General Question

holli's avatar

Why do people who don't tweet and who don't know me follow me on Twitter?

Asked by holli (487 points ) October 11th, 2011

I have 20 random people following me every day on Twitter. They all have 600–1000 people they are following and no tweets. What’s the deal with these people? I’ve been blocking them but it there any benefit to keeping them on?

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10 Answers

plethora's avatar

First, why do you tweet? What’s your purpose in doing so? If you don’t have a purpose for doing it, they probably dont either. They just like to follow.

holli's avatar

@plethora First, It’s part of my job description for the company I work for.

wundayatta's avatar

If you find out, let me know. I set up a twitter account for work, and since then have done nothing, yet I get these periodic announcements that we have a new follower.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think some people just like to collect names. There is some sort of status attached to how many people follow you and they hope you will follow them back.

I am a researcher though so I follow many people and organisations connected to topics I am studying and never tweet and they don’t know me.

I also follow news people/activists/and other people I am interested in. I don’t know them and I still don’t tweet but I am interested in their ideas/the links they post.

People use twitter for a whole host of reasons.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Friend whores. It’s about the numbers and not the substance of the interaction.

Paradox1's avatar

As a manager of a company twitter account, I can say that they are most likely just trying to get followers themselves. A lot of accounts are spammers or have something to sell you or someplace to drive you (like a website, blog, etc.). A lot of people will follow many others only to later remove those that do not follow them back in an effort to get the most number of nominal followers.

I don’t think there’s any disadvantage if they are following you and you’re not following them… it looks like you have more clout. If you start following them though, it could appear bad on your part.

Ela's avatar

Can you set it to private, or is that not an option since it’s a type of company account? I have a twitter acct with four following and followers go me!! mine is set to private but I haven’t been to it in over 2 months. From what I saw people rarely talked and used their accts for pornographic rping

alexlehm's avatar

This is a common strategy to build followers, most likely with the intention to use the account later to send affiliate messages or something similar or to sell the account to somebody else, who just wants to boast a large number of followers.
Due to the limits of the number of users you can follow without a similar number of users following you, the strategy goes something like this: follow random users until you almost reach the follow limit (which is 2000 users, afaik), then wait a few days for users to follow you back. Unfollow some of the users that haven’t followed back and follow new random users. This should actually work until you have enough followers to go over the 2000 people limit and then gradually increase the number of followers/following.

Especially if an account is not tweeting anything or has just tweeted a few times in the past, this is a very suspicious practice, however it is being used often it seems.
Of course, the whole strategy is seriously flawed due to the fact that this creates a huge part of accounts that are essentially useless but have a lot of followers (which are useless again) since users employing this strategy will likely follow each other, count it as success for both parts, but will never read any of the “informational” messages the other users posts. (assume that you have a user like Alyssa_Milano or mashable who are followed by 1–2 million users and follow about 1000–2000, this may actually be interesting, since they cannot have achieved the followers by a building strategy and may even read the 1000 or so users’ messages they are following, while some self proclaimed “social media tutor” who has maybe 50000 followers and is following the same number is probably completely uninteresting)

(I should add that there are different types of twitter users around, so take this description with a pinch of salt)

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
AshlynM's avatar

They do it simply to up their following. Same reason people collect friends on facebook. They do it because they want to be popular, even if they don’t know you.

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