Losing Twitter Followers? Here‘s an In-Depth Look at Why It Happens and How to Fix It

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Have you noticed your Twitter follower count slowly dwindling? Or maybe it suddenly dropped by hundreds or thousands overnight?

Losing followers can be disheartening, especially if you‘ve worked hard to build up your audience. But don‘t panic – with the right knowledge, you can diagnose issues and get your follower growth back on track.

As a social media marketing specialist and self-proclaimed tech nerd, I‘ve helped dozens of brands and influencers boost their Twitter followings. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll dig into:

  • Common reasons you may be losing Twitter followers
  • How to pinpoint exactly why it‘s happening to you
  • Detailed solutions to address various follower loss issues
  • Pro tips to keep your remaining followers happily engaged
  • Growth hacking strategies to rapidly regain lost followers

If you want to reclaim control over your follower count, you‘re in the right place. Let‘s dive in!

Why Losing Some Followers is Normal

Before we investigate follower drops, it‘s important to set expectations. Losing a few Twitter followers here and there is completely normal.

Social media consultant Jenn Herman explains:

“It’s natural to lose about 1% to 2% of your Twitter followers monthly. Losing 0.5% to 3% monthly is still within the industry average churn rate."

Reasons you may lose a couple followers per week include:

  • Followers lose interest – Their usage of Twitter declines or preferences change over time.

  • You take a break – Not posting for awhile causes some to forget they follow you or lose interest.

  • Accidental follows – New users may accidentally tap your profile and unfollow shortly after.

  • Fake account purges – Twitter regularly deletes bot/spam accounts which reduces follower counts.

Minor losses like this aren‘t anything to stress over. But if you notice larger drops of 5-10% per month or a big overnight plunge, it likely signals something is wrong.

Rapid Follower Drops: 6 Common Causes

While losing some followers is inevitable, consistently dropping followers faster indicates an underlying issue. If your count is spiraling downward, here are 6 potential reasons:

1. Twitter Removing Fake or Inactive Followers

One of the most common causes of major follower drops is Twitter detecting and deleting fake or inactive accounts from the platform.

They do this by:

  • Updating spam detection algorithms
  • Identifying suspicious behavior patterns
  • Verifying linked email/phone numbers
  • Requiring periodic login for inactive accounts

When Twitter purges accounts in batches, it can look like users are suddenly losing lots of followers overnight.

For example, in July 2018 Twitter purged over 70 million accounts deemed suspicious. High-profile users like Barack Obama saw large follower drops:

Barack Obama losing Twitter followers

Barack Obama and other high profile accounts saw follower drops from Twitter‘s 2018 purge – Source

If you suddenly lost a chunk of followers around the time of a major Twitter purge, that‘s likely the cause.

How to identify: Review characteristics of the lost followers:

  • Default profile image/lack of tweets
  • Username has random numbers or letters
  • Highly inflated following vs followers count
  • Suspicious location

These all indicate likely fake or bot accounts that Twitter deleted.


  • Avoid buying followers – Using follower bots/services violates Twitter rules and can get your account banned. Focus on attracting real, engaged users.

  • Do an audit – Use a tool like FollowerAudit to identify and block any suspicious remaining accounts.

  • Appeal bans – If Twitter suspects you of artificial growth, explain the situation and request to lift the ban.

2. You Aren‘t Posting Frequently Enough

One study analyzed over 2 million Twitter accounts and found posting frequency was a major differentiator between gaining and losing followers.

Accounts posting 7+ times per week gained more followers, while those posting only once per week lost more.

Twitter posting frequency study

Accounts tweeting more frequently gain more followers – Source

This makes sense – the more days or weeks go by without updates, the more likely followers are to forget they followed you or lose interest.

How to identify: If you see a larger than normal drop soon after resuming posting after a break, insufficient frequency could be the issue.


  • Post more often – Aim for multiple tweets daily; up to 2-3x per day is a good goal.

  • Use scheduling tools – Apps like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to plan and schedule frequent content.

  • Do "I‘m back" tweet – If you return after a long break, notify followers you‘re resuming regular updates.

  • Repost top evergreen content – Resurface your most popular tweets to re-engage returning followers.

3. You‘re Posting Low Quality, Irrelevant Content

In an analysis of 100,000 tweets, Twitter found the highest quality tweets receive 5X the engagement of low quality tweets.

Followers expect value from the accounts they follow – whether that‘s entertainment, inspiration, community or exclusive insights. If your tweets consistently fail to deliver, followers understandably tune out.

How to identify: Look for declining tweet engagement metrics like likes, retweets and replies per tweet.


  • Analyze your top tweets – Use Twitter Analytics to see which topics, types and styles resonate best with your audience.

  • Improve tweet writing – Keep tweets concise, scannable and conversational. Include visuals and relevant hashtags.

  • Vary content types – Share a mix of commentary, articles, behind-the-scenes, polls, Q&As and more.

  • Ask for feedback – Solicit input directly from engaged followers about what they want to see.

4. You Changed Niches Too Quickly

Those who followed you for expertise about one topic may unfollow if you abruptly switch focuses.

For example, a social media marketer who gains followers sharing industry tips may lose some by suddenly tweeting about his personal life or a new hobby.

How to identify: Look for an uptick in unfollows soon after changing your main tweet focus.


  • Revert focus – Consider returning to your original niche and content style that followers related to.

  • Ease into new niche – Slowly introduce and mix in new off-theme tweets rather than shocking followers.

  • Make a 2nd account – Post off-topic content from a separate handle tailored to that new niche.

5. You Switched to Aggressive Self-Promotion

Followers expect a certain signal-to-noise ratio from the accounts they follow. If your feed becomes dominated by sales pitches and promotions, many lose interest.

One Google study on social media engagement recommended keeping promos under 20% of overall content.

How to identify: Watch for lower engagement on heavily promotional tweets compared to other content.


  • Diversify feed mix – For every promo, share 3-5 tweets that simply engage, entertain or inform.

  • Soften approach – Share company updates, offers and new products casually vs aggressive selling.

  • Highlight value – Remind followers why they benefit from access to your exclusive content and updates.

6. You Bought Fake Followers

Services selling fake followers often promise instant follower count gains. But it backfires as those accounts eventually disappear when you stop paying fees.

How to identify: A large drop soon after discontinuing payments for fake follower services exposes this.


  • Come clean – Consider transparently letting real followers know you tried shady growth tactics but are course correcting.

  • Remove remaining fakes– Do an audit using FollowerAudit or SocialBlade to delete remaining artificial accounts.

  • Organically grow followers – Invest time into attracting real, engaged followers with quality content.

Pro Tips to Keep Genuine Followers Engaged

The best follower retention starts with understanding your audience and providing ongoing value. Here are some best practices:

  • Respond to followers – Reply to comments, answer questions, and check-in with regulars.

  • Like and retweet others – React to community member tweets to show you listen.

  • Ask interesting questions – Spark dialogue by polling followers and asking for opinions.

  • Share exclusives – Give followers special deals, insights and updates.

  • Host live talks – Go live for real-time Q&As and conversations.

  • Limit promos – Promote selectively vs constant heavy-handed selling.

  • Use relevant hashtags– Integrate trending tags and niche hashtags to extend reach.

  • Update visual branding – Ensure your profile visually conveys your expertise and vibe.

  • Analyze and adjust – Track tweet analytics to see what works and refine your strategy.

The more value you provide, the more satisfied and engaged your followers will be long-term.

Growth Hacking: How to Rapidly Regain Lost Followers

If you‘re struggling to rebound from a follower slump, growth hacking strategies can help accelerate recovery:

  • Leverage viral trends– Create content about viral topics and leverage related hashtags.

  • Recruit influencers – Seek shoutouts fromthose with overlapping niche audiences.

  • Run sweepstakes – Incentivize current and potential followers to interact for rewards.

  • Try Twitter ads– Promote your profile and best content to targeted new audiences.

  • Plug at events – Share your @ handle on presentation slides and handouts.

  • Master Twitter Lists – Join related Lists to expose your profile to niche communities.

  • Offer exclusive perks – Give new followers access to special content or deals for a limited time.

When trying to rapidly reboot follower growth, you need to get aggressive. Combining several of these amplification tactics together can help you rebound quicker.

Evaluating Reasons for Follower Loss and Strategizing Solutions

If your follower count is steadily declining, take time to evaluate potential reasons and devise solutions. Here‘s a process that can help:

Step 1 – Quantify Losses

  • How much have you lost in total followers?
  • What % decrease is that from your peak follower count?
  • Over what timeframe did the losses occur?

Step 2 – Profile Lost Followers

  • Do the lost followers have any common attributes? Location, industry, interests etc.
  • Are losses spread evenly or concentrated around certain tweets?
  • How did most lost followers originally find you?

Step 3 – Form Hypotheses

Based on findings, develop hypotheses for what may be causing increased losses:

  • Content irrelevance/low quality
  • Insufficient posting frequency
  • Over-promotion
  • Fake followers being removed
  • Niche changes
  • etc

Step 4 – Test Theories with Followers

  • Poll current followers to ask if content meets their interests.
  • Directly ask engaged followers for feedback on your tweets.
  • Assess tweet analytics for insights.

Step 5 – Implement Solutions

Using feedback and learnings, develop and roll out targeted solutions:

  • Improve content quality/relevance
  • Increase posting frequency
  • Follow/engage those in your niche
  • Audit to remove fake followers
  • Onboard new relevant followers

Continually track results and iterate to course-correct as needed.

While losing followers stings, walking through this process helps get to the bottom of issues so you can address them and recover stronger than ever.

Key Takeaways: Diagnosing and Fixing Twitter Follower Loss

Seeing followers slip away can feel discouraging and alarming. But don‘t panic. Take an analytical approach to diagnosing the problem and implementing solutions.

Here are the key tips covered in this guide:

  • Losing a small percentage of followers monthly is completely normal – don‘t stress minor fluctuations.

  • Rapid drops or a downward spiral likely mean an underlying issue needs addressing.

  • Study analytics and lost follower profiles to form hypotheses for why it‘s happening.

  • Common causes include low quality/relevance, posting inconsistencies, fake followers and niche changes.

  • Each cause has tailored solutions – improve content, post more, remove fakes etc.

  • Proactively engage followers by responding, offering exclusives and analyzing feedback.

  • Growth hacks like viral trend leveraging can quickly help regain lost followers.

  • Continuously track performance and iterate your approach over time as the landscape shifts.

With the right diligence and commitment to improvement, you can get your follower count growing again and retain audiences long-term.

What strategies have you used to diagnose and fix follower losses? I‘d love to hear what‘s worked for you in the comments!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.