September 27, 2011 Last updated September 18th, 2018 3,267 Reads share

Bad Twitiquette: 10 Ways To Lose Your Twitter Followers, Fast!

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Every now and then I like to tidy up whom I follow on Twitter. The process of deciding on those accounts that I no longer want to follow always raises some interesting questions: why do we decide to unfollow people on Twitter? And what behaviours encourage people to decide not to follow you anymore? Here are my ten ways to lose your Twitter followers, fast:

1. # Spamming people

Spamming is the number one way to get unfollowed on Twitter. According to Twitter here are some common tactics used by spammers:

  • Posting harmful links (including links to phishing or malware sites)
  • Aggressive following behavior (mass following and mass un-following for attention)
  • Abusing the @reply or @mention function to post unwanted messages to users
  • Creating multiple accounts (either manually or using automated tools)
  • Spamming trending topics to try to grab attention
  • Repeatedly posting duplicate updates
  • Posting links with unrelated tweets

2. # Blatantly self-promoting

The problem with self-promotion of course is that it is almost worthless. Twitter is great for engaging and getting involved in conversations with other people, yet many continue to use it solely to broadcast about how much they love themselves.

3. # Tweeting too much

How many tweets are too many? It’s difficult to define because too many tweets can mean a different number to different people. None the less, over tweeting is one of the main reasons that people stop following, try:

  • Not to tweet multiple tweets right after one another
  • Use the @ and DM functions where  possible to make sure you are not clogging up other people’s streams.

4. # Tweeting too little

Less of an issue perhaps than over tweeting but if you are not active on Twitter you risk losing followers. In some respects at least, not being active is the same as not being there.

5. # Not engaging with your followers

Following on from not tweeting, if you not conversing with or not replying to your followers, many are understandably going to decide to click unfollow.

6. # Getting the professional vs. personal tweeting balance wrong

If you are using Twitter in a professional capacity, then tweeting too many personnel tweets can get you unfollowed. In saying that, many followers will prefer a mixture of tweets believing that this gives them insight into the personalities behind a business. This can sometimes become a difficult balancing act to get right.

7. # Unprofessional conduct and tweets

Unprofessional tweets stick out on Twitter and will get you unfollowed, so refrain from bad language, airing your dirty laundry in public, bullying other Twitter users, the list goes on and on.

8. # Robotic tweeting

Messaging or using software that employs automation is another sure-fire way to annoy people and lose followers.

9. # Network marketing

Network marketers seem not to have worked out how to market on Twitter, need i say more? 🙂

10. # Offering to show me how to get me thousands of new followers

Telling folks about your thousands of followers and offering to show them how to get thousands of their own, might seem like a good idea but it’s really not.

  • While many continue to obsess about it, the number of followers you have has a very limited value.
  • Instead try to focus instead on building relationships with the followers you already have.


In reality, there are not many hard and fast rules when it comes to using Twitter, what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. On occasion, I know that I have broken some of those rules above. It’s difficult to keep all your followers happy all the time, the best that you can aim for is that you continue to bring value for most of your followers, most of the time.

So what makes you unfollow someone?

Thanks for reading,


“Image from mkabakov/Shutterstock.”


Niall Devitt

Niall Devitt

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