How to get followers… This is a question anyone serious about social media asks. In this article, we’re going to answer that question and give you some solid tips you can use for your entire social media career. Welcome to Sky Alphabet, a leading Vancouver social media agency.
Our goal with this rather long article is to describe in detail how to get followers using the various free followback/follower/audience management tools.
We know a fair bit about how to get followers on Twitter. We manage social media accounts that need to grow at a decent pace and we used these same apps until we got to a point where we needed to code our own.
We’re a Twitter agency, but our other favourite social media platform is Instagram, so it is nice that both Twitter and Instagram have the same tools for solving the problem of how to get followers. Let’s go!
People ask the search engines: “How to get followers” 10,000 times a day. Maybe more.
We’re going to answer that important question for you right now.
We’ll explain exactly how to get followers using the free “audience development” apps. These apps include Crowdfire, Manageflitter, Tweepi, Communi.it and UnfollowSpy. Some of these apps look better, but that doesn’t mean they are better. Life lesson.
Pro Tip: You can (and should) manage your Twitter account every day using Tweepi and UnfollowSpy. Between these two apps, you will be able to unfollow 200 people and unfollow another 200.
We’ll also show you how to use these apps together for the best possible results.
There are some hot tips in this article. We’ll show you how to use the search function to find good potential followers and how to unfollow people who don’t follow back.
You want to unfollow people who don’t follow you back so you can make room for people that are a better fit for your account.
The previous article we wrote on this topic is here. It is outdated but has some good tips.
So you want to be an influencer…
If you’re going to be an influencer you need a ton of followers, right? Right. As we say around here: every leader has followers. So let’s get this party started, leader! Here’s how to get followers using the #followback apps also known as Tweepi, Manageflitter, Crowdfire and Commun.it.
We reviewed these apps a while ago but all of them changed so much we had to start over. This time around we found some great stuff, so it was lucky we had a chance to take another cut at this.
What followback app has the most Twitter followers?
Being Twitter specialists, we’re always interested in follower counts. Crowdfire has the most followers: 6.2 million!. That’s a lot of followers, Crowdfire!
But (spoiler alert) Crowdfire is not one of the better free audience development apps. Sorry Crowdfire! We’re sure your paid version is great, though.
The next most followed app is our favourite – Tweepi. With Tweepi you have to create a private list called tweepi-pending-follow and then it works like a charm. 100 unfollows per day which is ten times more than Crowdfire. Nice!
Manageflitter is the 3rd most followed app with 317K followers. Manageflitter is extremely good, too, because of its search function. Manageflitter is not good for unfollowing, though. It gives you 30 unfollows per day.
We don’t show a picture of UnfollowSpy but it is tied for first with Tweepi for best unfollow app.
Why do we mention how many followers these# followback apps have?
People who use audience development apps know the most important thing about social media is that you can own your audience. They are smart to take advantage of the opportunity.
But there’s another very positive side to the people who use these apps. Guess what they are likely to do if you follow them? Follow back.
So from these two accounts you have an endless pool of people to blindly follow at 2am and many of them are likely to follow you back. If they don’t follow you back, you can always use UnfollowSpy or Tweepi to unfollow them!
Summary of features and limits of the follow/unfollow apps
We have a hard time cutting Crowdfire, Commun.it and Manageflitter any slack for reducing the number of unfollowers to 10 or even 30 per day. Why even bother with 10? Why not reduce it to 1?
In exchange for your 10 free unfollows users give up all of their Twitter data. This data is then resold to who knows who for who knows what. Oh well. Life in 2018.
After you use these apps you should unlink them from your Twitter account so they don’t keep collecting data. To do this, go to Settings and Privacy > Apps > Revoke Access.
How to find people who don’t follow you back with Tweepi
Tweepi is our #1 rated unfollow app. Why? Because it gives you the most free follows and unfollows per day. Plus, it isn’t annoying. That’s a big plus! Tweepi isn’t overly fancy, but it does a great job. Even the free version has a “recommended users to follow” tool that you should really use every day. With this tool, you get 75 free recommendations based on the criteria you enter (hashtags, similar accounts).
Before we dive in here, it’s important to show you how to unfollow people who don’t follow you back using Tweepi. You have to go to the menu and look for “You Follow” and then set a filter. See the picture below. We know it’s a little more work but the results are worth it. With Tweepi you can unfollow 100 people per day.
Okay. We’ll step through these apps one by one, starting with Manageflitter.
How to get followers using ManageFlitter
ManageFlitter bills itself as “the most powerful Twitter bio search on the planet.” This is pretty close to the truth although Followerwonk by Moz might disagree. Suffice it to say that ManageFlitter has done a nice job with their search function.
Manageflitter lets you unfollow and follow 30 people. Manageflitter is really easy to use. Great app.
Let’s take a look at Manageflitter’s search function.
MangeFlitter’s search tool is really handy for building follower lists, although without the paid version you’ll have to copy and paste the results and use Tweepi to actually follow the people found by Manageflitter. We’ll show you how now.
Step 1 – go to account search
Step 2 – enter a search term
In this example we are using ‘programmatic’ as a search term. You can use whatever you want: Miley Cyrus, Blockchain, #motivationmonday. Knock yourself out. For some industries it is best to use industry-insider jargon to identify people who are industry participants.
Step 3 (optional) – click ‘refine’ to see advanced options
The ‘refine’ menu that is hidden (see below) is not obvious which is why we show it. Manageflitter’s powerful search capabilities are unlocked by clicking ‘refine’.
The nice feature here is to see only active accounts. Who wants to see an account that hasn’t tweeted in three months? They’re not likely to follow back, are they?
Note that we can also specify whether we want to see the word ‘programmatic’ in the account’s biography or a tweet. Obviously if someone has programmatic in their biography they are much more targeted than someone who only mentioned it in a tweet.
Step 4 – Choose who to follow or unfollow
Once you click ‘find people’ you can see below that Manageflitter has identified 689 people. With a limit of only 30 unfollows or follows a day, it would take 23 days to follow all of these people. That’s too long. Plus, many of these people won’t follow back.
To find the people that are most likely to follow you back, you have to sort the list by ‘display’ (see Step 5)
Step 5 – Sort by Followers/Following ratio
This step is important because people who follow 2 people but have 20,000 followers are never going to follow you back. Use the followers/following ratio to find the followers most likely to follow back based on their ratio. If they have a ratio of 1, it means they follow back 100% of the time.
In the example below, we can see that @digitalroo has a follower ratio of 2.49. If you hover over his name, you can get more detail behind that ratio: @digitalroo is following 53 people with 132 followers giving him a 2.49 follower ratio. Let’s follow him! He is the founder of a programmatic company so he is a good target.
You can continue to follow or unfollow people based on the list generated by your search. Up to a maximum of 30 per day (Commun.it would call this 60 ‘engagements’).
Step 6 (hack – optional) – Create a targeted follower list
So Manageflitter might not like this but since they reduced the number of people you can unfollow from 100 to 30, I can guarantee that a lot of people do this.
You can actually copy and paste Manageflitter’s search results and clean them up for import into Tweepi. Cool, right?
To copy the results, put your cursor where it says account search and then hit Ctrl+a for ‘select all’.
Page after page, paste the results into a Notepad file.
When you are done with pasting all the pages you want, you can then use a text editor or spreadsheet to sort the usernames (starting with @) into a separate column. You can do this by searching and replacing for @ so that each @ symbol is replaced with a tab@. This will put all the @usernames into a separate column.
We’ll return to the next part of this hack later when we cover Tweepi.
How to get followers using Crowdfire
The next app we will look at is Crowdfire. Crowdfire is the slickest but it’s not the best if you have lots of people to unfollow or if you want to find people to follow. Again, we’re only reviewing the free versions of these apps.
Crowdfire only gives you 10 unfollows a day and 10 follows per day.
Here’s Crowdfire’s splash screen. Not sure why they chose that tagline but when you’re the biggest you can say whatever you want.
There wasn’t a lot reported about the change to Twitter’s API, but these apps had to pivot from being “unfollow apps” to something else because Twitter basically told them to stop giving away so many unfollowers. What’s up with that? Anyway, Twitter is funny. Great, but funny.
So here is one prime example of how Crowdfire tries to pivot from being an audience development app (follow/unfollow) to something entirely different: a content discovery app. You can’t blame them for trying.
Thanks but no thanks, Crowdfire. I’m not going to let you choose content for me to post. Instead, I’ll select what I authorized you to do which is ‘Manage’ my followers. It’s along the top navigation bar next to ‘content’.
Much of what makes Crowdfire nice to use is that it looks great. But that’s about the only thing Crowdfire excels at is looks.
You can see who recently unfollowed you and recent followers.
You can also search for followers using Keyword search.
With only 10 follows and unfollows and a limited search function and no ability to analyze user accounts, the free version of Crowdfire is not very useful.
In our tests, Crowdfire and Commun.it are tied for last place.
Next up: The best app of all (if its lists worked, that is) is Tweepi.
How to get followers using Tweepi
We wanted to put Tweepi first because it’s the best. The reason we didn’t was to show you how you can copy and paste from Manageflitter to create a text file of usernames that you can then bring into Tweepi.
But first, a little about Tweepi.
Tweepi is the best free audience management app. It’s the best for following and unfollowing people. There are two reasons for this. First, it lets you follow and unfollow 100 people for a total of 200 ‘engagements’ as Commun.it would say.
Tweepi differs from the other followback apps because it builds lists. It’s their way around tripping Twitter’s anti-bot sensors. The thing is, at the time this article was written, the lists weren’t working. We reached out to Tweepi on Twitter and then directly in-app and have not heard back.
BUT – we figured out the workaround. You just have to create your own list called tweepi-pending-follow and make it private. Then Tweepi can save up to 1094 people to the list.
Tweepi’s splash screen (above) talks about its artificial intelligence. We’re not sure how good Tweepi’s AI is, but we do love Tweepi’s fine grained controls. You can look at an audience in many different ways.
Tweepi’s ability to sort audience metrics combined with its generous limits make it a standout among the followback apps.
Step 1 – Unfollowing people with Tweepi
The first screen you see after you log in has a lot of options. From a data perspective. that’s a plus. There are lots of things to try out here.
Let’s start with the first task: unfollowing people who don’t follow back. See the picture below where the circle is? Click on that link.
Clicking on that link takes you this screen…
Now one important thing to note here. Tweepi varies from the other apps because it doesn’t lump everyone together in one long list. No. It sorts them by pages. On some pages there will be nothing and on others there will be 15 people. This page shows 3. To move through the pages just click on the right arrow or manually type in a number.
You can unfollow people as you go.
Once you unfollow 100 people, you will hit the limit:
Step 2 – Following people Tweepi recommends
Tweepi has a “recommendation engine” based on keywords you provide. It’s pretty good.
This is what pops up when you click on Tweepi’s recommendations:
You can follow up to 100 people per day using Tweepi. But first: make sure you have a private list created called tweepi-pending-follow. Tweepi will not make this list for you! You have to do it yourself. Once you make it, then Tweepi will be able to add users to the list. Then you go to the list and follow everyone.
Step 3 – More follow tools from Tweepi
One of Tweepi’s coolest features is the ability to build a follow list based on usernames you paste into a field. To find the feature, click on ‘More follow tools’ (pictured below):
The menu will expand to show you an option to ‘Manually paste a list of @users’
When Tweepi says @user that’s the same as a Twitter handle. Ours is @skyalphabet.
Here is the screen where you can past up to 50 users and add them to the tweepi-pending-follow list. This is one of the best features of any of the followback apps.
Remember when we asked Manageflitter to find all ‘programmatic’ bios and then we copied and pasted all of them into a text file? And then we did a search and replace to push the @users into a separate column so we could easily capture just the user names? Well, we can paste those in here now.
This is what you get…A beautiful list! Very nice, Tweepi.
We have one more followback app to look at. It’s not pretty but it works great.
How to get followers with UnfollowSpy
Despite UnfollowSpy’s unusual interface, it delivers more than most of the apps we reviewed. In fact, it goes toe to toe with the leader, Tweepi, because UnfollowSpy allows you to unfollow and follow 100 people each.
Upon login, you are asked if you want to send a daily tweet to your users. We recommend that you do not take them up on this generous offer, especially if you do not tweet often. This is because your Twitter timeline will be filled with messages from UnfollowSpy about how insignificant your account is.
Once you have made your choice, you arrive at the welcome screen. As you can see it has all of the necessary features you need in an audience management app..
Clicking on the “You Don’t Followback” option gives you a series of user profiles of those people you don’t follow back. You can pick and choose which ones you want to follow, up to a maximum of 50.
Once you have followed 50 people, you will receive the message to upgrade or try again in 24 hours.
How to unfollow with UnfollowSpy
True to its name, UnfollowSpy allows you to unfollow 50 people. To unfollow the oldest people (people you followed months ago), use the menu at the bottom of the screen to skip to the last page. This is a different take on how Tweepi does it, and is just as effective.
The one thing we really liked about UnfollowSpy is that it is fast. Some of the apps take a while to load the targets up, but UnfollowSpy is quick and responsive. Once you hit your limit of 50 unfollows you get a message saying so.
How to search with UnfollowSpy
Not to be outdone by the other apps that provide the ability to search users by hashtag or keyword, UnFollowSpy actually has quite a clever search function.
As you can see below, you can search for whatever term you want but it also gives you the ability to filter the output based on when the last time the user tweeted. People who tweeted more than 3 months ago and likely to follow you back, are they?
To add a nice little cherry on top, UnFollowSpy allows you to futher refine the results to include the percentage of people the user is known the follow back. What an awesome feature!
UnFollowSpy has an excellent search feature so we highly recommend UnfollowSpy as a free audience management product.
By using the search, follow and unfollow features of Tweepi, UnfollowSpy and Manageflitter, most social media users should be able to grow their accounts much more rapidly than if they did not use these followback apps.
Coming soon: Why is your PR firm doing your social media?