5 reasons I will not follow/follow back

1.  All of their tweets are the same, same info, same links, even if it is a different person the tweet is addressed to.  For example: @Bob you have to see these great whatevers at this link @Jill you have to see these great whatevers at this link.  That is spam and as @ShellyKramer would say, “I will block and report you #thatisall” (By the way, check her out and follow her, she’s great.  She has given me good advice that I am really grateful for.)

2.  Their stream has no RT – indicates to me that they are just in it to say what they want, not to listen.  I enjoy the exchange and really like to see everyone sharing, if it doesn’t look like someone shares that perspective, I’m not interested.

3.  They have not tweeted in weeks or more and yet they just followed me – must be something automated somewhere.  How can we engage if someone isn’t tweeting?  However, if I can tell that they are somewhat new, I may follow anyway.  Some people need some time to listen and figure out how Twitter works before they are willing to put their 2cents in the mix.

4.  In the tweet stream that I can see, there is nothing that resonates with me.  Sometimes I will hit the “more” button, but usually it depends on their bio.  I definitely dig a little deeper on Fridays because when people do “Follow Friday” sometimes their whole stream is just #FFs and I want to see what else they have to say.

5.  I see something that offends me in their bio or tweet stream.  I really enjoy the exchange on twitter and like to interact with people who have different opinions than I, but if it’s people who are mad and venting 24/7… no thanks.

There is also one thing that will cause me to immediately unfollow.  If after I follow, I receive a DM that says send me a message, @ me, or connect with me on Facebook or Linked In.  One step at a time…

These are only my reasons, everyone has to do what works for them.  Really would like to know what causes you to not follow/follow back…thinking my next post will be why I follow…I have seen a lot of debate about both topics lately.  Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  Hope you have more to add to it!


About amberlcleveland

Entrepreneurial Marketing Professional who is passionate about Social Media and Social Good. My mantra is "endless possibilities."
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10 Responses to 5 reasons I will not follow/follow back

  1. Marc Seyon says:

    I very rarely follow people if the first page of their stream contains not a single interaction with someone else. Twitter style retweets, by themselves, don’t count as interaction to me.

    I discovered @TwitCleaner yesterday. Thought it was pretty cool the way they identify “potentially dodgy behaviour” which may include ‘nothing but links’ or ‘repeating the same urls’. I don’t consider these unfollow-worthy behaviours, but very interesting to see things you may not be aware you’re doing that may bug others.

    Right now the only behaviour that triggers an automatic unfollow for me is that TrueTwit verification crap.

  2. Chavah says:

    When a person only RT’s I hesitate to follow them.
    If someone say’s something derogatory about race/sexuality I unfollow.

  3. Wayne Howard says:

    Tend to check how many followers that person has. If they are following 10,000 people yet only 50 of them follow them, there might be something amiss. Of course I check to see if they are spam bots and the like also.

    I dunno, I usually follow real people back that follow me. Just seems courteous.

  4. Amber-

    Your reasons are spot on. I always look at a persons bio (does it read like a human or a marketer / spam machine) and read their last 20+ tweets for the same. I also don’t follow if they don’t have a picture in their avatar unless I know the individual personally and that they are a newbie. Sometimes I’ll wait a while and then check back and decide to follow if I see change. Have only unfollowed 2 people yet, but some are starting to tempt me ;). Guess that might be a subject for a future post.

    Great getting to know you via #smchat #smmeasure and your stream.


  5. @ambercleveland Amber – your reasons are spot on.  I always look at a persons bio (does it read like a human or marketer / spam machine) and read their last 20  tweets for the same.  I also don’t follow if they don’t have a picture I’m their avatar unless I know the individual personally and that they are a newbie.  Sometes I’ll wait a while  and the check back and decide to follow if they change.  Have unfollowed only 2 people so far, but confess a few are starting to tempt me…may be a subject for a future post 😉

    Great getting to know you via #smchat #smmeasure and your stream!


  6. Amber,

    Wonderful article. I’ve been pondering over a similar angle on the culture of mutual follows and auto-following, so I’m happy to read an article related to this train of thought.

    I use Twitter as a news feed of interests and information, as well as a network of professional connections. What people say day-to-day is important to how I learn and grow professionally. If a specific person’s timeline contains enough unique gems that add value for me, they aren’t too chatty, and they engage with their followers, then I follow them. If it’s too much personal jabbering (which, of course, is their right since it’s their channel), then no thanks.

    I never follow back simply to get more followers, and I never look back if I choose to unfollow someone when it doesn’t work out.

    Mike Zavarello (@brightmatrix)

  7. @MyAgenda says:

    Well said Amber! I take the same steps when following someone; I look at their stream, I see if they are engaging (very important to me) if they are RT, FF, replying, etc.

    Social Media is about building relationships, exchanging, sharing, and it’s a 2 way street!

    Sometimes you can follow someone, because you respect them, because you think you can learn from them and mainly (hopefully) because you share a common interest. However, soon after you follow and you start engaging and commenting on their post you notice that they don’t even acknowledge your presence, you wonder if this SM rock star is worth the follow! and if you unfollow; who is really missing out?

    I’m with you; “it’s all about engaging and sharing” not just about me, me , me..


  8. Alan Berkson says:

    Great list. I agree with all of your items. The first thing *I* look at is the BIO. No bio generally equals no follow. And I appreciate the creativity that goes into making a cool bio but at least make it comprehensible.

    Alan Berkson
    Intelligist Group

  9. OregonMJW says:

    I find I agree with the rational standards you set out, and will likely adopt them. I find that I mostly judge my initial follow on relevance to me, whether they have a reasonable follow/follower ratio, whether they have a relatively high tweet count (I like talky people too) and whether Twitter notes that other trusted followers also follow. That last one is be coming more important.

    I unfollow if someone turns into an RT machine, if the aren’t topical, interesting or funny (even if the don’t directly engage) or, the usual, they turn out to be jerks. 😀

  10. Pingback: » Auto-Following and Mutual Follows: A Circle of Obligation Tweeto Ergo Sum

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