To Follow Back or Not Follow Back on Twitter

In this video you’ll learn about…

  • What is “following” on Twitter
  • Whether you have to follow everyone that follows you
  • Etiquette of “following” or “unfollowing” people on Twitter

How do you decide to “follow” or “unfollow” someone on Twitter? Share your comments below.


Hi! I’m Laura Roeder and I want to talk today about whether or not you have to follow everyone back on Twitter, and by following everyone back, what I mean is when you see that somebody new follows you, do you have to follow them as well or is it okay to not follow them?

So this is something that’s unique about Twitter compared to all the other social networks on LinkedIn and on your Facebook profile. There has to be a mutual agreement. You ask someone if they want to be a friend or a connection and then you both agree.

But Twitter is actually really different. On Twitter you can follow anyone and anyone can follow you and you don’t have to mutually agree to follow each other. So I can be following 100 people on Twitter and reading their updates and none of them can follow me and that’s fine. I can still read their updates. I can still interact with them.

And same goes for you. A lot of people can follow you and it really doesn’t matter because if you don’t choose to follow them back, they won’t show up in your tweet stream or your Twitter world.

So I think that you do not have to follow everyone back on Twitter. I think you should be following the people that you’re interested in following, and here is why. A lot of times when people are first starting off, they follow everyone back and that’s fine especially when you’re first starting out. You’re just looking for more people to have conversations with.

But the problem is the nature of Twitter is that it grows and grows and grows and you start following everyone back. So there are a few problems. One is that when you sign on to Twitter and you’re reading through your tweet stream, you’re going to have a lot of people that you have no interest in, you don’t know who they are, you don’t know why you follow them, and it’s a bunch of junk that quite frankly you don’t want to read. So it sort of makes Twitter not fun and not a place you want to go.

The other reason is that unfortunately, there’s a lot of spammers on Twitter, and when you follow a spammer back, one, you have to read their spam in your messages, and two, when you follow them back, they now have the ability to send you direct messages which can have viruses and all kinds of icky, icky stuff. So you definitely do not have to follow everyone back. It’s not considered rude or bad or anything like that. And especially as you grow and you get more people, you’re not going to want to follow everyone back.

Also, it’s normal on Twitter to follow and unfollow. So don’t stress. If you’re not sure if you want to follow somebody, go ahead and follow them. If they’re not floating your boat for whatever reason, you can always unfollow them. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not like Facebook where when someone unfriends you, you think they don’t want to be friends anymore. It’s not like that on Twitter. You can follow anyone. Anyone can follow you. You do not have to follow everyone back who follows you.

If you liked that video and you would like to get 20 more, just like it for free. All you have to do is go to Again, that’s for instant access to 20 more free videos just like this one. I’ll see you there.

Need more actionable advice?
Get your FREE weekly marketing “to-do” list
straight to your inbox every Wednesday:
About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Excellent information

  2. Useful vid Laura. I agree – we don’t have to always follow people back out of a feeling of duty. I think when leveraging SM for business the most important thing is ensuring your followers are targeted + relevant to what you have to offer- it’s only then they will RT you + actively become apart of your tribe. I’ve been using TweetAdder recently which I’ve found really useful targeting relevant tweeters.

  3. Follow back for being followed is a popular and traditional method of building followers base in twitter. But I really don’t like this method as this only give bunch of unrelated followers, not some targeted ones.
    I’d rather prefer to achieve few followers who are targeted, not spamming and have interest on my subject/niche. They’ll surely add great value to my business than lots of non-targeted sometimes spammy followers.
    Also, I’d have the chance to observe other people’s tweet properly and get benefited.

  4. Sometimes it is very hard to know whether you have to follow somebody or not when it comes to tweeter. But I think the best is to go with your wn guts.. And you want to be followed there are lots of ways for you to do that.

  5. Following back is Twitter etiquette, but it can sometimes lead to following the wrong users which is dismaying. I however appreciate your suggestions on the same.

  6. Following back to any follower should not be considered as an issue of pride or brand, because it does shows how sociable you are,but of course there must be a cap to decide,because not everyone belongs to same genre as of your.

  7. Great video, Laura. It’s the best thing about Twitter. People can follow you without you following them back. Just like what you said, it’s unique. Although some people do take it a bit too seriously, and complain about us not following them back. It’s just one of those things that we would want to deal with.

  8. Its hard to say, many times I get some weird followers, and I dont understand whether I should follow them back or not. if we keep follow, it will only increase the counters, but may not give you quality tweets.

    Real Estate Brokers Dubai

  9. I hardly ever check my Twitter accounts because I just use my facebook and that automatically sends my updates to my Twitter account. I notice that I seem to get followers naturally since I have been keeping the updates coming. There is good software that will get you many followers on Twitter.

  10. good information – we use twitter for keeping up and for our business interests but mostly for fun. I fell into the trap you spoke of and eventually unfollowed some of my original tweet meets. What are your tips for getting more followers?

  11. I love your wordpress web template, where did you get a hold of it?