You created your Twitter account, followed some accounts in your niche, and started writing your first few tweets. But after a few days, you notice that your follower account hasn’t budged above 15, while you keep following piles of accounts yourself. Don’t get discouraged! Here are 13 reasons why you aren’t getting followed back, so you can revise your strategy and grow those followers.

  • No profile picture. Spam accounts are notorious for not uploading a profile picture. If you still have that little white egg as your pic, change it today and we bet those potential followers who were a little leery of your account will start following you back.
  • Profile picture too (unprofessional/revealing/risqué/etc.) Some people simply won’t follow you if your profile picture is offensive to their minds. Think about your target audience, and consider toning down your pic if it might be the reason people are turned off of your account.
  • No biography. Although you only have 160 characters to write it, the bio is one of the most important elements of your Twitter profile. Be sure to have one, and to target it to your audience, as many people will simply not follow accounts with blank bios.
  • No link to website. This usually isn’t a complete follower killer, but there are some who won’t follow you back unless you have a website somewhere.
  • Too many follows, not enough followers. This one is important. If you are following thousands of people but only being followed by a few dozen, chances are you’re doing something wrong. Unfollow those who aren’t following back, and don’t go on any more “follow binges”. Add new people to follow in small amounts each day or week, and try to keep your followers/following ratio somewhat even.
  • Your feed is full of broadcast messages. If you just use Twitter to broadcast when you write a new blog post, you aren’t likely to attract followers in droves – after all, why wouldn’t they just subscribe to your blog for that information?
  • No @conversations, no interactions. Tied closely the problem of a broadcast-only account is having one that doesn’t interact with followers. If you aren’t replying to people who retweet you or @mention you, or you aren’t starting conversations with interesting followers, you aren’t maximizing on Twitter and people may start unfollowing you.
  • Tweets are too sales-y. If you have something to sell, there is nothing wrong with trying to sell it on Twitter – but be careful of how you go about this. There is perhaps no bigger turnoff for potential followers than a Twitter account that reads like a sales pitch. Mix things up, so that you aren’t filling your followers’ timelines with pushy sales talk.
  • Interests don’t mesh. Sometimes people won’t follow you back simply because your interests aren’t aligned. You can’t really help this, so don’t get discouraged if a handful of the sports people you follow aren’t following your social media-heavy account.
  • Too many quotes in your tweets. While we all think Mark Twain was devilishly funny, he doesn’t need to make an appearance in all of your tweets. Having too many inspirational, funny, moving, spiritual or other quotes in your Twitter feed will likely turn off a lot of people who go to Twitter for unique information from real people.
  • Too self-serving/promotional. Twitter is a network, not a promotional engine. If you want people to follow you back, you’ve got to be a team player. This means not only linking to your own blog posts, products and other things, but also sharing links that you find online or that your follows retweet.
  • Too few updates. If your last tweet was two months ago, you’re not likely to gain any new followers.
  • Too many updates. In contrast to the above: if you post automated tweets every 15 minutes, you’ll see a flood of followers run for the hills as they try to protect their timeline from your deluge.