How to Lose Followers and Influence Nobody on Twitter

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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

  • http://alexsteed.com/ Alex Steed

    "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."

    Spot on. Good one, @therichbrooks!

  • http://alexsteed.com/ Alex Steed

    "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."

    Spot on. Good one, @therichbrooks!

  • http://alexsteed.com/ Alex Steed

    "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."

    Spot on. Good one, @therichbrooks!

  • http://bobbbyg.tumblr.com/ Rob Gould

    Nice article Rich. Great examples of how not to get a devoted following on Twitter. Making mistakes along the way is certainly part of the process but I'm always amazed at people/companies that jump in head first with zero knowledge and strategies that are sure to offend potential followers. Thanks for posting. rg

  • http://bobbbyg.tumblr.com/ Rob Gould

    Nice article Rich. Great examples of how not to get a devoted following on Twitter. Making mistakes along the way is certainly part of the process but I'm always amazed at people/companies that jump in head first with zero knowledge and strategies that are sure to offend potential followers. Thanks for posting. rg

  • http://liajen.wordpress.com Jennifer Fong

    Great blog post! Too many people forget the basics, trying to hide behind their profiles, which is NOT the way to build relationships. I've linked to this post from my blog. Great work!

  • http://liajen.wordpress.com Jennifer Fong

    Great blog post! Too many people forget the basics, trying to hide behind their profiles, which is NOT the way to build relationships. I've linked to this post from my blog. Great work!

  • http://liajen.wordpress.com Jennifer Fong

    Great blog post! Too many people forget the basics, trying to hide behind their profiles, which is NOT the way to build relationships. I've linked to this post from my blog. Great work!

  • http://blogs.healthleadersmedia.com/marketshare/ Gienna Shaw

    Great list.

    How about: Make sure to send impersonal auto-DMs to those who follow you–and include at least three links to your own Web sites and/or products.

    Especially for brands, it is plain old common sense and courtesy to learn about a social community before you jump in.

  • http://blogs.healthleadersmedia.com/marketshare/ Gienna Shaw

    Great list.

    How about: Make sure to send impersonal auto-DMs to those who follow you–and include at least three links to your own Web sites and/or products.

    Especially for brands, it is plain old common sense and courtesy to learn about a social community before you jump in.

  • http://www.mhandy1.tumblr.com Mike Handy

    Love write in ALL CAPS… making you look crazy since 1996.

  • http://twitter.com/AnniBricca Anni Bricca

    Great list. My non-profit twitter acct (@BreastHealthOrg) and my twitter acct (@AnniBricca) started following a list of ’20 women to follow on Twitter’, as well as the author of said article. I wanted to see what they had to say as well as see how they would interact with their followers. Out of the list, 3 followed us and responded to my hello, as well as the author. Beyond the 3, one of the remaining 17 sent an auto-DM to both me and my org, of which neither me nor the org could respond to since she didn’t follow either of us, leaving me/us nonplussed.

    Since then, the remaining 17 women have simply flooded my feeds with talk about lattes & wine and how much they love each other – amongst themselves. It must be nice to be so connected but it leaves a follower absolutely nowhere. They don’t reach out to their followers and they don’t seem to have much in terms of original tweets for their followers. Several simply retweet the same retweets multiple times a day – yawn. I am following, exactly why?

    The ones who started following me, @delwilliams, @Holly_Hanna & @WendiMooreAgncy, are actually tweeting things other than wine & lattes, and the author of the article herself, @melissaonline, is interesting and enigmatic in her own right.

    While all 20 initially had my attention over the past week and I made it a point (quite a time investment) to read all their tweets to give it a fair shot, I am unfollowing those ‘influential women’ whose great work is not evident in their tweets & actions. I want to follow people who have worthwhile things to say and who can engage their followers.

  • http://profiles.google.com/keninkent Ken Kent

    How about an informational site for local businesses that decides to tweet about how the Speaker of the US House of Representatives wants to kill more Americans.

  • Endeavourguard2010-internet

    put people on public lists which mean your not actually following them your following the list and they cant DM you unless you follow them separately this makes me unfollow in a flash as it shows they are not interested in what you have to say or to follow you

  • 213 [T] | 5 [FB] | 1 [+1] | 99 [LI] | 0 [PT]
    http://www.flyteblog.com/flyte/2009/04/how-to-lose-followers-and-influence-nobody-on-twitter.html
    221 SHARES