Advanced Audience Targeting with Sidekick | Author Platform Sidekick

Advanced Audience Targeting with Sidekick

July 3, 2017

Each day, Sidekick will follow people on your behalf until your daily limit is reached. A member of the Sidekick team manually clicks the follow button for each act of following. We also unfollow people who are not following you back.

To comply with Twitter’s terms of service, a human must initiate the act of following or unfollowing, not an automated bot. That makes following and unfollowing a time consuming and laborious activity. That said, Sidekick does use sophisticated software to target whom to follow and unfollow and present them to one of our operators in a easy to click through list, so it can be done fairly rapidly on your behalf.

Sidekick uses four follow strategies, in order. If the first category provides enough candidates for that day’s 300 follows, then we will stop there and restart the next day. And so on through each of the four strategies.

Unfollowing Comes First

If a user does not follow you back within a few days of you following them, they will be unfollowed. You can define the amount of time (between 3 and 7 days). If they choose to follow you back, Sidekick will never unfollow them while they remain following you. However, if at a later date, a user then chooses to unfollow you, Sidekick will also unfollow them on your behalf (unless you have added them to your whitelist of people to never unfollow).

If the number of people you follow surpasses your number of people who follow you by more than 10%, Twitter will prevent you following more people. When this happens, there are only two options available:

- Wait a few days for more people to follow you, reducing the 10% and freeing up space to follow more.

- Sidekick’s strategy – unfollow people who haven’t followed you back after a few days, immediately freeing up room.

Because of the 10% limit imposed by Twitter, unfollowing is a generally accepted practice.

Four Follow Strategies

Sidekick employs four following strategies, in order.

1. Follow back fans

Sidekick will follow back most people who have followed you organically. These will be people who have chosen to follow you for reasons other than the fact that you’ve followed them in the first place. Perhaps you tweeted something interesting. Perhaps you retweeted or liked one of their tweets. Perhaps the stumbled across your bio. The underlying reason doesn’t matter too much: they've already chosen to follow you.

That said, Sidekick will skip accounts you've followed in the past, accounts with too low or too high a follow/follower ratio, accounts created in the last 7 days, accounts who haven't tweet in 30 days and accounts without a profile image in their bio. These attributes are signs of bot accounts.

You can configure Sidekick not to follow back fans, although this is not recommended.

2. Follow people who mention you

If Sidekick doesn’t reach your day’s limit of follows using 1 above, then Sidekick will follow people who have mentioned you recently. This is a bit like a hat tip to say, “Thanks for the mention”. Of course, if you’re already following them when they mention you then no hat tip takes place. And, as with following back new followers, we don’t bother following if any of the conditions that indicate bot accounts are triggered.

3. Follow followers of role models

If Sidekick doesn’t reach your day’s limit of follows using 1 and 2 above, then Sidekick will follow the followers of role models you provide.

As a customer of Sidekick, you can optionally provide a list of Twitter users who are similar to you as an author, but who have amassed at least 10,000 followers (referred to as role models). The logic is that if lots of people are following an author similar to yourself in the same genre or subject area, then it is also likely those followers will be interested in you as well. By following the role model’s followers first, we attract their attention and wait for them to follow back. Of course, if they choose not to follow you back, then Sidekick will automatically unfollow them a few days later.

In addition, Sidekick ignores accounts who exhibit any of the attributes of a bot account as described in 1 above.

4. Follow people who tweet using relevant hashtags

If Sidekick doesn’t reach your day’s limit of follows using 1, 2 and 3 above, then we will follow people tweeting content containing hashtags specified by you.

This is the catch all category. If we haven’t reached your daily limit of new follows using the first three strategies, then we will use recently tweeted content to target the remainder. Even then, we group the hashtags into multiple layers, with the most targeted ones in the first layer and the more general, catch all ones in the lower layers. Each layer can target up to five hashtags.

For more information on how to prioritise hashtags for targeting followers, read Prioritising Hashtags for Targeted Follower Growth with Sidekick.


Sidekick's advanced audience targeting system is tailored to your specific needs as an author in your specific genre or niche. Once set up, you can relax while Sidekick's operators carry out the mundane task each day of clicking through the list of people to follow and unfollow. Every now and then, you can log back into Sidekick and adjust the targeting to suit your changing needs. Perhaps you might add some new role models or refine the layers of hashtags.

So, while Author Platform Sidekick handles growing your Twitter account, all you have to focus on is engaging with your new audience.