Sunday, February 3, 2013

11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter

There are probably dozens if not hundreds of reasons some people on Twitter won’t follow others. Here are my Top 11 reasons. 

I won’t follow you if … 

1. You don’t have a Twitter bio: There may be a good reason, but I can’t imagine what it is. It takes 30 seconds to say something about who you are. The same thing goes if you don’t have a geographic location. It does not need to be specific: city and state or city and country will do just fine. Of course, if you have something to hide … that too is reason enough not to follow you. 

2. You don’t have an avatar: The generic "egg" icon just tells the world you haven’t made the time to get a small picture or symbol out there … or, again, maybe you have something to hide.

3. Your account is locked: You may have good reasons to lock your account (or, again, maybe you have something to hide), but how am I supposed to keep track of whose content I can retweet and whose I can’t? If you want to be that private I have to wonder why you’re on Twitter.

4. You have been on Twitter for less than a month: Unless there’s a history of activity I suspect all Twitter accounts to have a.) hidden agendas or b.) be the accounts of people not fully committed to being part of the Twitter community … yet. This might be hard on newbies, but I know of too many newbies who set up an account, tweet a few times and then go silent.

5. You don’t tweet regularly: You don’t have to tweet every day, but if you’re only tweeting once or twice a week (or less) the chances are I will miss your tweets and we really won’t interact at all. So why bother?

6. You have nothing to say or share: We have all seen the accounts where people build large follower numbers and in three months on Twitter have only tweeted a few dozen times to let the world know "It’s raining here now" or "Just made a killer burger." Really? Is this adding value for anyone?

7. You follow way more people than follow you: You may just be desperate to build a large online following. You may have even purchased followers. Either way you concern me.

8. Your profile and tweets reveal you are mostly on Twitter to sell: I get stuff pushed on me in plenty of other ways. I don’t need Twitter to feel like a selling channel.

9. Your tweet history is full of self-promotional words or links: If your tweets are full of "I" statements and the things "you" want to sell or promote, then "you" clearly missed the memo that Twitter is supposed to be a social medium. "You" don’t need me to follow "you." All "you" really need is a mirror so you can admire the view. See Commandment No. 1 in 10 Commandments for Social Media.

10. You are promoting porn, gambling or other vices: ‘Nuff said. If I wanted this stuff I’m pretty sure I could find it on my own.

11. You are a business and only ever tweet about the business: As much as you love your business and think everybody else should too, I’m sorry I just don’t care. If your business doesn’t have a human face I’m outta here. Having said that, I will admit to connecting with social causes and the organizations that support them. That at least seems more in the spirit of social media.

So, what do you think? Did I miss any reasons you have for not following or following back on Twitter?

Related posts:
6 Reasons to Finally Join Twitter
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
The 7 Deadly Sins on Twitter


  1. I would agree with all but #7 if they are a newbie. I feel for them :) It takes time to grow a following.

  2. I have to agree with them all, I think you'll like me on Twitter too. @sparkiefunizza.

    This has given me some things to think about when loking for someone to follow too

  3. Repeating the same Tweet a dozen times a day. Yes, a single tweet can be missed, but if you have something to say, we'll find you.

  4. Mike, these are good points. The only one I'm leaning against is #4. Particularly in marketing and social media, there are so many people now that have turned twitter into a headline feed and I tend to see the same things repeated over and over.

    When I see someone new on Twitter sharing content manually with comments or trying to engage in conversation, I pay more attention now. I believe we need more meaningful conversation and we need (as SM / marketing people) to listen to more people outside of the social media blogging bubble.

    Nice concise list, thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments. I agree that one or more these may not be a good fit for everyone, but these are just the ones I've come up with in almost five years on Twitter.

    Yes, holding back on following a newbie might seem a little harsh and I do make exceptions for people in my local geographic area, but other than that I wait to see if they're committed and human after 30 days and then I'll jump right in and follow them.

    1. How about not following anyone without a twitter account? Duuuurp! X)

  6. One thing I'll add is my frustration when you follow me and then I try to follow the person back and it says 'pending'. What the heck is that? You're good enough to follow me, but I'm not good enough to follow you? lol...

  7. I agree with Larrythewineguy. I cannot stand repeat tweets over and over and multiple of them in a row within hours of eachother.

  8. Great post! It really shows WHY these actions are problematic. I think people need that message to be convinced their options don't work. It's surprising how many people can't be convinced they're just spamming and that there are better ways. I like to tell people that the rules of social and business and etiquette/strategy are the same online as in person.

  9. All great reasons. I heartily concur! Now I'm off to do a "killer burger" tweet just for the fun of it.

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