Why People Unfollow on Twitter

unfollow twitterOn Friday 3rd June, I posted the following on my twitter page @DrJimHamill

What would make you want to ‘unfollow’ someone on #twitter? Will post results on our blog.

Over 50 people replied to the post, either on Twitter itself or on my Linkedin page. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to reply.

While my academic colleagues would argue that 50 is hardly a representative sample of Twitter users, the responses are very interesting nevertheless. The 20 comments listed below are representative of all those received.

Noise, advertising, spam, rudeness, lack of reciprocity, automated tweets, no engagement

I’ve only ever unfollowed 1 person; because she kept writing self-indulgent nonsense about herself

Also known as Wheaton’s Law !! (ps – I had to Google the meaning of this myself 🙂 JH)

Negativity, too many entries of irrelevant and wordy content, pushing sales too hard, superficial tweets

Repeated #FF’s – loads of them. Constantly plugging the same site/blog with no new information

Someone with a depressing personality. You’ll be surprised how many there are

Relevant and interesting RTs are great but constant RTs can be off-putting

Being sent a link to porn – which I unwittingly opened! (wasn’t nice!) (female respondent)

I think there’s a spectrum of unfollow starting with direct viagra marketing:-)

Offensive views, too much tweeting, asymmetric participation (ie dingying folk)

Bad language, self-congratulatory tweets (I unfollowed someone who mostly said amn’t I brilliant – v dull), rudeness to others

I’m always intrigued by this as it begs the question why follow so many people in the first place? Quality rather than quantity?

Terrible spelling, grammar and punctuation. Lots of lazy, news-scraping tweets. Unfocused ranting

Too many posts. When I’m on I want to read from more than just one person

Excessive and ‘boring’ tweets. Offensive comments

Over frequent, automated tweets and RTs of little relevance which are full of heavy sell!

Someone who posts too much – clogs up your timeline!

Tweeting loads of cxxx, tweeting too much, a non celeb who doesn’t follow back

Excessive tweeting; having no social conscience.

To deny irresponsible journos oxygen

While based on a very small sample of twitter users, there are important implications for all of us emerging from the above. I am away now to evaluate my own twitter activities based on the above 🙂 We will explore the implications for brands in a follow-up post.

As usual, feedback and comment are very welcome. What would make you want to ‘unfollow’ someone on Twitter?

Take care

Special thanks to the following who replied @paddimir @daviddwyer1 @vagelisgeo @BrianInkster @taxlawscotland @IronwoodSays @mbscollege @ValueAddBiz @vikram_sekhar @datasupplies @redEvelyn @samdounis @TonyByatt @blackadcopy @Why_SettlePaul @RussellImrie @cjconnor24

Also to those who replied through Linkedin.

Jim H

twitter unfollow

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