Losing Twitter Followers? Here’s 13 Possible Reasons Why… Marketing

By Jasmine Jaume on Feburary 28th 2013

So you have been building your presence and gained a moderate following. And yet, you find that you are losing Twitter followers, or those that follow you quickly unfollow shortly afterwards. Why?

Well, the odd unfollow is normal; people change their minds about things all the time, and who they’re following on Twitter is no different. But if you find that you are losing Twitter followers more than you would like, consider whether you are committing some of the sins below:

1. You aren’t tweeting about what you said you would

If in your bio it says ‘tweets about finance and business’, but your actual tweets are about cupcakes and what you ate for breakfast, then don’t be surprised when new followers quickly leave once they see your tweets in their timeline. Of course, the odd personal or off-topic tweet is fine; but don’t advertise yourself as something you’re not.


2. You’re arguing too much

Reading other people’s arguments over Twitter is, frankly, tedious. No one wants to engage with someone who will argue with anyone and everyone just for the sake of it. Try to keep your argumentative tendencies at bay; discussion is always welcome, but aggressive or constant arguments are not.

3. You never respond

If you never engage with any of your followers, then they are likely to give up on you. They might think you’re not real, or just get fed up of making an effort with you and getting nothing in return. If you don’t talk to your followers, they won’t build a relationship with you, and are therefore less likely to hesitate when hovering over the unfollow button.

4. You publicise one-on-one conversations


If you are a serial abuser of the . before @names when you are having one-on-one conversations with another tweeter: shame on you. Your conversation is meaningless to the majority of people following you. They don’t want their feed filled with your comments to each other: @ conversations deliberately don’t show up in feeds for a reason. Leave the . alone.

5. You don’t tweet, you retweet

There may be some exceptions to this (such as very specialist curation accounts) but, generally, tweeters who only ever retweet others rather than tweet their own original content are a bit of a turn off. People follow you because they want to hear what you have to say. Only retweeting is lazy. Get your writing caps on.

6. You are too promotional

We all know by now that Twitter is not just for broadcasting your sales messages. If you are a business don’t spam your followers with loads of ‘Buy our new…’ or similar messages. They don’t want to read it and will quickly unfollow you.

The odd message is fine, but combine it with interesting content that provides some value to your followers. And if you are an individual, constant tweets about competition entries and promotions are just as meaningless and annoying.

7. Your frequency is all wrong

Losing twitter followers

If you’re tweeting too little, when people are having a ‘following’ clear out, they’ll forget who you are or why they followed you in the first place, and you’ll quickly be taken off that list.

Tweet too often and you just fill your followers’ feeds with your messages, drowning out the rest of their followers; probably not what they want. So, keep it to a moderate level (and anyway, haven’t you got something better to be doing?)

8. You change your avatar too much

If you constantly change your avatar, your followers will find it difficult to recognise you when you come up in your feed. Again, they may forget who you are and why they followed you, prompting a click on the ‘unfollow’ button.

9. You’re just a bit, well, annoying

If your content is all about how amazing you are for only eating salad every day, or constant photos of your dog, or your really strong views on something controversial (politics/religion/sexuality etc) then don’t be surprised if some of your followers find your tweets unfavourable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tweet about those things (we’re all for being yourself and all that), but just be aware that they might mean your audience is, well, more niche.

10. You’re not in team follow back

If this is the case, good for you.This one’s not really your fault. Lots of people will follow others in the hope of a follow back, in order to increase their own stats. If you don’t follow them back, they may just unfollow you. And if you DO follow back, they might still unfollow you, because they got what they wanted and aren’t really interested in you. Sorry. There’s not much you can do about this other than leave those on the hunt for a, like, totally awesome massive (irrelevant) following to it. Be the bigger man (or woman) and ignore them.

11. You #use #too #many #hashtags

Filling your tweets with a billion hashtags is just irritating and makes the actual point of your tweet hard to read. The same goes for including lots of @names. The answer is simple: #stop #using #loads #of #hashtags.

12. Bad grammar/spelling

There is no excuse for bad grammar or spelling. It’s often laziness, which is not exactly enticing. If you can’t be bothered to write properly, then why should anyone bother to read your tweets. Having trouble? Use a spellchecker.

13. You’re too needy

If you are constantly asking people to retweet/share your stuff or follow you (not just now and again, we mean all the time) then don’t be surprised if instead of doing that, your followers ditch you instead. If your content is worth sharing, people will do so, so focus on making your tweets worthy instead.

Are there any other things tweeters do that make you likely to unfollow them? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us – @brandwatch.

  • Mark Shaw

    Whilst I agree with all of the 13 reasons why you will lose followers, you have missed one huge one.. Most people will unfollow you simply because you did not not follow them back… They did not stop following you because of what you said, as frankly they are not reading any of it…



  • Brandwatch

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for reading the post and taking time to comment.

    This is pretty much covered under point 10 – the point that people will follow in the hope of a follow back, and then unfollow if you don’t. But yes, perhaps it should have been covered in its own section!



  • Thanks for the reminder Jasmine. Social media is considered by most as fertile ground for generating potential leads, branding, marketing and advertising. Twitter is one of the big players in the social media world. You really need to learn tactics to get the best out of it. Twitter won’t work for you if you don’t engage to your followers. Usually people follow you because you are able to supply them with contents that are helpful and relevant to theirs. So let us not waste our precious time in doing things that are not effective and efficient. It’s time to shift to one’s that deliver great results.

    Happy marketing:)

  • Found this post because I lost like 75 followers in a day … maybe I was tweeting too much :( oh well.

  • Anderson Crispim

    All good, thanks for the advice, however, I am loosing 100’s of followers a day and I think this might be more ‘technical’. I just dont know how to go about solving it. I try to follow pretty much all the ‘genuine’ followers and still loosing numbers.

  • Brandwatch

    Ah that’s not good! If you think it really is something technical, you could try contacting Twitter support – https://support.twitter.com// Without knowing your entire history/situation on Twitter it’s difficult to advise! Good luck :)

  • Fiona Gregory

    Well I do not care. 69 followers looks a bit more risque than 72 anyway.

  • Fiona Gregory

    Yes I DO like my own comments. Otherwise I would not type them.

  • Fiona Gregory

    I have nothing to sell. I am just very good at typing, spelling and so on.

  • Fiona Gregory

    No, no, no. Losing numbers, not loosing them.

  • Fiona Gregory

    You lost 75 followers a day, or similar to 75? No need to put like in every sentence unless you are a young student type of course, then it is essential.

  • Fiona Gregory

    There’s nowt so queer as folk as they say up north (England of course).

  • Alkomb

    What about banned Twitter accounts, though?:o

  • Jeanne R.

    I lose Twitter followers when I don’t follow back “follow” to naked ladies. Be aware of unwanted attention.

  • Hamdi Sufi

    Don’t care, you lose some and you gain some…