If you are writing liberal, progressive, or anti-administration posts and you have a Twitter account, you need to know about the Resistance on Twitter. That’s because they are a large group on Twitter that will be sympathetic to your viewpoint and may be interested in your writing. You want your writing to be seen by this audience.
They are easy to find on Twitter, and they have developed a system for growing each other’s Twitter following. This system is something that you can use to increase your own Twitter following. However, we urge you not to abuse it. Only use it if you feel like you should be part of this group.
People who are generally against or resisting the Trump presidency self-identify using various hashtags, all around the concept of resistance. If you are writing liberal or progressive posts, you are most likely resisting the Trump presidency and will find a sympathetic audience on Twitter in the Resistance or Resisters as they call themselves.
Since hashtags are key on Twitter, people typically use hashtags to indicate their inclusion in the Resistance. Here are the most common hashtags:
Members of the Resistance will often use these hashtags in their posts. However, the best way to identify yourself as a member of the Resistance is to include one or more of these hashtags in the bio in your Twitter profile, like this for @TeaPainUSA who uses #Resistance:
Or @USMCLiberal, who uses #Resist:
So, the first step is to put an appropriate hashtag in your Twitter-profile bio. If you are not sure how to do that, check out this link. That way when people on Twitter encounter you and check out your profile, they will know that you are part of the group. Also, identifying yourself as part of the Resistance is important participating in the follow-back Resistance, which you can use to grow your followers.
#FollowBackResistance or #FBR
In Twitter, the number of followers you have is a status symbol. But, more importantly, it affects the “reach” of your tweets. Reach is the number of people who see your tweet. When you tweet, it appears in all your followers feed. The more followers you have, the more people have the chance to see your tweet.
When promoting your writing (or anything for that matter) on Twitter, you want to reach as many people as possible, so you want to have a large number of followers. On Twitter, the tried and true way to get more followers is to follow others. When you follow someone, you indicate your interest in what they are saying, and you hope that will make them curious about what you are saying and follow you back.
This technique is the primary tactic to grow your following — follow people with shared interests. However, there are various hashtags that people use to “trade” following for followers, such as #followforfollow, #follow4follow, #followback, #F4F, etc. I don’t suggest using any of these hashtags or follow others who use them. Yes, they can help grow your following, but these are “junk” followers — people who follow you from these hashtags have no real interest in what you are saying. They are only following you so that you will follow them back.
However, since the number of followers is a status symbol on Twitter and there is power in numbers, the Resistance has its a follow-back scheme to boost its member’s followers: the follow-back Resistance.
If you follow someone who uses the hashtags associated with the follow-back Resistance, the expectation is that if you follow them, they will follow you back, and vice versa. Yes, it is a follow trading scheme, but in this case, these are followers who are liberal, progressive, and anti-administration. If this is what you are writing about, then these are the type of followers you want.
Here are the hashtags of the follow-back resistance:
Of course, FBR is just a short form for FollowBackResistance or, perhaps, FollowBackResister.
Including one of these hashtags in our profile bio indicates that you are a member of the Resistance and that you will follow back other members of the Resistance. For example, @Blondeshewlf uses #FollowBackResistance, as well as #TheResistance:
So, one simple strategy for getting more followers is to follow people who use #FollowBackResistance or #FBR in their tweets or in their profile bio. You can easily find people like this using the Twitter search tool:
If you follow people using these hashtags and you have them in your profile bio, then there is a good chance that when you follow that person, they will follow you back. Don’t expect everyone to follow you back, but you will get a higher follow-back rate than just following random people — or the people that Twitter suggests you should follow.
One note on Twitter’s follow suggestions. Twitter often suggests you follow celebrities or other popular accounts. If you are looking to grow your followers, don’t ever follow celebrities, because they almost never follow anyone back. Let’s look, for example, at Rob Reiner.
Rob Reiner an outspoken critic of the administration, so you might think it would be a good idea to follow him. But look at his numbers. He has 485K followers, so if he retweeted one of your tweets, lots of people who see it, which would be great. But he only follows 330 people. If you follow him, there is a tiny chance he will follow you back.
Keep this in mind when you are looking for people to follow, even when using the #FollowBackResistance or #FBR hashtags. People who follow others back, typically have about the same number for Following as they do for Followers. As an example, look at @RealMuckmaker:
@RealMuckmaker is following 121K people and has 120K followers. If this balance between following and followers is the not the case and the number of following is significantly less than followers, like Rob Reiner, they are less likely to follow you back. So, if you are trying to get followers, then you should avoid @robreiner and instead look for people like @RealMuckmaker. Of course, if you are interested in what @robreiner has to say, then by all means, follow him. Just don’t expect a follow back.
Twitter following rules
When following others to grow your following, you need to be aware of the Twitter following rules. To a certain degree, Twitter encourages its members to follow each other. But because people abuse the ability to follow, Twitter has put restrictions in place.
You can read the vague rules directly from Twitter, but here are the key points:
- Don’t follow too many people in a day, especially if your Twitter account is new. Following 200 to 300 people a day is generally OK. Some say you can follow up to 1000 people a day, but that is risky. If Twitter thinks you are following too aggressively, they will lock your account, or they will temporarily limit your ability to do things on Twitter. It’s all messy and best if avoided if you can. If Twitter locks your account, you will have pass extra security checks to get it unlocked.
- You can’t follow more than 5000 people total unless you have about that many followers. Twitter lets you follow up to 5000 people without restrictions, but after that, you need to have about that many followers less about 500 to follow more people. For example, to follow 6000 people, you need to first get around 5500 followers. You can follow up to 9000 people once you followers reaches 8500.
One other thing to note is that there are various automated tools available that will help you follow people, though Twitter is increasingly blocking them. Twitter doesn’t like automation or what most people call “bots”. You should avoid those tools since they will just get you into trouble. Plus, because of FBR parties, which is explained next, you don’t need tools to quickly find lots of people to follow. Unless you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you can easily get to your daily follow quota in minutes.
So how do you get a bunch of Resisters together so you can easily follow them all? Attend an FBR party. An FBR Party is a tweet that encourages Resisters to follow each other back. It starts with a tweet that usually has a list of things you should do to participate in the party. Here is an example:
What to do is typically explained in the tweet itself. The first thing to do is to follow the host of the party. You can also like the tweet. Note that this will create two notifications in the users’ Twitter notifications, giving them two chances to notice that you followed them. If the host is on Twitter when you follow them and like the tweet, they will often follow you back right away. Retweeting will also get you noticed and will help spread the FBR party.
Replying to the tweet can help you get followers more followers than just the host of the party. When someone opens the tweet (by clicking on the text of the tweet), all replies are displayed. Someone scrolling through the replies will see your reply and may follow you. But this isn’t the best way to get followers from an FBR party…
The best way to get followers from an FBR Party
The best thing about an FBR party is that just about everyone participating is a member of the Resistance and is interested in trading follows for follows. You can find these folks using the Twitter search bar, but I am sure Twitter intentionally makes this hard to use for this purpose. However, with the FBR party, they are all in one spot. And you can produce a handy list of those people with a Follow button beside their name. Then you can just go through the list, and click Follow any people that you are not already following.
Here’s how to find that list:
- Find an FBR-party tweet by searching for #FBRparty. If you already follow a lot of members of the Resistance, these FBR-party tweets will just show up in your feed, since the Resistors are busy retweeting each other’s FBR parties.
- Display the details of the tweet by clicking on the text of the tweet. Make sure you don’t click on a hashtag since that will search for that hashtag. You should see the tweet with all the replies listed below.
- Go to the line that shows the retweet and like statistics of the tweet. It looks like this:
- Click on the retweet count just below the date and time. In the example above, click on “293 Retweets”. Don’t click on the retweet () icon, which may also have the same count beside it. That is the retweet action button. You don’t want to retweet, you want to see a list of people that have retweeted this. Click on “293 Reweet” above the action button. Once you click on that, it will look something like this:
- A list of people who retweeted this FBR party is displayed below the tweet. Scroll through this list, clicking on Follow for anyone you don’t already follow.
- Once done, close this window and repeat the process by clicking on the like count. In the example above, that would be “465 Likes”.
You have just followed a bunch of members of the Resistance who are likely to follow you back. Now, you may have noticed that although Twitter says that hundreds of people have retweeted and liked the tweet, but it won’t show all of them to you. On the web version of Twitter, I find it shows only 25 for each of retweets and likes. So that’s about 50 potential followers all in one place. Since there are always several FBR parties going on and you can find them using the Twitter search tool, it is easy to find 5 or 10 and find a few hundred people to follow.
On the Twitter smartphone app, it is even easier, since it will display up to 100 for each of the retweets and likes. So, from a single FBR party tweet, you can find up to 200 people to follow.
If you make sure your profile indicates you are sympathetic to the Resistance and you seek out FBR parties and use the technique above, you can gain a hundred or more followers a day. The more followers you have, the higher the reach of your tweets, and since these are like-minded followers, you have a good chance of getting them to come to your site and check out your writing.
Bonus: Other Resistance hashtags
There are several other hashtags commonly associated with the Resistance. I list them here so you can spot other Resisters: