Stop Getting Upset When You’re Unfollowed on Twitter…

twitterunfollowWhen you are new to social media, and specifically twitter, it’s all about gaining followers. The question begs, WHY are you following people and why are you gaining followers? Are you an author and wish to reach readers and other authors who will in turn do tweets for you to get messaging out? Are you an interviewer or reporter and want your words and messages heard? Are you a reader and want to tell people about the books you’re reading? Or, are you what we lovingly call a voyeur who simply reads the tweets of the people they’re interested in, never commenting or posting on their own? People on twitter will generally follow like-minded people and others will follow people because of what they’re posting.

No matter how people start following you, stop staring at your follow numbers and WORRYING ABOUT PEOPLE UNFOLLOWING YOU. Really, just stop. I used to check all the time. When I first started building my follow list, I’d be devastated and confused when I discovered people unfollowed me. I mean, why would they do this? “I’m not provocative, I’m funny. What did I do? Don’t they like me?” The reality is, they stopped following me for whatever reason they wanted. There are just so many things you can control in life, and other people’s actions are NOT one of them.

Want to hear the #1 Follow Rule on Twitter? Follow people who follow you or seek out new people to follow. Retweet people, comment on people’s tweets. Participate in twitter hashtag parties. It is the simplest and most direct way to gain new followers – and these are like minded people for the most part. That said, I still get unfollowed all the time. For this example, right now I just went to www.justunfollow.com and checked the recent amount of people who unfollowed me since I last checked, which was yesterday. In that time period four people have unfollowed me. It’s usually as high as twenty. EVERY ONE of these people are authors. I no longer get upset when I see this. But don’t think sometimes I’m not tempted to actually tweet an author and ask them WHY they unfollowed me. But that sounds a little “stalky creepy” and I’ve decided against that tactic. And don’t get me started if I discover I’ve been blocked. That ALWAYS freaks me out a little, but in an effort to stay sane, I let that go.

Now that I have over 26K followers, what is happening is many times people will follow me in order for me to follow them back. THEN they unfollow me. It’s a tactic they do to gain followers, but not have a high following count and a tactic they will do hoping I will do a tweet for them to my high follower list. It’s not nice and it’s sneaky and doesn’t sit well with me, but it is what it is. With justunfollow.com I now have the ability to see who just unfollowed me and I go and unfollow them right back. I don’t confront, I don’t retweet, I just do this non-passive aggressive thing and move on. NOW, that said, there are people who simply don’t follow others, and they have great content to share – so remember, YOU are in control of who you wish to follow at every moment.

Sometimes an unfollow is a mistake. I have had a few very good friends suddenly disappear from my lists. When that happens, I call them out on it and they are usually surprised. It really is only a simple click and someone is unfollowed.

So, I leave you with this. Stop worrying. You don’t know most of these people, you’ve never met most of these people, you’ve never interacted with most of these people. They are strangers. Stop worrying if they don’t follow you or unfollowed you. Return the “favor” and let it go. Then go follow 50 new people, commenting on a few great posts, find a few you haven’t supported in a while and retweet them, and then call it a day.

Life is way too short to be offended by people who you’ve never interacted with in the first place. My favorite phrase? “Don’t let it rent space in your head.” Post great comments and your peeps will find you. Or they won’t. It’s all good.

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16 thoughts on “Stop Getting Upset When You’re Unfollowed on Twitter…

  1. I follow all those who follow me and I unfollow those who unfollow me. I keep it simple. If I don’t interest you enough for you to stay, obviously we have little in common and we both should move on. So far, the only ones I have seemed to have unfollowed are those who are trying for head count records (or some such crap) and I figure I’ve gained because I now no longer have to endure their endless buy follower ads. Besides, why do I want to buy 5k followers from them when they only have 2 or 3 hundred of their own? I figure they should invest in their own “business” before hawking it elsewhere.

  2. I also find that Twitter unfollows accounts all by itself. I don’t know how or why, but I find, when I check my list of “Following,” that people I thought I’d been following for months are now gone.

  3. I appreciate this post. I recently discovered justunfollow and found it to be helpful in a way that is productive for me. I simply don’t follow people who aren’t following me. However, I have learned that twitter is more about a tribe. It’s about having something worth saying and other people wanting to share it. I struggle with people I personally know that I follow, who don’t follow me back. How do you handle that?

    • Definitely about a tribe – I totally agree – and I use my lists that way – to follow groups of people. Now there are people that don’t follow me back (no matter if I go and tweet them too). I have a choice. If I like their content, well, I just keep them on my list and move on. If I don’t and they won’t support me back? I let them go.

  4. Thank you for your entry. I do get upset when people unfollow me, and you’re right that I should calm down and relax into the social experience. It’s not personal. I followback people who converse, so I lose a lot of people quickly even as I gain more. I’m not sure what that will mean for me on Twitter in the long run, but I get frustrated when people just use Twitter to commercialize impassively instead of to engage fully.

    • I agree Jess, but eventually what you really want are people that care about what you put out there, are interested in what you’re writing, or are genuine people, so really, don’t stress. It can make you crazy if you worry about someone you don’t even know and even TRY to rationalize their actions.

  5. You are spot on about the unfollowers on twitter. I’ve seen the same people follow and unfollow me over and over again. But I always unfollow right back. Great post.

  6. First, impressed you have 26K followers – would love something near that myself. Second, totally agree about unfollowers. I don’t even look at the unfollows now, I literally have no interest in it anymore. Great post.

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