Why I am not following you back on Twitter

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Thanks for the follow; sorry I can’t follow you back

I guess we are riding the back edge of the wave, but with everyone in media and entertainment talking about Twitter, it just seems natural for folks to want to jump into the action, whether it is to try to connect with their favorite celebrities, keep up with breaking news, or promote their business.  I am pretty active on the platform and have been for a few years now, but this post is not about the Zen of Twitter.  I follow and interact with some very interesting people,  so I pick up a hand full of new followers every day.  Most of them I don’t follow back.  Here are some reasons:

  1. You don’t have a profile – You may be the most interesting tweeter in the world, but with no profile, I don’t know what you are about.  Complete your profile before your first tweet.
  2. You have red flag word or phrase in your profile – If you are a self-described “social media guru”, or want to help me make quick cash, don’t expect a follow back.  And those are just 2 examples.
  3. You are an extremist – Religious or political, left or right.
  4. You have an X-rated or offensive profile picture
  5. You don’t have a profile picture
  6. You have 10 times more followers than updates – I look closely at these, as it implies to me that you might have bought some followers.
  7. You don’t practice what you preach – You claim to be an online or social media marketer and strategist, yet you have only a few updates.

I used to follow you but now I don’t anymore

So you pass my rather loose criteria for me to follow you back.  Here are a few reasons I might un-follow you:

  1. You send me annoying automated DMs – promoting yourself or your business as soon as I follow you.
  2. All your posts are automated – Are you human?  Everything you post is from an RSS feed, automatically posted by a service like Tweetspinner or Twitterfeed.  Those services have their place, but you abuse them.
  3. You abuse hashtagsHashtags (#) have a very useful function in Twitter.  You negate their usefulness when you append trending hashtags to  your off-topic, self-promotional tweets.
  4. You tweet too much –  your tweets dominate my Twitter stream.
  5. Your content is irrelevant to me – It’s all about content.

These lists aren’t comprehensive, and they are very subjective; but isn’t everything in social media?

Your comments are welcomed.

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.

  • I’m very new to twitter, but I already can tell I’m going to have to unfollow some people based on some of your reasons here.  I have enough annoying people in real life; I don’t need more.

  • Well stated, Chloe. There are plenty of obnoxious folks out there, but you will be amazed at the power of Twitter for communication on a number of levels. Once you get more involved with twitter, you can get more focused and save time using a twitter management platform like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

  • I absolutely agree! I am new to Twitter and can’t say I do everything right, but if you join Twitter you should at least understand what it’s about…communication. And if you don’t even have a picture or profile, you’ve seriously missed the point!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve unfollowed several media & PR “gurus” because they repeatedly send automated tweets of the same blog posts. I don’t mean tweet links to an old blog that is suddenly relevant again because of events, I mean the same 10-12 blog post links repeatedly tweeted.  Give us some new content, please.

  • Yep, they just load what they want to push into Tweetspinner and forget them.

  • Thanks for your comment, Jessica. Like so many things in life, Twitter is about attitude.

  • Luis Wilker

    WOW! That’s right!! I’ve been unfollow some “gurus” and your automated tweets.

    Congratulations! Great post.

  • Thanks, Luis

  • PudgyM29

    If you want to use me as an example of, be careful following him, it’s OK. But when I signed up for Twitter, I decided it would be "the grand experiment", and that I would tweet about all of my interests, including the NSFW ones. In summary, being completely transparent (I.E.: no hiding controversial topics under a pseudonym). I believe more of the people I follow should follow me, and if I stick them on my "holdouts" list, that’s making it public. But those Twitterers should not take it personally.

  • I agree with everything except this reason: “You tweet too much.” How is that a bad thing? I’d rather follow people who tweet a lot versus people who barely tweet at all. Twitter’s a LOT less interesting when updates are few and far between.

  • I didn’t say a lot; I said too much. If I have 100 people in my stream, and one of them comes up every other tweet, i would say that is a lot AND too much. But I was writing about my own criteria. Everyone should set their own priorities.

  • Anonymous

    I’m an extremist Libertarian with an offensive profile picture, so I guess I’m f****d.

  • It is all about content, always has been, always will be

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