If you find yourself asking why your Twitter community is shrinking instead of expanding, you may need to examine your campaign strategy and make some simple adjustments. You’ve worked hard to build your following. Don’t let your audience slip away because you aren’t following through properly.
Many Twitter users periodically review the accounts of people they have followed, and unfollow those who are not providing value to their feed. And it’s good to trim the number of people you are following. You don’t want good content to be drowned out by nonsense, and it’s more preferable to have a higher ratio of followers to following.
If you are not managing your Twitter presence properly, you may be an easy target for the chopping block.
Here are some common reasons people are unfollowing you on Twitter, and what you can do to reverse course:
You Aren’t Posting Consistently:
There are few things on Twitter more unsatisfying than visiting someone’s profile page and seeing that no tweets have been posted for several weeks or months. What’s the point of following you if you have nothing to say? I realize that coming up with quality content day in and day out is a challenge, but it’s no excuse for giving your followers the silent treatment.
Solution: Once a week, create a set of tweets you want to share with your community, and then use a free online tool to schedule them in the coming days. Do this once a week, and you will improve your visibility while contributing relevant content to the Twitter community.
OR: Outsource, and get on with your important business activities. Take a look at how easy it is to have your custom tweets posted consistently – every day – without doing the hard work.
Your Content is Off-Brand, Off-Topic, Off-Putting, or Just Plain Offensive:
When people follow you, there is an expectation that you will be posting about certain topics or with a certain voice. If I am following a marketing guru, I expect to find a bulk of her tweets pertaining to marketing. Of course, there is room for “personality” tweets, but you want to stick to a logical posting formula. Veer too far from expectations, and you’ll lose followers in droves.
If you are using Twitter as a place to vent, express hostility, or mock others, don’t count on followers to stick around for long. And unless controversy is a core component of your brand, you will want to stay away from controversial topics, politics, and religion.
Solution: Scroll through the past month of your tweets. Are a majority of your tweets on-topic? Is the tone and voice of your content consistent with your brand? If not, scrap your current strategy and stay focused. Just as viewers of a comedy show would turn away if the program stopped being funny, so too will your followers if you continue to fail to deliver on your promised value.
You are Focused More on Selling than Informing, Helping, Or Entertaining:
One of the worst mistakes entrepreneurs make on Twitter is using Twitter as a 24/7 infomercial. The last thing your followers want to see is an endless stream of ads. “Buy this!” “Order now!” “Click here.” If this is you, stop immediately.
Solution: While it’s perfectly fine to gently guide your followers to your sales or product pages, your number one goal on Twitter is to provide content that is meaningful and value-based. Providing tips, guidance, or humor goes a long way to build trust and confidence among your following. And once you’ve laid a foundation of quality content, your followers will be more likely to accept a promotional tweet here and there. We are all used to the television model where we have 22 minutes of content and eight minutes of commercials. Just make sure your ads aren’t the bulk of your material. Examine your tweets to make sure you aren’t promoting too heavily.
You Don’t Engage:
When people are kind enough to retweet your content, do you acknowledge their efforts? A simple thank you goes a long way as a reward to a follower for sharing your content. A retweet, especially an enthusiastic one, is one of the best compliments you can receive on Twitter. The very least you can do is thank the follower for spreading your message. If you don’t, the chances of earning another retweet diminish significantly. Remember, ignore your followers, and they will go away.
Are you sharing others’ content? While it is important that you use Twitter to broadcast your message, it is equally important that you spread the content of people with aligned points of view. If you rarely or never retweet, favorite, or comment on others’ posts, then you are not truly participating in the spirit of the Twitter community. This could lead to some of your flock severing virtual ties with you.
Solution: When people show you kindness on Twitter, take a moment to acknowledge them with a “thank you.” If you wake up to a mountain of RTs, then it is perfectly acceptable to group several people into a single tweet, to let them know you appreciate their efforts. And don’t be shy when it comes to retweeting or favoriting the content of people you respect, just as long as the tweet is appropriate for your audience. Or better yet, visit the blogs of your followers and share their content directly to Twitter. People like interacting with users who actively engage.
Oh, and yes – it IS possible to outsource this part of your Twitter management also. Take a look at Ghost Tweeting’s Twitter Master program.
You Don’t Follow Back:
Are you supposed to follow back everyone who follows you? Certainly not; just be aware that many Twitter users regularly scan the list of people they are following to clean house. Those who are not following back are often the first to be unfollowed. There are many apps that help identify the people you are following who are not following you back, so it’s pretty simple to detect non-followers.
Solution: Regularly monitor your Twitter account and look at the profiles of your new followers. If they are providing value-rich content and are aligned with your brand, consider following them back.
It’s not always possible to figure out why someone unfollowed you; but if you are posting content consistently, providing value, staying on-brand, actively engaging, and following others, you will enjoy a high rate of follower retention.
Did I miss any major reasons that people unfollow? Please post in the comments below.