out-balancing that delicate Twitter Follower to Following ratio. Remember it must look convincing enough for someone to see yours is a legit account that merits their following. Here’s a step-by-step method to grow your Twitter user base while still remaining well balanced.

Balancing those Twitter Follower: Following Ratios

Step 01: Start off by following 100 people over a span of 2 to 4 weeks. Tweet them, engage them and make sure you get at least 20% of them to follow you back (that’s 20 follows). This includes other accounts that you may not follow but follow you nonetheless. Make sure you follow no more people until your ratio gets to 5:1 (100 following: 20 followers).

Step 02: Once you reach this target, follow another 100 to get to 200; work up your Twitter follower numbers till 80 or 40% of your total followed accounts. Use the chart below to continue building up until you have as many followers as the accounts you follow (a ratio of 1:1).

Twitter Graphic

Step 03: Assuming you scale and reach over 1500 Twitter followers, it’s time to start scaling down your Followed account numbers. Using the chart above, work your percentage of followed accounts against accounts following you downwards until you are only following 20% the number of your total followers (a ratio of 1:5).

Potentially, the steps above could take you anywhere between a few months to a few years to accomplish, depending on your exposure, popularity, etc.

Why this gradual transition?

This gradual transition from following many people to being followed by many people helps build your account’s credibility and authority. People tend to follow accounts that have a higher Twitter follower to following ratio than the other way round. Even if you have 100 followers and following 10 people, it speaks a lot about the popularity of your account.

Why reduce the number of followed accounts?

You want to scale down your followed accounts because as the numbers rise, it becomes difficult to stay abreast of all that’s happening on your timeline. Ergo, if 10,000 of the accounts you follow tweet once a day, those are 10,000 tweets you have to go through in a day! That’s why Oprah has 19.8 million followers but only follows 145 accounts.

Aside: Have you ever wondered how the TL of someone following 100,000+ accounts looks?!

So you have to ensure you follow the accounts that mean the most to you while reaching a wide enough audience at the same time.

Pro Tip: On Twitter, getting the word out is not about who you follow but who follows you.

Hopefully by reading this post you now know to what extent you need to scale up or scale down your Twitter follower: following ratio in order to look credible, reach more people and still retain control over your TL.

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