How To Get Unfollowed On Twitter

As a followup to her previous post on how to be someone that others will want to follow on Twitter - Jo-Lynne (follow her at @dcrmom) has put together a post on how to get UNFOLLOWED on Twitter.

If you’re reading this site, you already know the benefits of Twitter. And whether you are promoting a business or looking for social interaction, chances are you’d like to know how to get more followers and make Twitter more beneficial to you. We’ve all read plenty of posts on Twitter ettiquete. Here’s a list of things that are sure to get you UN-followed on Twitter.

1) Bore everyone to tears with your mundane account of your day. Let us know every time you complete a task, every bite of food you put in your mouth, and every time you visit the lavatory. They will be sure to unfollow you.

2) Clog the Twitterstream with what I like to call “Serial Twittering”. Reply to everyone who has been online in the past two hours and continue to converse back and forth even when your conversation has no purpose for anyone else. Link to every page open on your browser. You’ll be sure to lose a few followers that way.

3) Or you could take the opposite approach. Don’t bother to participate at all. Don’t respond to other tweets or answer questions. You’re far too important for those peons. Just link to your latest post and move along about your day. Wait. On second thought, there’s a robot to do that for you. Just set up that plugin and you’ll never have to bother logging in to Twitter again.

4) Now it’s time to go in for the kill. Set your robot to reply to new followers with a canned greeting. In fact! You can even set it to respond when your followers post their first tweet of the day! That’s the ticket! Your followers are dropping like flies now.

And there you have it — my best advice on how to get unfollowed on Twitter. You’re welcome.


  • January 26, 2009

    A cool little article, I must remember to do the exact opposite. I seem to be doing number 1, quite a lot. Must stop that.

  • January 26, 2009

    hehe. guilty.

  • January 26, 2009

    Haha! Nice list!

  • January 26, 2009

    Forget to add “Sending multiple DMs hawking crap you are selling in your crapy store.”

  • January 26, 2009

    yes, i noticed i lose followers any time i have a conversation. mostly it’s the followers who have no real interest in what my sites are about. ie. why would a web entrepreneur CEO marketing tech guy want to follow me when i obviously talk about shoes all day? that’s my community, and i make no apologies for that.

  • January 26, 2009

    That about sums it up perfectly. The top 4 reasons I unfollow (or choose not to follow at all).

    I’d like to add number 5 to the list. Tweet a few times a day thanking your latest followers for following you. Argh! I’ve seen some of the marketing people who are otherwise interesting go overboard and spend half their time thanking people publicly when they start following them. After a few days of this, I’ll have to say K THX BAI!

  • January 26, 2009

    I’d say
    #5 only ever talk about stuff you’re trying to promote. Because I blog about ecommerce-type stuff, I’ve been followed by a few people who want to talk about their blog and their podcast and their eBay training classes and their website and their Amazon sales and their Etsy store… you get the picture. It’s dull. Have a personality. If you only ever talked about work in real life, you’d turn people off; Twitter is no different.

  • January 26, 2009

    I know somebody who is almost never on who sets up the plug in to Tweet later. She sets it up to tweet every five to ten minutes, literally. I can tell she’s not there, bc she tweets the same thing every time, during any particular day! 99% of the time if not 100%, her tweets are her own posts! If you check her Twitter Grade, it’s 100! I have heard her on a few times, but not many. What a waste of twitter space!

  • January 26, 2009

    LOL! :-)

  • January 26, 2009

    Well, i guess it makes sense, I also must say that i started out following a few people who turned out to be serial tweeters and it is honestly the best way to get unfollowed, i would highly recommend it.

  • January 26, 2009

    First it’s odd to see 01.26.09 since it is the morning of the 25th here! I’m still waking up Sunday morning.

    I disagree a bit on the mundane details. It’s boring if it is ONLY “what am I doing right now” posts but there are people I follow purely because of their descriptions of what they are cooking that night. Beautiful descriptive language. Other people can make very ordinary tasks (usually involving children, coding or writing) sound hilarious.

    An interesting or clever writer can make taking out the trash into a comedy or drama. It’s what you are trying to communicate and your skill in doing so, not every Tweet has to be business-focused.

    I mainly unfollow people for the following reasons, 1) they stop following me (I get cut!), 2) they only tweet personal details, 3) they only tweet business-related talk, 4) they are looking for clients or beg for votes or followers, 5) they are belligerent and argumentative, constantly, 6) they either only retweet (no original material) or never retweet (share the spotlight) or 7) they “broadcast”, that is, only post about their activities, thoughts, opinions and never respond to tweets that are sent to them…they just talk, talk, talk and are not interested in having a conversation (a two-way street).

  • January 26, 2009

    Another great way is to constantly be obsessed with your followers count.

    Who gives a sh!t??? Enjoy and use Twitter for what it is, and stop being so darn obsessed with numbers. I unfollow anyone that tweets “I need X more followers to reach XX” or “Just got my XXX follower.” The worst offender is the guy who says “I just noticed that I reached XX followers…” Yeah right, you JUST NOTICED? You egotistical little worthless douchebag, you’ve been sitting there hitting refresh on your Twitter page for the last 3 days, just waiting to reach that number!

    Nothing worse than someone who likes to brag about their e-penis being larger than yours! Get a life…

    [ /end rant ]

  • January 26, 2009

    And the ones who send out one Tweet after another, all of which are total nonsense. Random “W00ts!” and “What a great day!”. And head-scratching ones like, “Why is that there?” (as if we’re supposed to see what he/she’s seeing). I got a whole page of those from one guy the other day, and dropped him like an old barfbag.

  • January 26, 2009

    Great list. I’ll add: Post 5-10 times a day that Pres. Obama is “ushering in a new era. Now, businesses can be ETHICAL. It’s a NEW DAY!!” (or, conversely) “Obama is the new Stalin. We’re headed for Communism for sure! Business is doomed!!”

    Unless your followers are following for your political gems of wisdom SHUT UP ABOUT POLITICS. Just like a brick-and-mortar business that puts a huge political sign in their window risks losing 50% of their customers, blabbering about your views MAY cause half of your followers to up and leave.

  • January 26, 2009

    I’d like to add another way to lose followers. Sometimes you may surprise your followers with content that they don’t expect. Or respect. I tweeted about Jon Bon Jovi and lost 4 followers. It’s challenging to stick to your main, core Twitter identity/persona since we are multi-faceted beings in real life.

  • January 26, 2009

    You got it right on all counts. I hate the canned responses the most, because I always check out someone’s website before I’ll start following them.

  • January 26, 2009

    I unfollow people who like to play DJ and post links to songs non-stop. I don’t really care what music you are listening to right at this moment. If you post Blip links all day, that isn’t a conversation.

  • January 26, 2009

    I agree with Jim, why can’t people be allowed to use Twitter for whatever they want, and why this obsession with followers. What happened to the fun?

  • January 26, 2009

    I guess I am sort of guilty of a few of these – but I just do what comes natural to me and it seems to work well enough. When I started sharing my political views a few people threatened to un-follow. I invited them to do just that and ended up with MORE followers. When things start to turn into a serial conversation do you suggest DM? I’ve been doing that more and more but some people attack me saying I should have those conversations “out in the open.” I usually interpret that to mean they want my larger number of followers to see their Twitter feed more often.

  • January 26, 2009

    I am thinking of another reason…if you follow me and then have no bio and lock your updates so I can’t even see what you tweet about! WHY would I follow you?!!!!

  • January 26, 2009
    Brian Ashenfelter

    I certainly get annoyed at the above behavior but what also gets me is incessant tweets begging for more followers. This usually follows the pattern: “Hey, I need only 16 more followers to reach 1,000. Let’s make it happen!”.

    Yes, most people want more followers but begging for them is tacky. Unfortunately, this method does work because there are so many people obsessed with numbers on Twitter and are more than willing to follower a twitter-begger in exchange for a reciprocal-follow.

  • January 26, 2009

    Number 2 happened to me today – although I didn’t unfollow. Yet. Seriously, it’s especially annoying when the tweets are just tit-for-tat regurgitations. Move it to DMs, people!

  • January 26, 2009

    White Out usually works for me, but I’ve heard others have had success with magnets.

  • January 26, 2009

    I also get the sense there is some auto-unfollow thing out there. I’ve been unfollowed by numerous people at a time after asking a right-wing conservative to clarify his statement about Obama, and also when I commented that I didn’t like Michelle Obama’s dress. In that tweet, I didn’t even mention her name. So I think there is either some auto-unfollow app, or that people are ultra sensitive and don’t want to hear opinions different then theres.

    The incessant thank yous, welcomes, and “I almost have x-amount of followers” are annoying as well

  • January 26, 2009

    This is my personal list of reasons why I unfollow people:

    1) Everything you listed above :)

    2) They are Republican ie: insulting Obama

  • January 26, 2009

    it would be really great if someone did a statistical analysis of these points by putting them into action on their own account. i unfollowed a guy the other day because he was always saying cocky things like ‘hey everyone new vid of me, sorry ladies, it’s not shirtless’. and he was a dorky marketing ‘guru’.

  • January 26, 2009

    Ha ha! Very funny post. Very true though.

  • January 26, 2009

    Don’t forget the infamous “Twit And Run”.

    When someone follows you, follow them back only to DM them some private question you want the answer to. Then, when you get the answer you want…WHAM…unfollow them.

    That’s a great way to get unfollowed.

    See also: The “Hollow Follow”: Following everyone looking for autofollows, only to unfollow them all as soon as it happens”.

  • January 26, 2009


    Ooops, sorry to say I’m guilty of No.4, (greeting message only) i do it because my time on twitter has been erratic and I feel a response is better than no response. Have to say apart from 1 irate dm i don’t appear to had much of a problem. But I’ll look at it now you mention it.


  • January 26, 2009

    i lost a follower when i tweeted:
    i ❤ muesli
    really… sometimes, you can’t win.

    i’ve been thinking about this…as i get more followers than lose them, but for a while i was feeling really sensitive every time i lost a follower. ‘what did i do?’ ‘what did i say?’

    there are a lot of reasons for unfollowing. a lot of times twitter accounts get shut down. and sometimes it’s just not personal, maybe they followed you in the first place not really knowing what you’re about? maybe… you don’t like them either….

    also, where’s the fun of twitter if you can’t have fun with it, if you can’t be yourself, if you can’t really use it because you’re so worried about offending people.

  • January 26, 2009

    @Richard Total fun and abandonment went out the window when marketing came to the Twitter door.

    @Jennine if you want to find out when people quit following you I would suggest using Qwitter. It is a nice tool that lets you know when you have been unfollowed.

    Like you I used to be sensitive to people unfollowing me, but that was when I had a hundred followers and was really working hard at being a Twitter Friend to lots of people. Then I said screw it. I gave up on all the niceties of the game and said what I pleased, replied to what I found interesting being said, and starting using twitter feed to pimp the things I wanted pimped. I promote my stumbles and diggs to some degree of success. I pimp my all my blog posts with their often colorful and controversial titles and equally delightful content. These are part of who I am, and I found that I get more followers than I lose this way. If I offend someone, so what! We don’t have a right to go through life unoffended, so be yourself and don’t worry if someone doesn’t follow you back or unfollows you.

  • January 26, 2009

    I just try to be cute. Have fun, and interact with PEOPLE is the best away of getting users.

    Advertising/Promoting, is not the point of twitter. By removing the concept of money and advertising
    you start to see the true value of Twitter. Making friends with people you never ever would meet, but yet have
    something in common. And it is much quicker to make friends on twitter then say in a forum, or in a chat group.

    I’m having fun, and everyone else on Twitter should as well.


  • January 26, 2009

    I’ve about lost my mind over the people tweeting who are begging for votes in the Shorty awards. I get a lot of these DM’s too. Immediate unfollow. I do not like to see contests like that falsely inflated. I’ve also been on a kick lately to unfollow those who are rabid in their political or religious views. I don’t mind sharing of ideas or opinions, but the perosnal attacks and such – immediate unfollow.

    I agree with a couple of the things you posted but I’ve flip flopped a bit about how I felt regarding conversations. I think there is value there – especially if somebody else jumps into the conversation :)

  • January 27, 2009

    I think the Fourth Listed option above is the best way to Get unfollowed Quick… It happened to me when I connected Twitter with friendfeed and here is the complete story:

  • January 27, 2009

    jajajajaj good one.

  • January 27, 2009

    Two hours of drunken tweets that were basically blonde jokes…told by a blonde! Oy.

  • January 27, 2009

    Great list. I recently read that there are two types of tweeps:
    1) Those who see Twitter as an online chat room for their friends — they’re the ones hitting @reply to everyone.
    2) Everyone else.

    There are some people I will unfollow the next time I see their tweets because they not only use Twitter as a chat room — isn’t that what Facebook is for? — but post way too many tweets, clogging the Twitterstream.

    I also agree with those who suggested that tweeps who only post about stuff they’re selling is another way to lose followers.

    It’s all right to reply to others’ tweets, but if that’s all you do, you probably don’t want others to follow you.

  • January 27, 2009

    Many times you follow people with all the good intentions in the world and you get a big silence by an answer. And then you see their followers count grow like mad and a tiny list of follow backs. For me that’s also a reason to unfollow someone. So sometimes it is not just something you said, a DM or an bunch of new post links. You can get yourself unfollowed when people get to see who you really are and what you are up to. It does not take many tweets for the truth to come out. I like your funny kamikaze list @dcrmom :)

  • January 28, 2009

    The problem is, anything can lose followers for a Twitter user. If you make a comment someone doesn’t like, they’ll stop following you. If they don’t want to hear what you have to say, they’ll stop following you. Truthfully, I don’t really see what it matters. If 200 people follow me or 20 people follow me, I’m there, doing what I do. People who like it will follow and stick around, people who don’t, won’t.

  • January 28, 2009

    Not a bad list, but once you get to several thousand people following you, and you have a full-time job (or two), I challenge anyone not to use auto-responses (#4) and to thank each person who follows them. Frankly, seeing tweet after public tweet thanking people by name for following them is a turnoff for me.

  • January 29, 2009

    Hey I would love for someone to email me or direct me to a link that answers this question: “Is it okay to message someone who unfollowed you to ask WHY?”

  • January 29, 2009

    @Julia Nope, can’t think of a good reason to ask. Just forget it and move on.

  • January 29, 2009

    @julia first off you can’t direct message someone who isn’t following you but you can send a reply and ask why

  • January 29, 2009

    Yeah Rufus I have to agree, probably better to just move on. I guess he just wasn’t that into me. Thanks Brad too!

  • January 29, 2009

    Thanks so much for this. Awesome advice. I’m still learning. Best, Mike

  • January 29, 2009

    FYI – I emailed three people that I liked that unfollowed me. I was nice, and asked why, and heard nothing back from two. The other just said “oops.” and re-followed me.

  • January 29, 2009

    Brian thanks for sharing that. Doesn’t it still drive you crazy wanting to know what you did to the other two that made them not only unfollow, but ignore your nice email for explaination.. ugh.. I guess I worry to much about stuff like that. :) Have a great night.

  • February 6, 2009

    I’m glad someone finally said it! I told friends a little while ago (a husband and wife) that they really needed to stop writing @ messages to each other about their dinner / shopping / housechores. I haven’t heard much from them since, on Twitter or in real life… hmmmm. :) Twitter politics!

  • February 7, 2009

    I disagree with the canned message when they follow I haven’t seen a drop off using this at least they know their follow was acknowledged. But hey if you don’t want to follow me DONT.

  • April 11, 2009
    Johny Follow Unfollow

    Interesting discussion. One DOES want to know the reason for an unfollow and I would not find it offensive to be asked why (I would answer “You posted too much for me to handle” or “I thought I would see a certain topic being discussed”).

    Remember that 9 out of 10 unfollows are from spammers who only wanted to get you to follow them in the first place. Others are people who followed you but you did not follow back and that miffed them.

    Although I would probably not get into the habit of bothering to ask much, it is interesting to note that the one person I asked did not answer me back (about 10 people have unfollowed me and this was one of two who were not spammers or miffed about me not following them). I found that was ruder not to answer than the unfollow. Some people fervently believe that humans don’t morally owe each other explanations for seeming to hurt their feelings. My request simply asked for advice on how not to get unfollowed. A person should be able to tactfully own-up to their public behavior if another cares about knowing (again, I am not recommending that anyone care).

    There are 3 scenarios here:

    1) Personal Twitter Microblog: This is where your feelings might get hurt but it should be no big deal. No real need to ask why there was an unfollow but it would be rude not to answer someone who asked why they were unfollowed (and not rude for them to ask why).

    2) Corporate Twitterer: Absolutely NO excuse to even ask why there was an unfollow.

    3) Political Twitterer: If you have a cause and a politician follows you and later unfollows you…or follows your opponent and won’t follow you, you have a legitimate reason to call that politician to account and/or ask others not to vote for them.

  • April 11, 2009

    Interesting – I had a bunch of people unfollow me for making a comment that revealed (as part of the tweet) that I was gay:

    “I had Big Jim and Big Josh as ‘action figures’ when I was a kid. *And* the camping set. I swear these made me gay.

    Kind of sad, but it’s to be expected of some.

  • June 14, 2009

    I have a big problem. I have no idea where my followers came from and what they are talking about. I would like to target people I follow but no clue how to do that. Is it just me here. Please direct me to the right resource. I would love to join the conversation of my followers but one thing I worry is that they are random followers. If we don’t have anything in common to talk about, it’s hard to talk isn’t it.

    PS: any college student reading it, love to connect with you.

  • December 28, 2009

    My main peeve is the follow/follow-back crowd. I get notifications of new followers and check their tweets, if they’re just churning numbers I’ll make their unfollow decision for them.

    If they appear to be cool, interesting, or in my field(s). I’ll follow.

    Quality over quantity

  • March 9, 2010

    And hence the reason I will never use any automated twitter apps. Although I am guilty of having a WP plugin that tweets my latest post. But I spend a lot of time on Twitter and interact a lot. Hopefully that redeems me for breaking the one rule.

  • April 20, 2010

    The truth is that there are dozens of tools that facilitate unfollowing and are an inevitable part of Twitter, and should not be taken personally. These tools are responsible for the majority of unfollowing, and it has very little to do with whether or not you have good tweets. These tools cause even the best tweeters to be unfollowed. For a cool post about how these tools work check out “The Truth about Unfollowing on Twitter” on my blog.



  • July 15, 2010

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.