Top 5 reasons why I am not following you on Twitter

by Adrian Chira on April 7, 2011

Twitter UnfollowLast week I spent a lot of time analyzing my Twitter followers and here are some of the reasons I may not follow you:

1. You are still an egg. If you didn’t bother to change the default avatar (which is an egg) why should I bother following you. You just look like every other Twitter newbie. You should give me a reason to follow you, you should replace the fact that we didn’t met in person with a photo so, at least I can see how you look. For sure there a re a lot of creative ways to get an interesting avatar but at least have your own not the default one.

2. You don’t tweet. Well, I’m sure you have read something interesting today. Why don’t you share that great article with us? Why do you keep it secret? If you stay silent I may not see you so I cannot engage with you.

3. You spam. Browsing through your tweets I see just affiliate links to some obscure products and a lot of spam. Why should I follow you. I already get tons of spam in my inbox, I still get spam on Twitter (I try to report every one I get to make Twitter a better place), I don’t need more.

4. You protect your tweets. Twitter is a public space. If you want to say something private don’t put it on the web. Social media is about sharing ideas, content, photos, links. If you have your tweets protected why should I be tempted to follow you? And how I should assess if you are worth following? If you have something to say, say it loud.

5.  Your bio sucks. Well you either have no bio (you don’t bother to tell who you are and why you are worth following) or your bio is just your current job title. Frankly I don’t care where you work, as long as I don’t want a job at your company, but I care what are your interests, what are you good at and what makes you different so write your bio today.

Well these were my top 5 reasons for not following a person on twitter. What are yours?

Photo credits: topgold

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Henry April 8, 2011 at 5:40 am

Totally on point and I feel the same way. I’m guessing this is written for beginner Twitterers…? When you say top 5, I was expecting something a bit more intermediate: you have an inconsistent Twitter voice, you do not generate your own valuable content, your following to follower ratio is out of balance, and you auto-message me upon following. Maybe those would be #s 6-9?

Email me to potentially chat about some ideas.

Adrian Chira April 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi Henry,

Thanks for the comment. When I was thinking on top 5 I was thinking of the most common mistakes people are doing. Now with one person joining Twitter each second most of the users are still new to this medium and this is the reason why my top 5 are kind of beginner mistakes. I’ve still saw accounts having more than 1000 followers but the default avatar.
Thanks also for your tips. I will keep them in mind for another post.

Danielle Gehrmann May 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I agree with your 5 points, Adrian. In particular, the “bio sucks” one. For example: “follow me & I’ll follow you” – whatever. I guess different people have different reasons for being on Twitter.

Also, those who protect their tweets I don’t usually follow either. Twitter seems to me to be more egalitarian and liberal than Facebook – even more free, in a certain sense. For example, on Facebook, I only have ‘friends’ whom I personally know, whereas on Twitter, I have more people that I don’t know than do know. The two media have distinct functions in my life. So, most people’s Facebook pages are protected, Twitter pages aren’t usually and that’s fine. When I see someone with protected Tweets, I don’t bother following them. I think to my self that they are trying to be a bit different or precious or something…

I guess that’s their prerogative, but you & probably won’t be following them.

Susan Borst May 15, 2011 at 3:18 am

#6 And, NO, I do not need help “making tons of money on Twitter.” !!!!

Rob Beland May 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

Unfollowed many because on Christmas morning or Thanksgiving they are promoting their latest webinar or their new 3 bed 2 bath listing…take a day off from trying to sell me something…tell me how much your son likef his Wii or how cold it was at the Turkey Day Football classic…

Lori May 15, 2011 at 3:30 am

I don’t follow people who spend all day tweeting giveaways. If I had all day to enter contests, I wouldn’t have time to read stuff that’s really interesting. 🙂
And while I’m no angel, I generally stop following people who feel the need to drop the F-bomb on Twitter. I mean, use those 140 characters for something valuable, ya know?

Jean Gogolin May 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

In addition to your 5 reasons, I ignore invitations from people who follow 25,000 people and/or have interests completely different from mine.

Jean Gogolin May 15, 2011 at 5:03 am

hmmmm I have an avatar. But sometimes, as in the response I wrote above, it doesn’t appear. Tis a mystery.

Mark Frisk May 15, 2011 at 6:06 am

I tend to not follow back Twitter users whose tweetstreams are 100% links, with no evidence of any interaction with other users. A logo for an avatar and no personal name on display are also turn-offs.

Lisa May 15, 2011 at 6:12 am

What about the obvious you are just not that interested in their tweets. I tweet almost exclusively about autism, aba, and education however I follow social media, tech and photography tweeters. I wouldn’t expect a photographer to follow me back nor would I feel obligated to follow someone else back just because they followed me.

I had one women follow me, I didn’t follow her back, she then stopped following me and a month or so later followed me again. This person was only interested in herself and building her own following like it was a contest to see who could get the most followers. To that end I will also look to see who else a person is following before I follow them back.

Shannon Callarman May 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm

This is great! I enjoyed reading this. I think the worse is when someone has 1,000 of followers and under 10 tweets. I surely don’t want to be the 1,001 follower of absolutely nothing.

Jess May 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

My number one is that you have no bio. If you have not even bothered to tell me your main interests, you aren’t interesting. If you are still an egg, that’s annoying, but I figure you will sort that eventually. More importantly, I won’t follow a negative person: if all you do is complain, I’m nit interested. I have to battle enough negativity in my life without adding yours. I may choose not to follow you because your main interests are different from mine. For eg if you are a teacher interested in web 2.0 I will follow you, if you are an English teacher or interested in Shakespeare I will follow you. But if you are a teacher whose main interest is another curriculum area (eg science or maths, I probably won’t, it’s nothing personal, I am just keeping my twitter feed focussed on my professional interests.

Danielle Gehrmann September 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

In response to Andrea Spila’s above link to his post: “Crowdsourcing spietato, previdenza arraffona e microblogging efficace : European School of Translation”, there is another link that some might find useful in the vein of improving your twitter life:

Buona fortuna!

Vincent Wright February 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

I agree with each of your 5 points with exception of #4.

The public library is a pubic place but, my going there doesn’t mean that anyone with something to sell is free to accost me and abuse my presence while I’m at the library.

Currently, most of my Twitter accounts are private. (I have one for job seekers which is not private)

And though my primary Twitter account is private, I wrote this status update earlier today:

“Dear @Twitter: I don’t want to “Protect my Tweets”! I WANT TO PROTECT MY TWEET STREAM!!(PUBLIC TWEETS YES…but…*PROTECTED* TWEET STREAMS!)”

I later amplified that tweet a bit on my Twitterpated group on with this reference directly from Twitter when accounts are offered the opportunity to protect their tweets:

“Only let people whom you approve follow your Tweets. If this is checked, your future Tweets will not be available publicly. Tweets posted previously may still be publicly visible in some places.”

As demonstrated over the past 7 years of robust participation in social media, I’m open to publicly sharing a large variety of information publicly but, I’m just not that into offering my Twitter stream as a spam stream…


Lisa Neumann aka @Recovered Lisa March 12, 2012 at 8:43 pm

A beginner twitterer I am. Quite frankly, I appreciate your article. (Coming late to the conversation.) Honestly, I feel I have something to share. I want followers, but only people who are interested in what I’ve got to share. Numbers aren’t always what they appear. My “sharing” isn’t about advertising me. It’s about helping. Is this what our world has come to; everything about marketing? Whatever happened to helping and being of service to your fellow man? Numbers aren’t everything. You speak beautifully to that on your home page post.I’m okay to grow slow with an authentic following. Thanks for the sage advice. Lisa

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