5 Reasons Why You Lost Followers on Twitter

Joel Szymanski
Posted by Joel Szymanski on July 11, 2014


Sometimes people make the extra effort (as energy-exerting as it is) to Unfollow a Twitter account. Surely we’ve all gotten annoyed by one thing or another that we see while scrolling through our Twitter feeds and decide to act on the lingering urge to end the relationship.

If you or your business has had this happen to you, make sure you stop doing the following 5 unattractive things on Twitter. 

1. Unattractive Profile

As Twitter has been updating the profile layout (which is a huge upgrade from the previous one), your profile and header photos are getting less attractive. Twitter’s recommended profile photo size is 400 x 400 pixels while the header photo has a recommended size of 1500 x 500 pixels. Thankfully this is a quick, and relatively simple, fix to reduce the number of unfollows you might be experiencing.

Sizes of these photos are relevant, but as an inbound marketer we’re always thinking about content. Make sure the pictures you’re using are relevant to your business. A profile picture is perfect for a company logo or icon while the header photo is an effective display to target towards the interest of your personas or communicate who you are as a business.

2. “Spammy” Direct Messages

Marketing automation is positively powerful… if it’s used in the correct manner. However, sending an automatic message to new followers such as “Thanks for Following us. Please ‘Like’ us on Facebook, too.” begins to look like a plea for help.

Consider the number of times Twitter accounts have been hacked and you have received spammy message you know you shouldn’t click on. Sending these messages has quite the similar feeling.

A better way to thank someone for following you, while still being strategic, might be a personalized mention or simply following them back to show you’re engaged and interested in creating a relationship with them.

3. No Original Content

Retweeting can be a beneficial way to produce social content while helping to promote others’ content. On the other hand, it can start to hinder your follower count if it’s the single way you’re producing content.

You want to be seen as a thought leader. Show your followers that you send crafty Tweets while still promoting quality content. If there’s a good article you see has been promoted on Twitter, then create a new Tweet to share the link. Include your own content for the Tweet and mention what account is linked to the content. Provide credit where credit is due by putting a “via @xyzcompany” to replace the need to Retweet.

4. Lacking Human Character

Promoting content on Twitter, and all social media channels, is essential in order for your followers to see it. As much as followers love to see the great content you have to offer, they also love to see that your business is “human.” Don’t be afraid to post about what’s happening in the office that day. Interact with your followers so they know your account isn’t just an automated content-producing machine.

Using this “human” aspect across your channels should be an important part of your social media strategy. Monitor your Twitter account with tools such as Social Inbox (part of HubSpot) or HootSuite by creating a stream of mentions. This will encourage followers to interact with your business and add value to their social experience, keeping them as your follower.

5. Cross-Platform Content Posting

It might be tempting to use programs that will post across all of your social media platforms at the same time and with the same text because it’s a quick and easy way to promote your content. This begins to appear over-automated as social media users venture back and forth between accounts.

Think about a follower who’s looking at their Twitter feed from the past hour and sees your most recent post. They then venture over to Facebook where the exact same post is, and on to Instagram, and finally ending up on Google+. This user just saw four identical posts from your company, possibly within minutes. Create a strategy with your social media posting to avoid this from happening. Target specific audiences on each platform and customize the content accordingly.


My best advice to social media account managers who want to reduce the number of unfollows on Twitter is to put yourself in the followers’ shoes. Don’t create Twitter habits that would cause you to click the unfollow button.

To make sure you’re optimizing all of your social media channels, check out our “Social Media Optimization Playbook”!

            Learn the proper Twitter etiquette for businesses     

Topics: Social Media

click here to take the state of industrial sales and marketing survey