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I'm so sorry. I'm kicking you of my limb!

Last week we discussed hashtags and why they are important for you to use when you use Twitter. This week it's important to understand how Twitter works with follows and unfollows.

I don't know about you, but when I follow someone on Twitter, I hope they follow me back. My following was going up but my followers weren't. I would look up a hashtag that interested me, like #amwriting, and began to click follow on everyone.  Of course they were going to follow me back! They used #amwriting too!!


Oh, well. . .I continued to follow everyone and everyone that followed me I would send an automatic follow. PERFECT, until. . .I was stuck! Twitter only let me follow 2k tweeps
TWO-THOUSAND? That's nothing!! But I was stuck, I couldn't follow anyone back. What to do?
I knew that if I just emailed Twitter, the Twitter God would see that I'm truly a nice person and let me put my nest higher up in the tree. Right?


Twitter God: “Follow limits are based on several things, one of which is our belief in a person’s good standing and intention. The behind-the-scenes portion of follow limiting varies by account, relationship, and changes over time. Based on current behavior in the Twitter community, we’ve concluded that this is both fair and reasonable. While we figure out what works best for everyone, the limits may change occasionally, but this is the nucleus and future limits will be based upon the success of these.”
Me: **sigh** 

Now what? How was I going to figure out how to unfollow my Twitter peeps? What if I unfollow someone that is following me? Am I going to get hate tweets? Cyber bullied?
I began to go through the list of tweeps I was following and couldn't believe how many weren't following me back. Not that their tweets didn't matter to me, but they were taking up my limb on the part of the tweet tree! And my limb can only hold 2k tweeps

I used my good old buddy, Google. I was happy to realize that Twitter God wasn't only holding me to 2k, but everyone has a 2k limit until their follow to follower ratio allowed them to follow more. (Don't even ask me the ratio, because I still haven't figured that out!!)
Fine. I went to Twitter and and opted out of auto follow, and then began to unfollow the "egg head" gravatars,  movie stars, and some authors until Twitter stopped me after I reached the 100 daily limit.

WHAT? Another limit? **big sigh**

It was going to take me forever to unfollow just so I can follow again. 
I went back to visit my old friend, Google, because I knew there had to be something out there that would let me unfollow more than 100 tweeps. Guess what! I found several sites that not only tell you how many people aren't following you back, it lists them for you. And when I saw a few of "my friends" on there. . .sigh. . .
The best part, I could mass unfollow and Twitter let me. 

So I started my walk down my limb on the Twitter tree and kicked off some tweeps that was taking up valuable and LIMITED space.

I didn't unfollow just anyone. Using, I found out how many people weren't following me, and over 200 of my tweeps hadn't twittered in months, years!

I had never thought about those tweeps who have dumped Twitter and taking up space on my limb. also lets you know who are the talkative tweeps on your limb and who are the quiet tweeps. This really helps you decide who you should be tweeting or not wasting your time. I'm not saying that the quiet ones are a waste of time, but you are on Twitter for a reason. Copy blogger has a great blog post on how Twitter really does help you as a writer.

I'm not saying to go and unfollow all of the tweeps not following you. All I am saying is that you use Twitter as a social media tool for your writing, and you need to think long and hard about the tweeps your tweets are getting to. If someone is not following you, your tweets aren't getting to them unless you mentioned (@) them. Or those tweeps who you are following that hasn't tweeted in over a year or TWO? I had 200 tweeps that haven't tweeted 9 months to two years and what a waste of space they were taking on my little limb in the Twitter tree.

What about those people who you really want to follow that teach you something about writing?
They might not follow you, but you get something out of their tweets. That's great. You should be following them, but not if you are at you 2k LIMIT. 

Go ahead. I give you permission to walk down your Twitter limb and kick off anyone that isn't on your social media bandwagon. I give you permission to knock those tweeps off! You spend too much time on your social media to have sleeping tweeps.

Now I'm off to figure out how to get more followers.

If you want to gain more followers, Missy Biozarre has a great blog post about how she reached 25k followers!

Social Media Guide has a list of a DOZEN tools to unfollow tweeps that aren't following you.

Have you reached your Tweeps limit? How did you get Twitter to let you follow more than 2k tweeps? This is my goal! I'm going to get my followers up, so I can follow more!

Leave you Tweet handle in the comments!! I will follow:))


  1. It's 1.1. Multiply your current followers by 1.1 and that's the number you can follow. :)

    There are tools (most cost) that will let you know who you are following and who isn't following you back. I was using one for awhile, but I decided it wasn't worth $7 a month. Besides, one big time chicklit blogger I followed months ago and she just followed me back this week! Would have been dreadful if I cut her months ago!

  2. Great post...I was wondering how to find out who was following back! What I find odd, is that I don't actively seek out people to follow, but I do follow back and still the gap between followers a people I follow keeps getting bigger. I hand select who I follow back...So, I'm baffled as to why this gap keeps getting bigger.

  3. Twitter Karma is a great way who is following you, who you are following back and who you follow but is not following you. And it lets you "whack" as many followers as you want (i.e. unfollow). And it is free. I am not in any way, shape or form related to this site or its owners or anything. They don't have any idea that I exist. I just like their service. Hope this helps!

  4. Another keeper!! THANK YOU!!!

  5. I'm kinda quiet on twitter. I haven't gotten around to doing a bunch of chat on there-partly because of being really sick this last year and a half. I know I need to get a bit more active. I have been careful on those I follow and have unfollowed more than a few.

    I'm following you, and did that waaaay back when. :-)


  6. Thanks, Tonya! More great info:). I'm still a far cry from 2K, but I'm working on building my following. Now I know how to better manage my tweep population;).

  7. Thanks, Elizabeth! Where have you been? Haven't seen you around in a while.

    Thank you for posting the 1.1 ratio. There are so many tweeps that don't know about the follow limit. Thanks for paying it forward today!

  8. Right, CG! That is such a mystery. I'm hoping with Elizabeth's math, we can figure this out.

  9. Thanks, Marie. That will be added to my list. Hahaa, I didn't think you were related to the site. Twaitter is also free. Just like you and Elizabeth, I'm all about the free and all-for-one kicking off my limb.

  10. Sia, you are so sweet. Yes, I'm following you too! I really didn't start to really tweet until a couple months ago. Now I see so much value in it!

  11. Oh, Maria, I'm so glad I could help if in some small way.

  12. I ran into this too... the 2k wall of craziness! haha! I understand why Twitter does it but I wish it was done by your activity, etc.

    FYI... I'm @jimbronyaur


  13. After following about 500 people, my stream really got out of control, and I had to start making lists. I cannot possibly conceive of following 2000 people.

  14. Weirdly enough, my follower-to-followee ratio is almost dead-on - as in, my numbers are usually within 4 or 5! Weirder still, it stays that way, even if I go follow a bunch more people! I follow back anyone who follows me, as long as they appear to be a real person and not a spammer.

    I am nosy so I went to your Twitter page to see your current ratio - now you have more followers than followees! But then I noticed I wasn't following you - and I could've sworn I did, months ago. I know I have tweeted your blogs before! So I'm @jenmariepowell - LOL. Thanks for another informative post!

  15. I had a crazy blog tour in January! I never knew if I was coming or going! :) Today I went free and I'm amazed. I'm #46 in the FREE Total Kindle, and #6 on Free Contemporary Fiction and #7 on FREE Contemporary Romance.

    I'm also writing my next work, a novella, due out in March. January was very crazy for me (my 2 year old also managed to split her lip open needing two stitches). Here's to a quieter February, with lots and lots of writing for me! :)

  16. Hi, Jim! I got you on my limb;) Thanks for stopping by. I understand too, but it seemed so hush, hush and I had to dig to get the answers. I should probably read the fine print....Yeah, I'm the one who throws away the directions and not read them...sigh.

  17. Hi, Matthew. 2k tweeps are a lot of people to try to keep up with. I have a hard time with my 1300. Thanks for stopping!

  18. Jennette, I use to follow 2k until I found I couldn't be a follower any more. Follower on my own limb? I don't think so:) That's why I kicked some off:) Welcome to my limb!

  19. Great news, Elizabeth! I hope you had much success. I'm sure you did! When I did that, I saw a ton of sales at my regular price for weeks. Cheers!

  20. Thank you Tonya Kappes! If I wasn't already following you I am now. Excellent, informative post! (I'm @itsyuornovel by the way).

  21. As usual some great tips and links. This is one of the best blogs around, Tonya.

  22. YES! I survived the Kappes Twitter purge :D

    It's odd that there's a limit on how many people you can follow. I think as long as someone's not a bot/spammer, they should be able to follow as many people as they want.

    I've been following more people myself. At first I was hesitant because I didn't want to feel like a spammer and I was playing that stupid "twitter game" (vanity of trying to have a low number of following and a high number of followers). But I finally caved into following more people and my followers have doubled so far. Not to mention that it's more fun having a bigger and more random tweet feed.

  23. Thanks for the info everyone, I am totally flumoxed by the whole Twitter hierarchy! I keep unfollowing people to make room to follow new ones, but I feel bad incase I unfollow someone who is following me. It's a conundrum!

  24. Sorry I'm so late to this party Tonya. I just saw your note again on FB and realized I missed your post that linked to me. I'll get there eventually. But I wanted to tell you thanks for this info, which was passed on to me by the Indie Chicks. I found something called "Tweepi" that also helps you weed out the dead wood. Some people don't even know they've unfollowed you. Sometimes Twitter just does it. Very annoying. Anyway, if I don't follow you I'll go do it, and my handle is @annerallen.

  25. I don't follow everyone who follows me -- it becomes too unwieldy and posts you want to see get lost in the clutter.

    That's why I rely upon Twitter lists. You can still see people's tweets, when you view those lists. (really easy to do on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, assigning each list a separate column)

    So don't think that just become someone is not following you that they're not seeing your tweets.

  26. I keep up with you best when you use the hashtag #mywana. It's become a kind of shortcut to find things that are the most helpful. I hope people don't start using that to tell the world they just refilled their coffee. >_< I haven't known how to tell who was following back without going to each one separately, and I haven't had time for that. I'm so glad I read today's post! I don't follow egg heads, and I check to see if a follower's ratio is 1 to 1 or thereabouts before I follow. Even still... it's hard to know if they are active after that point. Off to check out those new sites. Thanks Tonya!

    You follow me already, but I'll post it here for others who might want to follow.

  27. I have to be honest. I hate the "I'm going to unfollow you if you don't follow me" attitude. It kind of defeats the purpose of Twitter. I can't expect some random person to follow me just because I followed them. If I find someone interesting, I'll follow them, regardless of if they follow me back. There is no requirement in that relationship. If I want a forced connection,I'll use Facebook.

    That said, about once a month I get on Twitter and try to follow everyone who's followed me who clearly isn't a bot of some sort. Some people I just plain don't like, though, and I won't follow them. And even if I am following a bunch of people, the chances of me actually reading their tweets are slim. It's impossible with 1k+ people. There are a select few I read specifically and a few hashtags I keep track of. Anything more is just too much.

  28. Thank you! Great article and very timely.

  29. I realize this is an older post Tonya, but there are a few things I have seen that might be important for you as well. Don't over-do the follow friday @-fest. Too many @'s and #'s can get you in trouble too. Think about how irritating it is for you to wade through 140 characters of @'s only to see someone say thanks. To me it's spammy, and I think Twitter agrees.

    I think you have seen the ratio by now. It's best to not let your followers exceed your follows anyway. I usually try to limit myself to no more than five per day unless I have a lot of people follow me in a day's time.

    Speaking of spammy, I try not to do more than 5 or 6 RTs(retweets) in a day. Also I use to schedule my tweets, although I am signed up at CrowdBooster, and could do the same at Hootsuite too. Buffer only allows 4 per day.

    And just as a note, someone sending out a batch of 10 or more tweets in an hours time that aren't a conversation? They get unfollowed.

    I'm still not as selective as I should be, but with my numbers nearing 4K I have to be careful that I don't make anyone mad either. ;)

    Have a good one!

    1. Great tips to keep in mind! I'm not a big #FF or the other follow days. Thanks for sharing! It might be an older post, but there are a lot of page views on this one!

  30. Thanks for the info! Always good stuff here. Keep it up!

  31. I just ran into this. I did the same thing you did. I unfollowed a bunch of people not following me and I've become more selective of who I follow now. I use Twitter to interact with other writers and people who can help me and don't have time to waste with people with nothing to offer.

  32. I kept hitting the 2k limit. I'd let my peeps and FB friends know I was cleaning up again. Used a few tools.mostly I noticed who asked me to help them but never retweeted or followed me or whose only tweets were spam/buy my book/product/service. It did take longer to get over the 2k limit but it led to lots of conversation forcing me to learn more about twitter and come out of my shell. I also remove people who seem to be mostly automated. I'm online to build relationships with people not bots.


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