You follow me, I follow you back. Or vice versa. After a while you unfollow me.
Not because I spammed you or annoyed you. For other reasons.
I will unfollow you. No matter who you are.
Irrespective whether my reaction is right or wrong, what did you get? I was your potential customer. But you turned your back on me, so I did the same. How did your action help your Twitter marketing?
While not everyone will act like me, some people will do it. Ask yourself, what do you get by losing such prospects?
Unfollowing the people who don’t follow you back? It’s OK from a marketing perspective.
Unfollowing spammers, people who pissed you off, trouble makers or alike? Fine.
But unfollowing the other active tweeps … hmm … Nope, it’s not good for your marketing. Let’s analyze your reasons for unfollowing active followers and find better solutions …
Reason #1: Not Interested in My Tweets
Then why did you actually follow me? Why did you follow hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people? It wasn’t because you planned to read hundreds or thousands of tweets or articles daily, was it?
Aren’t you sick of hypocritical Twitter tips?
Your actual reason was that you hoped they would follow you back, maybe they’d read your tweets from time to time, click your links, and become your readers or customers.
So don’t talk about your interest in their tweets. Don’t fool yourself. Maybe you had certain interest in what some tens or maybe one hundred of tweeps tweet. Following the rest of people you follow wasn’t related to your interest in reading their tweets.
That’s marketing indeed. However, before unfollowing me for no real reason, consider the very next figure of speech that includes yet another marketing truth…
You sell shoes. I’m a math teacher. Isn’t it stupid to turn your back on me just because you’re not interested in math? You can still sell me your shoes, but you’ll always have to remember that you’re not the only one who sells shoes.
Reason #2: Too Many Tweets in Your Twitter Home Tab
That’s another lame excuse for unfollowing someone. Why are you reading the tweets from the Home tab?
Unless you follow only several people, your Home tab will always display tons of various tweets from various topics. Kind of mess. However the solution isn’t to unfollow almost everyone, but to segment the accounts you’re interested in.
That’s why Twitter Lists feature was created. Create lists for the topics you’re interested in, and add to these lists the relevant tweeps.
News, Customers, Subscribers, Friends, Gardening, and so on.
When you want to check let’s say the news, you go to the list News instead of going to the Home page and seeing the latest gardening tips you’re usually interested in but not at that very moment.
Isn’t it easier than unfollowing everyone and conveying a negative feeling such as “Not interested in you and your stuff. I only want you to buy my stuff”?
Reason #3: Getting Too Many Direct Messages
In the past, Twitter Messages tab was flooded with automatic Direct Messages most tweeps regarded as spam.
To solve this issue, some people stopped checking their DMs, other people unfollowed almost everyone (for example, in September 2011 Chris Brogan and Michael Hyatt unfollowed over 100k people each).
In the meantime, Twitter changed their Automation Rules:
You may not send unsolicited Direct Messages in a bulk or automated manner, and should be thoughtful about the frequency with which you contact users via Direct Message.
Twitter not only changed the rules but also warned the app owners to comply with them. Consequences? For example, Crowdfire – one of the main apps that flooded the inboxes with DMs – stopped the provision of their Auto DM feature in October 2017.
I don’t know whether you noticed it or not, but these days Twitter Messages tab is way much cleaner than before. The last spammy DM I got was one week ago ;)
Reason #4: Considering Not Engaged Followers As Dead Wood
Many marketers think that they can learn marketing from popular guys who aren’t marketers per se.
Without noticing their questionable approach, they spread dangerous ideas (half-truths actually) like wildfire: people buy from sellers they know and trust, social media is all about engagement (as if you can pay your bills using Twitter chit-chats, likes or retweets!), etc. And therefore the people who didn’t engage with you are nothing but dead wood.
So wrong! Actually unfollowing your followers who are active on Twitter but didn’t engage with you yet is just a marketing mistake.
Some people are shy, other people are busy, and so on. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that someone who didn’t visible engage with you or your content hasn’t read your articles or cannot become your customer.
These people aren’t dead wood. Get rid of such an idea, and if you’re a marketer then try to understand marketing rather than following a trend that is launched by people who have other goals than yours.
Reason #5: Looking for a Good “Followers vs Following” Ratio
Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) or other celebs have an awesome followers vs following ratio.
If you want a similar ratio, there’s only one real way to have it: be as awesome as they are, and people will follow you without expecting you to follow back.
Of course there’s the other way – fake it till you make it – follow, unfollow everyone, follow, unfollow everyone, and so on. You may get a great ratio (unless Twitter suspends your account!). And you may fool some people that will think that you’re an awesome person in your field. But that’s all, you won’t get anything big.
Instead of being a jerk, here’s an alternative: try to improve yourself every day. As for that Twitter ratio, unfollow only the accounts that are inactive and you’ll get a good ratio that will improve each and every month the natural way. Without losing prospects for no serious reason ;)
To Your Twitter Marketing Success,
P.S. Have you ever unfollowed active followers on Twitter? Why? After reading this article and assuming that you’re a marketer (this should include biz bloggers), will you still do it? Why?