I’ve been on Twitter for just over 2 years now. I had my account for well over a year before I actually got “into” it. For the longest time, I wasn’t really sure what it was all about or why anyone would Tweet. I’ve made a concerted effort over the past six months to learn more about Twitter and to engage others in conversations. It’s been a fabulous way to discover amazing work being done by people! I find Twitter to be a fountain of inspiration and great resources. There, however, a number of things that make me want to “unfollow” others…
1) Tweets that are trying to sell me stuff – all the time.
I don’t mind the occasional sales pitch now and then. But really, if there’s no content there and your tweets are just a barage of “buy my stuff!” it’s a turn-off.
2) Tweets that try to get me to your website – all the time.
Like a sales pitch, I can see that you’re trying to drive traffic to your website. Everyone wants website traffic. I’m OK with Tweets that share new blog posts or offer resources, but messages that just tell me to visit a website for no reason? Yawn… I’m more interested in real content. And there’s plenty of that on Twitter.
3) Tweets that are trying to get me to donate to your cause – all the time.
Much like the Tweets that try to sell me stuff, I get tired of the messages asking me to donate money. I follow a lot of non-profit organizations. I’ve worked with clients in the non-profit sector for the past decade. I believe in the causes of the organizations I follow… and I may already donate money to them. Really, I’m more interested in finding out about the good work you do… Share some success stories. Tell me about that latest grant you just got. Share a news article about something interesting in the non-profit sector or your particular cause.
4) If you follow me… and I follow you back… and then you promptly unfollow me.
Hello?! Do you think people don’t notice that you’re just trying to stack your following that way? If you’re really not interested in my tweets, that’s cool with me. It’s a personal choice that I reciprocate when people follow me. But stacking your followers, meh… Not a game I’m interested in. I will unfollow you back. 🙂
5) Direct messages (DMs) (especially the automated kind) trying to sell me you stuff or get me to your website.
Really? You think you can send me an automated direct message telling me to buy something and I’m really going to rush to your site and do that, just because you DMed me? If you think that, you’re DuMb… and annoying… and it makes me want to unfollow you for presuming I’m that gullible.
6) Foul language.
It’s not that I’m a prude. I’ve been known to make the air blue with my words on occasion. But there’s a time and a place. (You know, like when you get a flat tire in -40 Celcius and your cell phone battery is dead and you have no idea how to change a flat tire.) Twitter is not that place. Take your #%^&( foul language elsewhere.
7) Tweets that are you, pontificating. Incessantly.
There are a few people who can legitimately pontificate. The Pope. The Dalai Lama. But really, if you’re more or less just like me… I’ll probably like you more if you share other interesting stuff you find, too. I am interested in your opinions and what you have to say, but if all you ever Tweet about are your own pearls of wisdom, your own little sayings and your own bits of advice… I will probably lose interest at some point. If you never re-Tweet others or have conversations, you’re not really engaging… Though I do follow the Dalai Lama, overall, I’m not here to be a virtual disciple… Basically, if you’re interested in others, I’m more likely to find you interesting, too.
This post is dedicated to all my wonderful Tweeps… the ones who engage me, inspire me, feed my brain, make me laugh and make the Twitterverse a joy to be part of. You know who you are. 🙂
Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!
Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.