11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter

Mike Johansson
Mike Johansson Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology and principal at Fixitology, RIT and Fixitology

Posted on February 3rd 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.

Mike Johansson

Mike Johansson

Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology and principal at Fixitology, RIT and Fixitology

Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist). 

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Posted on February 3rd 2013 at 2:19PM

A big thing for me is the frequency of tweets. There are people who schedule tweets every minute/hour hour/hour a day. This clogs the newsfeed with content that is just being pushed out. Tough it's easy to place people into lists and decrease the clutter somewhat, it still becomes overwhelming and the frequency outshines the value of the content. 

Mike Johansson
Posted on February 4th 2013 at 9:10AM

Good point Bryan - the "broadcast" method of pushing tweets at a far-too-regular rate sends the signal that the person is not really on Twitter to be social. . Thanks for the comment. 

Marcus Graden
Posted on February 5th 2013 at 10:37AM

But, aren't you guilty of this? You've tweeted 9 things in the last hour, sometimes only minutes apart.

Mike Johansson
Posted on February 5th 2013 at 11:45AM

Absolutely. If I were to tweet nine or 10 times an hour every hour I wouldn't blame people for not following me, but I think as you'll see if you look back over any given day I do tweet a lot in short bursts - usually because I'm actually talking to peope. :-) Thanks for the comment. 

Posted on February 5th 2013 at 12:00PM
just because twitter has many users thats reason some users abuse it and only tweet or share their product link and forget to do what twitter really stands for
Posted on February 5th 2013 at 12:03PM
nice post just because twitter gain many users make some users to abuse it by just posting only their product link and affiliated links, they really forget what twitter actually stands for
Posted on February 5th 2013 at 1:05PM

I would add ... a number 12 --> You tweet outdated material! I can't stand clicking on a link of an enticing-sounding article and finding that it was published five or more years ago and contains information that is no longer relevant.

Mike Johansson
Posted on February 6th 2013 at 4:03PM

Good point - it likely means they didn't even read the material at the link before retweeting it!