How to Lose Followers and Influence Nobody on Twitter

For many people, racking up followers on Twitter isn't a goal. However, if you're using Twitter for business, chances are you want to increase the number of [quality] followers you have so that you'll have a wider reach, a bigger community to poll, and more resources to tap into.

There are plenty of resources out there on how to gain followers on Twitter. There are plenty of short sighted, borderline spammy methods, and some legitimate ones as well. (Note: self-serving link.)

But, let's talk about some sure-fire ways for you to lose followers, or at least how to keep from getting them in the first place. I've culled these gems from hundreds people on Twitter (Tweeple) who seem to think the answer to getting a square peg in a round hole is a bigger hammer.

It's important to understand that when you follow someone new, the knee-jerk response is for them to check your out Twitter page and see if you're follow-worthy. As an example, here's the Twitter page for Rich Brooks, and here's one for flyte new media. So if you're trying to keep people from following you, you want to start with your Twitter page.

On Twitter, as in life, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It's very difficult to get someone to follow you after the initial attempt.

Here's how to keep your followers few and far between.

  • Don't use your real name. I'm not talking about your twitter handle; often someone may have beaten you to the punch. For example, I'm therichbrooks, rather than just richbrooks. But, after you've secured your handle, make sure you don't use your real name so people will have no idea what you're talking about.
  • Don't tell people where you're from. I will invariably follow people from my home state of Maine. If they're from Maine but I don't know that, chances are they don't get followed. Also, "The Internet," "The World", and "Everywhere" may have once clever responses, but it's played out. "From Parts Unknown" is still funny, and will remain funny as long as professional wrestling appears on TV.
  • Don't include a URL where people can learn more. I mean, why would you want to drive qualified traffic to your Web site or blog?
  • Leave your bio blank. People love following people they don't know.
  • Default_profile_biggerDon't upload a photograph of you or your logo, depending on the purpose of your Twitter account. Nothing says Twitter power-user like the default avatar.
  • Follow 2,000 people before you even post a single tweet. There's no quicker way to show that you just don't get it.
  • Keep on following and unfollowing and refollowing people to get their attention. That just smacks of desperation. Maybe he's just not that into you?
  • Keep on tweeting your Web site or blog URL over and over again. That never gets old.
  • TWEET IN ALL CAPS! Making you look crazy since 1996.
  • Promise me untold riches while I sleep and/or without any hard work or promise to share your secrets for making millions on the Internet. 'Nuff said.

I'm sure if you've been on Twitter long enough you have your own suggestions on how to ward off potential friends, customers and partners. Feel free to leave them in the comments field.

Rich Brooks
Follow Me at Twitter for Untold Riches While You Sleep