The other day, I unfollowed someone on Twitter. At first glance, we appeared to have lots in common. He’s a writer, I’m a writer. I thought I could learn some new things from him.
But then election season hit.
It isn’t that I don’t like hearing opposing views. I have several friends on Twitter with whom I have “agreed to disagree.” But the thing is, we have an underlying respect for each other. We banter back and forth. And sometimes we even get each other to think in new ways.
When that happens, I am beyond excited.
But this guy’s tweets were so over the top, often with disgusting language, that I decided I didn’t need him in my stream. I may be in the minority, but I’m on Twitter to think, to learn and to help. It’s rare that I unfollow someone, but when I do, they have done one or more of these things.
1. They don’t care about community.
Whether it’s blogging or Twitter or Facebook, we are all in this thing together. And it’s all about helping each other out. If all your tweets are “me-centered,” if you don’t share and contribute useful things every once in a while, I don’t have a good reason to follow you.
2. They push out divisive, sensational or extremist political messages.
And if you are interested in selling your books or coaching programs or whatever, why would you want to do that? Why would you purposely alienate someone who might otherwise love your professional stuff—consume your blog posts, share your content, rave about you to others in their networks?
I do admit that I have had Occupy Wall Street discussions with people on Facebook and other platforms, but the value of that, if it’s done right, is that we begin to understand (and respect) each others’ positions. So it brings us closer together rather than building an immediate wall between us.
3. Our personal or social values clash.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a Twitter avatar that shows you sitting, smiling and holding your shotgun beside a dead deer you have just killed and propped up against a tree. You have every right to be a proud hunter, but just understand that some people may be offended.
4. They auto-direct message me with an ad the moment I follow them.
I do not want to interact with a robot. If you send me a canned message and immediately tell me that I should subscribe to your blog or Facebook page, I don’t see you as a human. And why would I want to subscribe to your blog if I don’t know you or your work yet? There are just a few steps missing in your marketing funnel.
5. They don’t take the time to get to know me before they offer me “free stuff.”
I got one DM on Twitter from someone who offered a free report on how to get people to my blog or website. Exactly the kind of stuff I helped people with in my own marketing business for 18 years. Not to mention that my 3.5 year-old blog is all about that.
What about you?
Do you ever unfollow people on social media?
Agree or disagree with me?
Do you have other reasons?