15 Top Ways to Get 'Unfollowed' on Twitter

We reveal the top reasons your followers are hitting the 'unfollow' button.
June 04, 2012

"Tweet and grow rich."

That's the advice from Steve Strauss, author of The Small Business Bible.

But more tweets definitely do not necessarily equal more money, suggests a new study. In fact, tweeting incessantly may lose you followers faster than you can gain them.

Econsultancy, a digital marketing company, has been running an online poll to pinpoint the major reasons for unfollowing people on Twitter.

Over-tweeters. "It would appear as if the worst crime you can commit as a Twitter user is to be too noisy," the study says, noting that 52 percent of respondents clicked the Unfollow button for a user who sent out too many tweets.

Incessant narcissism. Nearly half of those polled (48 percent) unfollowed someone because of too much self-promotion. How much is too much? If you think you may be guilty of too much, you probably are. A couple of specific complaints the study collected: "People who RT their #FFs" – for the non-Twitter-savvy (i.e., retweeting Follow Fridays). Also cited was, "Companies constantly retweeting every scrap of positive customer feedback they've received ever."

Posting too much spam. Some 47 percent of respondents cited this as the reason to Unfollow.

Not interesting enough. Here 43 percent jumped ship. Sounds like the tennis star Maria Sharapova was onto this when she told reporters at the French Open last week that her day-to-day schedule is too dull for Twitter. "Sometimes I get bored with myself. I mean everyday routine things like, for example, eating pasta in a restaurant. I don't think that the world should know or wants to know that I'm in a restaurant having dinner," she said. One rule of thumb: If it would bore your friends in real life, it will certainly bore your followers on Twitter.

Some other crimes against followers:

• Too much repetition (29 percent)

• Too much automation (29 percent)

• Offensive or unprofessional (28 percent)

• Too many "begging tweets" (28 percent)

• Too quiet (27 percent)

• Foursquare/check-in abusers (22 percent)

• No conversational tweets (21 percent)

• Bad grammar (18 percent)

• Too many retweets (17 percent)

• Auto/DM abuse (16 percent)

• Hashtag abusers, which the poll defined as those using too many ironic hashtags (10 percent)

Wondering which of these are your own biggest enemies? You can make a more educated guess by using analytic tools that let you measure the impact and effectiveness of your content. If you use a link shortener such as bit.ly, it offers analysis on click-throughs. Some other free options: Tweetstats, which will show a range of data, including the days and hours you tweet the most, what is retweeted, and who it is retweeting you. You can also track your Twitter use hourly on Twitter Counter and compare it to your competitors.

What are the biggest reasons why people unfollow you, and how has it changed your Tweeting? What, if any, analytics tools do you use?

Image by OPEN Forum, logo courtesy Twitter