10 Reasons Why I Won’t Follow You On Twitter

by Julie on June 2, 2009


Guest post by Michelle Minch

You may not care if I follow you or not. But in case you do, here are 10 reasons why I (and probably many others) won’t follow you on Twitter:

  1. You’ve protected your updates – This is a common new-to-Twitter mistake. Make sure you don’t have “protect my updates” checked when creating your profile. Sorry, I’m not going to ask for your permission to follow you.
  2. You haven’t created a profile. At the very least, tell us where you live and a small snippet about your interests. No profile = no follow.
  3. You don’t tweet. If you’re following 4,000 people and you have 3 updates (Tweets) that tells me you’re a taker, not a giver. I won’t follow someone who doesn’t contribute.
  4. Your “following” to “followed” ratio is skewed. If you’re following 2,500 people and you’re only being followed by 6, something is wrong. 2,494 people did advance research for me and found you lacking.
  5. You only follow women (and you’re a man). There’s nothing creepier than being followed by a male who is following 400 people and they’re all women. One word – stalker.
  6. Your tweets or profile contain phrases like “I got 10,000 Twitter followers in 6 hours. Ask me how”or “Want to earn $3,000 per week in your pajamas?” Don’t waste your time or mine. Thanks.
  7. Your tweets are in a language I don’t speak. It’s tough to engage if I can’t understand you.
  8. You tweet about religion or politics not my own. It’s your right to tweet whatever you want. It’s my right not to follow those I find tiresome or offensive. If you’re on Twitter for business networking you might want to rethink the whole “it’s my right” thing unless you only want to connect with people who have the same political/religious beliefs.
  9. Your tweets are only about you, your blog or product, and not about adding to the conversation. Your business partner may care. I don’t.
  10. You auto-followed me, your “thanks for following me” is automated or your tweets are auto-generated. I don’t follow robots.

What are your reasons for not following or unfollowing someone on Twitter?

Michelle Minch is a professional home stager and interior designer in Los Angeles. You can read what she writes at www.LosAngelesHomeStagingInfo.com.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ari Herzog June 2, 2009 at 9:53 am

Do you agree that each of those steps is open to be waived, or are those hard for you? Reason I ask is many news organizations–and politicians–fall under #9 and could be construed as relating only to themselves. @CNN does not add to any conversation, but plenty of people follow it to get the news.

So, by principle #9 alone, would you not follow CNN?

2 julie June 2, 2009 at 9:58 am

Ari – I can let Michelle answer this herself…but our audience here on Soc Media 101 is not CNN, it’s people who are beginners, ie. just learning about social media. That’s who she’s talking to and about – not a news outlet like CNN.

3 ron June 2, 2009 at 10:01 am

I’m not sure I get your confrontational attitude here. This site is about helping people, but to answer your question, and as Julie says Michelle can clearly speak for herself her, but I think you clearly miss the point. CNN provides a service. Promoting your Get Rich Quick Scheme? Not so much. I think you know there is a clear difference.


4 Christine PIlch June 2, 2009 at 11:04 am

Thanks for a great post, Michelle. Regarding #5, I once had a man follow me who was following only 5 other people…all women named, “Christine.” I blocked him so quick! Creepy!


5 Ari Herzog June 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

Confrontational? I asked a question which I’ll ask again: Are the 10 steps open to interpretation or is each a hard rule?

This is my first time visiting your blog; and yes, I saw it is marked to provide advice for social media beginners. I am as much as beginner as anyone else; new tools and programs are launched daily, and if I can’t continue to learn from people, then what’s the point?

Sorry you think I’m confrontational. To me, I asked a valid question. Sheesh.

6 Ron June 2, 2009 at 11:47 am

Sorry if I misinterpreted your questions (which I think I did). Again, I don’t want to answer for Michelle–I’m hoping she’ll respond later–but I don’t think any rules are meant to be hard and fast. You make decisions on whom to follow on a case by case basis and lots of factors come into play. I don’t think Michelle is sitting there with a check list for each person she follows. I’m sure it’s a general feel where these rules come into play and it’s usually a decision made very quickly. You can look at these as Michelle’s personal guidelines, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow her rules. I’m sure you have your own filtering systems about whom you want to follow or not.

Again my apologies if I misinterpreted your original comment.


7 Michelle Minch June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Ari: I follow CNN because they provide value in the form of breaking news. They aren’t trying to sell me something by hammering me with continuous ads. Their tweets aren’t about how CNN is the best thing since sliced bread. If a news organization provides information I find useful or interesting, I will follow them. #9 refers to people who only tweet things like “Need a plumber now? Check out my blog” or “My company is the best http://www…..com“, over and over again, with or without variation (no offense to plumbers, just an example).

These are my rules (and no, they aren’t hard and fast) – you don’t have to follow them or accept them. The point of this post was to let people who are totally new to Twitter know how they can engage more people on Twitter and thereby have a better Twitter experience.

8 Michelle Minch June 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Christine: That was creepy, but it made me laugh when I read it. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has that kind of experience.

9 Maiya Rose Benda June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm


Great article and I’d love to share the URL with my groups. Looks like a solid site, too – congratulations.

What is “missing” from your list for me, is an expanded #2 – no real picture (I want to know who I am conversing with – no offense, but not a picture of your baby or cat) OR a URL that says “joes auto rental” or “free gifts here” when your bio says you are a coach, healer, artist…hmmm.

I confess, I also unfollow folks who take themselves (and the world) too seriously – although I overlook the occasional “stern” day. I’m looking for a variety of humor, tips, solutions and conversations. Twitter for me is about learning, sharing AND getting to know some amazing folks.

Thank you for sparking some thoughts –

Blessings and Possibilities,
Maiya Rose

p.s. I confess I ignore most DM’s – people can email me easily enough from my sites if they really want to talk offline!

10 Gail Kent June 5, 2009 at 12:16 am

I really, really hate it when people put up a bunch of quotes from other people. It’s so impersonal. I will unfollow them in a minute. If they don’t have anything more creative to say on their own, I’m not interested in following them.

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