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How to Lose Followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Like most people, every so often I like to clean up the list of people I follow on the various social networks. There are a number of reasons why I will unfollow someone, and as such I found I was curious about what made other people unfollow/remove someone from their social feeds. Do people have the same reasons to unfollow someone of Twitter that they do on Facebook for example?

I decided to find out...

What I discovered, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that there are many reasons why someone will stop following you and while you'll never be able to please everyone, there were some reasons that popped up regularly.

These are the "Top Twenty" reasons people gave me for dropping someone from their social network:

1. You’re too self-centered:
If all you do is make posts about what you're doing and what you're having for breakfast, expect people to tune out. Sure, we all make posts about ourselves but try to make them entertaining and interesting instead of crass and boring. @justdaj, @wlswoman and about twenty others all posted this.

2. Constant Self Promotion:
One of the quickest way to get yourself dropped is by treating social networks like it's nothing more than an advertisement for your brand/website/content etc. While people will accept some promotion, you also have to engage with people.

3. Status Flooding:
Right up at the top of the list comes status flooding, basically making rapid-fire posts in quick succession so all people see on their feeds and walls are your name and what you've been saying a lot.

4. Angry Ranting:
Also very high on the ways to get yourself dropped is posting a lot of angry status updates. Think about it, people would avoid you in "real life", so don't expect to be treated differently online. @waplord takes a slightly opposite approach and will unfollow you if you make him angry.

5. Offensive Posts and Loutish behaviour:
If you don't understand this one, then you should probably back away from your keyboard right now. @Shuntzy, @__WhipCream, @SHISymbol and @eskimummamosie are all in agreement that making bigoted, sexist, racists or trans/homophobic posts will get you dropped quicker than a red hot potato. Also in this category is loutish behaviour. Constantly telling people about how badly you can handle your drink or who you nearly get into a fight with makes people feel uncomfortable. It's easy to solve though, they just unfollow you and they don't feel uncomfortable any longer.

6. Follow me or I'll Unfollow You:
Two words, "Bye then". This should probably higher than sixth, and I'm sure @FeastAndGlory and @Fr3sh_geek would certainly agree. Following people *just* so that they follow you back is dumb, and even worse is threatening to unfollow someone unless you pretend to find them interesting.

7. Plastic Poster:
Otherwise known as fakes. If you're permanently in a great mood, and everything is brilliant, it can put people off. People like to see a good balance of posts from people they are interested in, being constantly upbeat comes across as fake and turns people off.

8. 110100101001 (You're a robot):
Autobot accounts don't keep many followers except other script bots. If you're going away on holiday, don't be tempted to leave a bot run your account while you're gone.

9. Scripted Direct Messages:
A specific issue for Twitter this one. Setting up a script to automatically Direct Message (DM) someone for following them or when they mention a key word is as good as blocking them directly. Auto DM people and wave goodbye to your followers. @StevenBlundell1

10. You’re just not entertaiining:
Not much to add here. Many people will simply stop following you because they have lost interest in what you're saying. @laurajmiller @AmberrMari. @ArtIsMyWeapon adds that if you make stupid or jealous comments then you're getting dumped.

11. How many of my friends will post this?:
@justdaj and many others really dislike people who post those silly guilt-trip posts on Facebook. You all know the ones I mean, they always end with something like "Only 3% of my friends will post this, will you?". For the record, these are one of my biggest peeves too.

12. You’re a Spam Monkey:
If you just post links to silly "get rich quick" schemes or fool proof ways to get more likes on your wall or Twitter followers you're going to be dropped.

13. Parroting / Posting Old News:
Chances are if you're online then you've already set up your news feeds. If someone else simply re-posts news which is hours or even days old, it's boring, Expect to be unfollowed if you never post new content.

14. Neglecting your Followers:
When you have thousands (or even tens of thousands) of followers it can be hard to keep up with all the mentions and messages you get, but it's important to engage with your followers or your be dropped. Even if you don't respond to every single post, at the very least you need to show you appreciate the people who follow you,

15. You post too much:
This is a tricky one and is different for everyone. In a nutshell though, if you post too much you are more likely to be unfollowed; @pdthelion, @BrandonWitt80, Karen Thomas (off of Facebook) and @LauraJMiller all agreed about this. @justdaj Goes one further and unfollows people who post too many photographs, particularly on Google+.

16. I'm Bored and My Life Sucks:
@joaniplenty and Haydn Wiltshire (on Facebook) along with quite a few others hate people who only ever post to complain. And who can blame them?, as Monie Love once sang, making people feel sorry for you does not make you a winner! (I think that's what she said).

17. All Links and no Content:
If you just post links and don't explain what they are people are going to think you're a bot and drop you.

18. You go on and on about Justin Bieber (or some other "celebrity of the day"):
If all you do is witter on about your favourite pop idol, especially if they are a particularly annoying one, expect to be unfollowed.

19. Excess Evangelism:
Sure we all like our gadgets and toys, but if you keep going on about your gadget of choice while flaming people for their choices then you're going to annoy people and get dropped.

20. They Have Too Many Followers:
Many people think social networks are like Pokémon. They treat it like a game and the number of followers as a high score. Some networks limit who you can follow vs. number of followers. Don't take it personally.

I was surprised and amused by the range of reasons people gave for unfollowing someone. I know I break a lot of these rules myself too, all the time in fact. I'm not going to change much though as I'm gaining followers regularly, so it seems to be working.

I think the bottom line is this. Remember that the people who read your posts are human beings. Treat with respect and remember that they can unfollow you in nothing more than a mouse click.

Finally, @CelestialSis1 wrote "Because sometimes you just need to let them go and be free"... deep man.

So there they are, the best ways to lose followers.