When you are first starting out in Twitter it important to manage your account and have a clear goal of who you are following, how you add followers, and when you add both of them. One of the goals is to manage the Following to Followers ratio; otherwise you may end up with the “follow” error message.
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In Twitter, the following 6 guidelines provide the best means to manage your account;
1. Try to keep your Following to Followers ratio to 10%
2. The reason is when you hit 2001 following; Twitter does not let you proceed until you have 1800 followers.
3. After 2001 following, you still need to maintain the 10% ratio
4. If you do reach a limit, Twitter will let you know with an error message telling you which limit you have hit.
5. For limits that are time-based (like the Direct Messages, Update, and API Requests Limits), you will be able to try again after the time has elapsed.
6. The Update Limit of 1,000 updates per day is further broken down into semi-hourly intervals. If you hit your account update limit, just wait a few hours after the limit-period has elapsed and try again.
What is Churning?
Churning is considered very aggressive and is defined as a follow churn when an account repeatedly follows and un-follows large numbers of users. This may be done to get lots of people to notice them, to circumvent a Twitter limit, or to change their follower-to-following ratio. These behaviors negatively impact the Twitter experience for other users, are common spam tactics, and will lead to account suspension.
The Actual Twitter Rules
1. Direct Messages: 250 per day.
2. API Requests: 150 per hour.
3. Updates: 1,000 per day. The daily update limit is further broken down into smaller limits for semi-hourly intervals. Retweets are counted as updates.
4. Following (daily): Please note that this is a technical account limit only, and there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior. You can find detailed page describing following limits and prohibited behavior on the Follow Limits and Best Practices Page. The technical follow limit is 1,000 per day.
5. Following (account-based): Once an account is following 2,000 other users, additional follow attempts are limited by account-specific ratios.
Twitter Automation – What is legal and what is not?
The only auto-following behavior that Twitter allows is auto-follow-back (following a user after they have followed you). Automated un-following is also not permitted. If you find yourself frequently needing to un-follow large numbers of users, you might consider reviewing your criteria for following them.
You may encounter websites or applications claiming they can help you get lots of followers quickly. These programs may ask for payment for followers, or ask you to follow a list of other users in order to participate. The Twitter Rules addresses the use of these programs by disallowing them.
Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising ‘more followers fast,’ or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account). If you give out your username and password to another site or application, you are basically giving control of your account to someone else. If they then post duplicated, spam, or malicious updates and links, send unwanted direct messages, aggressively follow, or violate other Twitter rules with your account.
These applications do add followers to your account which are often “abandoned” or “bot” accounts that are not reading your updates. If a third-party application causes your account to violate the Twitter Rules, your account may be suspended.
In summary Twitter has an internal list of rules which must be observed to properly manage and grow your Twitter account.
Author: William B. Weeks Jr.