Are you losing Twitter followers?

Here is why & how to fix it

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by owlead

Are you concerned about losing followers on Twitter?

It is normal to gain and lose followers.

People’s attention, interests, and behavior change over time.

Your content was once attractive for someone, but now it’s not anymore.

That’s how it goes – gaining some followers here, losing some followers there.

But, suddenly, one day, you realized that your following count had dropped massively (hundreds, even thousands) of followers in a day.


You start sweating.

You are thinking about what could be happening with your account, followers, content, or audience.

You are right to be concerned because a massive drop of followers, is not usual.

Based on our seven years of experience helping accounts increase their Twitter followers, we’ve detected the ten most common reasons you could be losing followers and how you can fix it.

Stay with me to learn and assess what could be happening to your former followers that are now leaving.

Owlead: Gain real & organic Twitter followers

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1. Twitter deactivates bot or fake accounts.

Twitter, with over 206 million daily active users worldwide is fighting hard against bots and fake accounts.

They are prioritizing the trustworthiness of the network instead of the showy number of accounts created.

How? They deactivate millions of accounts (yeap, MILLIONS!) that aren’t honoring their terms of service.

What’s the bottom line? They are getting rid of accounts that are or have the potential to harm the network.

That’s excellent news for all accounts playing safe, creating valuable content, and promoting their business the right way.

But, you might be wondering: how can this be related to your account?

Here’s the deal:

These bot/fake accounts were following other accounts.

And perhaps, your account was followed by tens, hundreds, or even thousands of these accounts.

losing twitter followers because twitter deactivates bots

When Twitter deactivates these accounts, they disappear instantly.

So, if some of them were following you, you’ll see an overnight drop in your followers.

Don’t worry though, this is not harmful to your account.

Here is a crazy thing:

Not having these followers is good for your account and your content.

Your engagement rate will improve, and that’s a good sign for your account.

Good, but how can you detect that this is the reason why you are losing followers?

How to detect it:

  • Assess your losses, calculate how many followers you have lost and in what period. If it was a massive overnight drop, this could be the reason.
  • Check the news, if it was a massive move from Twitter to deactivate bots, they will want it to be made public to discourage new spammers. See if you can find some news articles like this one, this one, or this one.
  • Check alt-news portals like Reddit, Twitter, and even Facebook. Search for ‘Twitter deactivates bots’, ‘Twitter taking down accounts’, ‘Twitter ban accounts’, and see if more users are complaining about it.

If you don’t think this could be the reason, let’s move forward to the next most common cause.

2. You’ve purchased Twitter followers.

When we started on Twitter, all of us wanted to show off with our follower count.

And perhaps, you fall into the trap of buying Twitter followers.

We’ve purchased Twitter followers to document the experience, so you don’t have to.

The conclusions? Buying Twitter followers is worthless.

It’s a waste of time and money.

You’ll receive ghost followers that will last a couple of days/weeks.

With this account, we’ve purchased 1,000 followers.

losing twitter follower for buying followers

Not only did we not receive a single like/retweet, don’t even mention purchases.

As you may also notice, now they’re gone!

So, what’s the correlation between buying followers and losing followers?

Here’s the deal:

Once you pay for the followers, they start to follow your account, but they are rapidly gone after just a few days!

Also, those followers aren’t real accounts, to begin with.

They don’t tweet, fav, retweet, or visit your website.

And once Twitter detects that those are accounts were created just to follow, guess what happens?

Yep, Twitter deactivates them!

So, if you’ve purchased followers in the past, sooner or later, they will be gone.

Be honest with yourself, move on and forget about those ghost followers you’ve lost.

3. You are posting outside of your topic.

Getting involved in politics, sports, or any sensitive topic discussion is easy on Twitter.

Just a silly reply or fav on a Tweet taking a side of a controversial topic could make you lose followers massively.

Bear in mind that when giving a fav, you are endorsing that tweet as it was yours.

Also, promoting yourself when the network is on the attention of another sensitive event could be detrimental for your account.

That’s the way Twitter is.

So, before posting a Tweet, giving a fav, or reply, analyze if the topic is in your niche.

Don’t use your account for multiple purposes (e.g., business and personal).

In some cases, your personal views aren’t the same as the views from your business, and you don’t want that to affect your follower count.

How to detect it:

  • Assess your losses, calculate how many followers you’ve lost and in what period. If it was a drop after a sensitive Tweet, this might be the cause of the loss of your followers.
  • Search for your screen name on Twitter to see if someone is complaining about your content/account.

4. Your account is shadowbanned.

As we mentioned before, Twitter is working hard to fight against accounts that can be harming the network.

They not only apply brute force to deactivate accounts, but they also have a collection of settings to silence accounts.

Shadowban is a general term and can mean different things.

In this post, we’ll go through the Twitter ghost ban that could be affecting your follower count.

What is a Twitter ghost ban?

Twitter could be hiding your tweets or replies.

Everything will seem normal to you, but your followers might not be seeing your Tweets.

And that could lead to an unfollow since you are not posting enough.

This ban is temporary and could be for excessive tweeting or following.

How to detect it:

  • Check if you can see your Tweets in a timeline from a different account you or a friend may have. If you can’t see your Tweets, you are shadowbanned.
  • Test your account in this Shadowban tool.

5. Your account is temporarily restricted.

Having a valid phone number associated with your Twitter account is crucial to keep your account safe.

Twitter relies on phone number verification to know that you are a real human being.

If you don’t have it, stop reading, and please go to associate an email and phone number with your Twitter account right now.

Now, you might be wondering:

What’s the point with a drop of followers?

Easy, once Twitter detects that you don’t have a valid email address or phone number associated, they temporarily restrict your account.

You won’t notice it unless you open your account and see a restriction message like this one:

We ve limited some of your account features - phone verification reCAPTCHA

After that and until you associate a valid phone number and complete a REcaptcha challenge, your account will look like this:


It gets worse:

As part of this restriction, your follower’s count will be reset to 0.

That Twitter message is disturbing and suggests your account could be involved in some violation of Twitter policies.

That will make your account look very suspicious, and you could then lose followers.

How to detect it:

  • Open your account and see if Twitter has notified you about this restriction. If that’s the case, solve it right away. After you complete the verification process, it could take some time to restore your follower count.

6. You are unfollowing too hard.

You are following too many accounts.

Your timeline is constantly updating with irrelevant information.

Twitter is affecting your mood.


Things are out of control!

You want to take control of your Twitter account back.

Now, you have decided to start trimming your following.

You are cleaning your timeline and leaving just the relevant accounts that add value to your life.

You unfollow 100 accounts, and it’s feeling good!

Another day and 100 more dormant accounts are gone, awesome!

You are regaining control of your Twitter timeline.

But, BOOM! Suddenly you realize that in the process, you are losing followers 🧐

How the heck is this happening?

Well, you didn’t realize it at first, but some of these accounts were just following you in exchange for a follow-back.

Now that you don’t follow them anymore, they are automatically unfollowing your account.

But, here is a crazy thing:

Losing these followers is not bad for your account at all.

If your followers aren’t engaged with your content, what’s the point of having them as followers?

You want to have a community of authentic, targeted, and engaged followers.

Without engagement, it isn’t beneficial having them as your followers.

As we mentioned before, it is better to have fewer, engaged followers than having ghost followers who won’t be interacting or buying what you have to sell.

If you have detected that this is the cause of losing followers, slow down your unfollow actions.

Keep cleaning your account, but more slowly to prevent a drastic drop in followers.

Don’t worry too much about that drop though, they weren’t really your fans in the first place.

7. You are self-promoting too much.

Sell-promoting too much is one of the first mistakes while trying to monetize your Twitter presence.

Imagine this:

You enter a bar and start throwing personal cards at every person in front of you.

promoting too much

What would happen? People will run away!

That’s not the way relationships work in the real world.

People don’t want to hang out with an accountant, lawyer, social media manager, or plumber.

People want to go out and have fun with cool and interesting people and help each other out if necessary.

And guess what?

Persuasion tactics work the same in the physical world as in the digital world.

To explain this, we like talking about the jab, jab, jab, right hook technique coined by Gary Vaynerchuk.

You may or may not like Gary, but nevertheless, he has mastered social media for his brand and products.

So, what is this ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’?

jab jab jab rught hook

Simple, think about the following for your social media presence:

Step 1 – Deliver valuable content
Step 2 – Deliver valuable content
Step 3 – Deliver valuable content
Step 4 – Self-promote.

Excessively promoting yourself too much will cause people to not pay attention, to avoid you, and in the aftermath, they will unfollow you.

It’s not everything about you and your brand.

Engage in conversations and add value to others helping out just for the sake of helping.

After that, promote yourself, and you’ll start reaping the benefits of having an audience on Twitter.

How to detect it:

  • See in Twitter Analytics if there is a correlation between the days you lost followers and the amount of self-promoting tweets you published.
  • If that’s the case, rebuild your content strategy, thinking more about the others than about your brand.

Owlead: Gain real & organic Twitter followers

Start 15 Day Free Trial

Our very own Twitter growth service that helps you gain real, targeted and organic Twitter followers on autopilot. Increase engagement. Meet the most affordable way to increase your twitter followers. Less than 1 minute to set up.

Start Your Free Trial

8. You are posting too much.

If you have read our previous reason, you probably know where we’re going with this one.

If you are tweeting too much and some of your tweets aren’t performing well, you are probably jeopardizing your followers’ timelines.

And that has a cost:

An Unfollow.

When increasing your Tweets frequency, analyze the impact on your follower count.

Everyone asks the same question when debating about frequency:

How many tweets per day should I post?

And the answer is:

It depends.

We are not covering this topic in this post, but you can learn about it here.

9. You are not posting enough.

Everything in life has to have a balance.

The yin and the yang.

The good and the bad.

Tweeting too much and not tweeting enough.

How many times do you open Twitter, and suddenly a tweet pops up from someone and you don’t even know who it is?

That’s because that account doesn’t tweet frequently enough to stick in your mind.

One of your first takes on this will be to unfollow that account.

Balance your amount of tweets, not too many or too few tweets per day.

10. You’ve changed your profile pic or handle

Familiarization comes after repetition.

If you haven’t changed your Twitter handle or profile pic in a while, most of your followers will recognize you as soon as they see a tweet.

But, if you update your profile or name without notifying your followers, that could lead to confusion:

  • Who is this account?
  • Did I follow this account?
  • I don’t recognize this profile pic.
  • What does that strange handle mean?

Here is when the simple tweet with #NewProfilePic hashtag comes in handy.

If you’ve changed your handle, you can put a hint in your bio: “Previously tweeting as @” or something like that helps your followers know it’s not an unwanted account in their timeline.


Well, that’s all, folks!

We expect to have shed some light on the loss of your followers.

Don’t obsess too much about your losses unless your account loses more than it gains month after month.

Focus on how to increase your Twitter followers and on delivering valuable content.

Then you’ll have more control over your gains than your losses.