10 Reasons Why I Refuse to Follow You on Twitter

There are countless books and blogs about Twitter etiquette. Some say you should follow back everyone that follows you. Some say you follow only those with similar interests. Some say you should follow all potential clients or prospects. The list goes on and on. I have my own “formula” on who I follow and while it may not make sense to others, it works for me.

Who I choose to follow and why will be for a future post. This post is about why I WON’T follow certain people. If I really wanted to I could probably come up with a longer list, but here are the 10 main reasons why I won’t follow someone on Twitter.

1. The account is locked

UGH!!!! Seriously? How can you network on Twitter and meet new people if your account is locked? If I see that little gray lock, I bounce. If I miss it and click “Follow” only to see the “Pending” sign show up, I immediately unfollow. I don’t care if you have 10 followers or 10,000 followers. If you don’t want me to see your posts, don’t worry, I won’t because I’m not going to follow you.

2. The account has no Bio information

Who are you? Why are you here? What do you do? Twitter is real-time and I am running short on time. If you can’t tell me up front the answers to these questions, I am not going to take the time to find out myself.

3. The account Bio is ALL hashtags

Ok, if you have 5 or 6 hashtags, I may groan and let it slide. But if your entire bio is set up with keyword hashtags I’m not gonna stick around. It looks like all you care about is search results and that you’re too lazy to actually write a sentence. If all you care about is search results, do you really care about me? Don’t worry, I’m not sticking around long enough to find out.

4. There are no tweets for a long period of time

While this isn’t always a definitive “no follow”, it often is. I’m here to meet people, connect, and share information. If you’re not actively on Twitter, or if you’re lurking in the shadows but refusing to actually engage, you’re just not my kind of tweep.

5. The account only has 23 tweets

You could maybe use the excuse that the person just got on Twitter and if this is the case, I will give them a chance. However, you can often see that this is not the case. Either they are deleting tweets or they just don’t tweet. Either way, they aren’t interested in talking and sharing enough for me to want to follow back.

6. The account follows 1000’s but has only 100 followers

Red flag! Goodbye! With the frequency of follow backs and the ease of following, there is no good reason why you should be following 6753 and only have 87 followers (or any other equally lopsided ratio). You’re either a spammer or selling your account to those who buy followers. Either way, I’m doing just fine without you.

7. It’s a sales pitch

If you’re already trying to sell me something and I haven’t even followed you yet, we have a problem. I’m a former sales person and these tacky in-your-face attempts to make me buy your new software (or other product) makes me cringe. Good luck spamming the rest of the Twitterverse, you’re not going to get me.

8. The account is self-centered

If all you do is tweet your own posts, share your own links, and talk about yourself, get yourself a mirror because that is the only relationship you’re going to have. Twitter is an amazing way to share information but don’t use if selfishly.

9. The account tells me their Twitter stats

Seriously? Do I care how many new followers you have and how many people you unfollowed? NOPE! I do not. And if you’re going to blatantly advertise this (especially on a daily basis!), you and I are not going to get along. I don’t tell you my stats, because it’s none of your business, so please don’t tell me yours.

10. Claim to be an expert and make ANY of these mistakes

Just by claiming to be an expert makes me hesitant. But it’s not an automatic no follow. However, if you claim to be an expert and are guilty of ANY of the above listed items, have a nice day.


You may wonder how I ever follow anyone on Twitter with these rules. But I do, and I think I have a pretty good nest of folks. The best part about it is that I actually engage with my followers and I enjoy sharing information and conversations with them.

It’s also worth remembering that with more than 200 million active users currently on Twitter, there are plenty of people who are worth following. I will continue to be selective in who I follow on Twitter. If I haven’t followed you back and it’s important to you, send me a tweet (not a DM!) and ask me to. Taking initiative usually wins me over easily. 🙂

Do you have any other “rules” for not following someone on Twitter? Leave a comment and let me know! I look forward to hearing your reasons.


15 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Refuse to Follow You on Twitter

  1. Love the way you think and blog. Always direct and to the point. You’ve said some of the things that many of us think about but never articulate

    • Hi Michael. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Just so you know, I tweeted Joel your kind words. Hope you’ll continue to stop by here once in a while and read more posts!

  2. Love it – especially since your top ten is essentially mine! Especially like those accounts with 2,000 followers and 23 tweets. What?

    Great write Jennifer.

    • Thanks Christopher! Glad to know my reasoning is at least moderately accepted by others. And yeah, how do you only tweet 23 times?… Why do people follow you? Each tweet must be like a golden nugget if I’m hanging around waiting for your one tweet a month!
      Thanks for your comments and I enjoy the opportunity to connect on Twitter as well 🙂

  3. Pingback: Your Daily Blessing » Blog Archive » Sunday Inspiration: Awaken the Sleeper Within You

  4. I am new to Twitter so I probably make a lot of mistakes. Thanks for showing me some information so I can check out these people before automatically following them.

    • Hi Ann! And welcome to Twitter too 🙂 I’m glad you found these tips helpful. Best of luck as you continue to learn more about Twitter. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’ve followed you back on Twitter!

  5. Love it! Super easy to read, and great tips. Sadly there are many twitter accounts out there that aren’t doing very good with your list.

    • Thanks Sonja! Glad you enjoyed it. And yes, unfortunately there are a lot of people with poor Twitter etiquette. But, fortunately, there are plenty who do use it well and I just focus on connecting with them!

  6. All really good reasons not to follow someone. There’s not enough time in the day to deal with all the spam and sales pitches. I often clear out my feed and unfollow those that start to head toward any of your points listed.

    • Thanks Cathy! I couldn’t agree more 🙂 I actually just went through my Twitter list last week and purged over 200 accounts that weren’t doing me any good. It’s nice to keep my network a little tighter but knowing that they are all relevant connections.

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