The #1 Reason I’ll ‘Unfollow’ You on Twitter

I’ve seen a Twitter trend lately … and it’s been driving me crazy. You do this to me, expect an unfollow right away!

Wondering what it is?

Don’t follow me just to get a follow-back, then stop following me days later!

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened. And the individuals who do this, I’ve noticed, have a rather high “follower” count, with a rather low “following” count.

Twitter FAILHow do these con-artists work?

I’ll tell you:

  • They follow you. Since they have a decent following with a small number of “tweeps” they follow back, you automatically feel flattered. You must be special, in that case, right?
  • You naturally thank them with a follow-back.
  • A few days go by, and you notice they’ve refused to acknowledge you, even when you’ve re-tweeted or mentioned them.
  • After a week or two, you realize you’ve lost a follower. When you check, you realize they were the ones who left.

And this, my friends, is precisely how these individuals develop a great following, with a small “follower” count on Twitter. It’s rude, it’s crude. DON’T DO IT.

It’s the fastest way to get me to click “unfollow” and lose all respect for you. And I’m sure many others feel the same way, too.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST TWITTER PET PEEVE? What drives you bonkers, and will prompt an automatic “unfollow?” Comment below and add to the list!


Hi! I’m Shari. I’ve worked for more than 15 years as a professional writer, editor, and communications consultant. Follow my blog for more posts about writing tips, writing craft, how to make a living as a writer, and how to build your following as a writer.

18 responses to “The #1 Reason I’ll ‘Unfollow’ You on Twitter”

  1. Definitely a pet peeve. I googled your article to see how others handle it! As an inbound marketer I tend to run in to it more. The egos blow me away! By the way, I do call them out. Most actually apologize!! Say it was a “mistake”. So funny, I usally walk away from these people but I hope to let them know they’re being watched! Silly, I know. I like quality, not quantity.

    Bottom line is they’re not going to engage with me. They’re just looking for numbers to justify their self proclaimed title as “guru”. 🙂

    1. Thank you! And so sorry for such a late reply. I have actually been taking a “blogging break” and haven’t logged in to my account for several months. Awesome to know we’re on the same page! 🙂

  2. Yep, happens to me as well. I’m starting to think the whole Twitter thing was so last year. I’m kind of over all this social media BS anyways.

  3. yeah, this is common. they want to build their stats at your expense. tweepi was already mentioned, there’s also mr. unfollowr, qwitter, and a new one I’m checking in with right now called iUnfollow. You can also check in at tweeter karma. mr. unfollowr and qwitter email you occasionally with your quitters, makes it easy to keep track without much trouble. It’s annoying since I always follow back and then they unfollow a short time later. I think it’s happening on pinterest also, I just do a little on there. there’s only a mac app that keeps track of that, at least that I know of.

  4. This is a huge pet peeve of mine as well! It’s also one of the reasons that I don’t follow back automatically; I appreciate when people follow me, and I always take time (maybe once a week or so) to check out new followers’ profiles. If it looks like I’d be interested in what they’re tweeting, then I follow back. But I generally don’t agree with auto-follows because not everyone’s interested in the same thing, and not everyone’s on Twitter for the same reason. If I’m interested in following a chef’s tweets for their recipes, but they have absolutely no interest in writing (what I usually tweet about) then they really don’t have a reason to follow me. And that’s really okay with me. What bothers me isn’t someone NOT following me, it’s someone who doesn’t reply when I interact with them. I don’t expect a Thank You for every single RT, but if I tweet directly at someone in an attempt to make conversation, a reply is common courtesy 🙂

  5. I have really close-minded douchebags who unfollow me the minute I post something that isn’t it English,,, I have many followers who are Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, and so on. When I have conversations with these followers or RT something from them that is obviously in THEIR language, some followers taken offense to this and unfollow me! Why go on Twitter when you can’t respect the fact that it’s a GLOBALLY-USED service, not just made solely for English-speaking folks?l Some people need to broaden their horizons, seriously.

  6. I don’t notice that particular issue so much, though I’ve heard plenty of people discuss it. I have LOTS of things that make me unfollow. I guess I’m kind of a curmudgeon. They’re all listed here.

  7. Those who do not RT or even acknowledge when you RT them are the most frustrating for me. To me it is just rude. Oh…I’m about to RT you now. 🙂

  8. I agree with you totally, but I don’t have time to work them out! 😆

    I notice a lot of marketing types follow me, the “social media marketing gurus” and I usually don’t follow them back any more. I can’t afford their services! The ones that annoy me are the auto-tweeters. I must have read the same tweet 100 times from one particular person I follow and I don’t know why I haven’t unfollowed yet!

  9. I think it’s only happened to me a couple of times. I also know I’ve been unfollowed from people I want to follow so I usually give the benefit of the doubt.

  10. […] also found a similar post, “The #1 Reason I’ll Unfollow You on Twitter” Share […]

  11. KatherineBayless Avatar

    Have you ever received an e-mail notification of someone now following you only to discover that, when you click over to their page to see if you want to follow back, they’re no longer doing so? (You can tell whether they’re following you because there’s a little rectangle with “follows you” that appears next to their name.)

    The first couple times this happened, I said to myself, “Okay, I just took too long to get back to them and they don’t want to follow someone who doesn’t follow back.” But it’s even happened when I’ve gone to respond so someone just a day or two later! Bait and switch?

    I’ve tried not to jump to conclusions. Maybe they’re using one of the apps that dumps people who don’t follow back and they didn’t consider that there are some people who don’t live on Twitter 24/7. (It usually takes me a day or two to follow back, sometimes longer if I’m deep into my writing.) I’ll admit that I’ve been busy with my latest novel and haven’t been super active on Twitter lately, so I’ve tried not to take this unfollowing business personally. (Some days it’s easier than others.) 😉

  12. What bugs me the most (I never check to see who’s unfollowed me, but maybe I will now) are: 1) Those who don’t RT me, when I RT them tons of times, and tweet their blog posts, as well. It wouldn’t bother me, except that these people and I share similar topics, so our followers have similar interests; and

    2) Those who’re only interested in talking, not having a conversation. That is, like the folks you mention in this post, they want me to follow them (so they’re talking *at* me), but aren’t interested in following me (i.e., hearing what I have to say).

    Thanks for calling folks on this, Shari.

  13. I HATE this and have been seeing it since last year. This is truly my no. 1 pet peeve as well. Problem is that I often wait months to ‘clean up’ and ‘catch’ this behavior. We should start tweeting the offenders’ names :-)!

  14. My favorite is the ‘team follow back’ douchebags. 5000 followers, following 300. Oh yeah follow back, huh?

  15. So agree…only follow me if you like what you read…otherwise don’t bother…Such a waste..~mkg

  16. I agree with you! I use tweepi (free twitter app) to see who follows me and who isn’t following me. I can find out easily who is following me and who isn’t and when I find that someone who was following me is no longer doing it, I quickly and easily unfollow them just as easily. Thanks to tweepi, I have very few people that I follow who are not following me.

  17. This has happened to me too. Yuck.

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