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How to Lose Followers and Alienate People

This guest post is by Lianne Froggatt of Yes Gifts, UK.

Managing an unsuccessful social media profile is a time-consuming task that requires your undivided attention and dedication. Encouraging so much animosity around your profiles takes time, patience and, most of all, an incessant desire to anger every person who ever had the misfortune to hit that Follow button.

So, do you want to make your customers and friends hate your every status update? Look no further!

Lose followers and alienate people on Twitter

  • Tweet in batches of six or seven when 140 characters just isn’t enough.
  • Tweet quotes from philosophers—you can rebrand yourself as a genius! Sophie’s World will do if you don’t know of any actual philosophers.
  • Tell people about your miserable breakup. It shows the world you have a heart.
  • Retweet profound quotes from celebrities. This will make you seem both cool and smart—a double-win.
  • Make sure to reply to anyone who tweets about you or your work with a friendly “Thanks for sharing!”
  • Tweet in different languages. This will show how linguistically diverse you are.
  • Retweet ten things in a row. It will show your followers you really care about what they have to say.
  • Make offensive jokes. You want to appear edgy—this will give you an extra dimension.
  • Use an animated avatar. This totally makes you stand out from the crowd. So 2012!
  • Follow people with “#teamfollowback” in their bio. Another valuable follower guaranteed!
  • Say goodnight to your followers. And good morning. And Happy Tuesday.
  • Name and shame people that unfollow you. Your other followers won’t dare to cross you.
  • Reply to tweets by major celebs. Onlookers will think you are actually friends with them! Sneaky.
  • Tweet your favourite song lyrics. You may attract other fans!

Lose followers and alienate people on Facebook

  • Hook up your Twitter feed to your Facebook account, and every time you tweet, this will be posted as a Facebook status update. This ensures everyone, everywhere constantly know what’s going on in your life.
  • Like every status you post. People will be more inclined to pay attention to your witty nature.
  • Encourage as many likes as possible without considering their relevance to anyone; it’s quantity not quality that matters!
  • Post ambiguous status updates. This will make you seem aloof and intriguing—after all, who can refrain from commenting on a sad face? Attention guaranteed!
  • Never keep your statuses brief and to the point. If people don’t know the whole story how can you possible achieve those all-important likes? (Unless you are posting an elusive ambiguous status—in that case, short is fine.)
  • Post all the time! Remember, if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen, so everything from you breakfast to your bowel movements must be documented … and quickly.
  • POST IN CAPITAL LETTERS. THIS IS EYE-CATCHING AND IN NO WAY LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING.
  • Tag every horrendous photo you find. Whether this be your friends, or your clients at conferences, everyone loves to have their comedy “ugly” shots broadcast to the world.
  • Show that you care. If a friend changes their relationship status to single, post reassuring comments like, “It’s okay babe, he wasn’t good enough for you anyway.”
  • Don’t use your real name—this way, only people who are in the know can find you on Facebook. To be totally hip and groovy, use a comedic pseudonym.
  • Use plenty of apps that post updates direct to your timeline. They will allow you to show off your achievements to the world in all their glory: how far you ran, how much weight you lost, how many Number 1 singles from the 80s you can name, how many cows you own on FarmVille…
  • Sign up for automated sharing on music websites like Spotify: this way, every song you ever listen to will be shared with the world. Uber-cool.

Lose followers and alienate people on Pinterest

  • Only post pictures of your own products. These are your boards, they should all be about you.
  • Make sure your followers’ boards are filled with your pins by having a half an hour pinning blitz. Every day.
  • Don’t participate in the Pinterest community. People will surely find you due to your fabulous pinning abilities.
  • Only ever repin images from others’ boards. You will be seen as engaged and interesting and it alleviates the bother of having to find unique content yourself. Phew.
  • If you do pin your own content, just get stuff from Google images. It’s easy to find and it doesn’t matter where it came from.
  • Target all your pins at men. It’s a male-dominated platform, right?
  • Pin lots of infographics. Most “normal” people haven’t heard of them yet, so you will definitely be considered cutting-edge by pinning every infographic you have ever seen.
  • Make sure the infographics you pin are very long, enabling you to take up at least half of your followers’ pages as they scroll down in an attempt to get past it. Ultimate exposure!
  • Your Pinterest boards must look full at all times, and that’s about the quantity of images you have up there. Don’t get overly concerned with quality.
  • Never credit anyone for anything that you pin. That’s definitely not an issue on Pinterest.
  • Get involved with every argument you see on pins. This is the time to let your opinion shine, and even if you are the 100th commenter, you can be sure that people are desperate to hear your insightful opinion.

So there you have it, the ultimate way to make your social media marketing a horrifying failure.

I am always looking for new ways to lose friends and/or followers, so if you have any other suggestions, please post them in the comments below.

N.B. Just to reiterate, in no way do I actually advocate this advice. In fact stop. Reverse it. There you go!

Lianne Froggatt is Digital Communications Manager at Yes Gifts, UK promotional products specialist. She would love any feedback, advice or comments, you might have so find her on Twitter @LianneCai, hopefully not following her own advice!

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Comments

  1. Khaled Allen says:

    I thought it was good form to thank people for RTs and shares on Twitter. Was I mistaken? My followers seem to appreciate it, and I appreciate it when others thank me. I don’t expect or do it all the time, but when I can, I show my appreciation for someone introducing me to their followers. Am I missing something?

    • @Khaled – It’s OK to thank others via Twitter, but not necessary – especially not for every RT and/or mention. And it’s best to spread out the thanks over time.

      • Hi Guys, yes that’s exactly what I meant Ashley, not showing thanks in general but when the entire stream is filled up with ‘thanks for sharing!’ :)

  2. Terry Myers says:

    Sadly I think we’re all guilty of doing some of these on occasion. I know I am — both on personal and professional accounts.

  3. Twitter and/or Facebook – Tweet or post every morning about how much you need coffee, as though you’re the only person in the world that needs caffeine to function.

  4. But I thought it was nice to say thank you to someone who is following you? No? Clutters up the feed? How do we say thank you then? LOVE the other stuff, though! It’s very helpful for a newbie like me.

    • I hate the automated thank you…a genuine, original one is better for me, even if it’s brief. I feel like I’m being sold something, actually I’m sure I have been offered a product in one of those automated messages…I just clicked follow….can we warm up to the ask? My thoughts. Love the post, helpful. I definitely make a few of these mistakes :(

  5. Saad says:

    I Love Your Guys Sarcastic Posts :) They have this awesome title that always attracts people atleast me :)

  6. Ben troy says:

    Talking about natural If you are new to Twitter and you are using a bunch of automated tools. You think we can’t see that? I am not following. If I see your automated message in my inbox I will unfollow.

  7. ‘Tweet quotes from philosophers’ – yes @Joey7Barton she’s talking to you…

  8. I’m starting to think this article might possibly be satirical, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.

  9. Fred Brill says:

    I guess another way would be to be overly cynical with an air of “I know better than you” all the time as you trash the people around you – I hadn’t trhought of this until I saw it here in this post. But then, I guess this is the new way of the new day.

    Anybody can tell you what doesn’t work – even I’m a pro at that. It’s what does work that brings us back.

    One missed point – avoid using Twitter as an IM – that drives me nuts. Enough to where I quit Tweeter-ing

    • Khalid says:

      +1

      I just disagree about this being the “new way”. Creating polarisation, belittling others and cynicism is nothing new. People’s superiority complex is just more visible. It’s also great PR because hey, all publicity is good publicity right? – NOT.

  10. Linda says:

    Another thing that annoys me on twitter is when people tweet from company’s account like from their own. If I follow the brand I want to know about the products and not about your breakfast or weather out there.
    The same thing about the bloggers. If I read your blog and follow you on twitter I expect to see tweets related to your blog topics.

  11. I couldn’t make an offensive joke…it’s not my style. It’s not a bad list of things of not to do.

  12. UnikYoo says:

    Lianne, I’m glad to read your list. Simple but true.

  13. chanhope says:

    :D funny post, first i got wondered and double checked if am reading the post tittle the wrong way :)

  14. Jon Loomer says:

    Awesome. I’d include sending automated DM’s that try to act like they are sincere (or automated DM’s that try to sell crap), but this is a great list!

  15. Lianne, I really enjoyed the sarcasm. Another one I would add is to only post about one topic all the time, such as only Tweeting scores to games you’re watching or posting nothing but photos and updates about your cats on Facebook.
    I do disagree, though, with posting in different languages. I have followers that primarily speak something other than English, so I’ll post in another language when I have something that I think would interest them. Connecting with these followers in their native languages, I believe, builds cohesion with them.

  16. Julie says:

    “Follow people with “#teamfollowback” in their bio” Worst mistake I ever made on Twitter!

  17. I dont see anything wrong with thanking for mentions, saying goodmorning in a non-demeaning way, quotes, and small bursts, but aside from that this was pretty funny!

    Thanks for the post,
    -Gabe

  18. Kacey says:

    Oh no, I’m totally busted. I had to laugh because I’m guilty of a number of these. I guess it’s time to revamp my social media strategies.

  19. Rich says:

    A little self-righteous and one-noted, but some of the aforementioned offenses actually are offensive. Others are pretty benign (I don’t mind animated avatars, or being said goodnight to).

    And a few are just – well, I guess a matter of taste. Some of the philosophical quotes that people tweet are uplifting, insightful, and even inspirational. I find it to be a great little shot of something different in my day when I need a moment to refresh.

    Cheers, Lianne – and goodnight!

    Rich

    • Brad Dalton says:

      Agree. Even Darren uses them sometimes. I still remember the one about: People forget what you do, forget what you say but never forget how you make them feel.

  20. Dalia Kinsey says:

    While I can see the reasoning behind most of these, I don’t understand why anyone would have an issue with someone communicating in more than one language, using super-cute avatars, or sharing insightful quotes.

  21. I agree with the automated DM saying “Thanks now go do this thing that will help my agenda”. On another note, with my “joke” Twitter account I will begin to employ your alienation tactics and see how long it takes me to get to zero followers. #socialexperiment

  22. Justin says:

    “Make sure to reply to anyone who tweets about you or your work with a friendly “Thanks for sharing!”’

    How will you loose followers that way?

  23. Yup done a couple of these things and had a couple done to me. I love the point of calling out those who unfollow you publicly on Twitter. Someone recently did this great favour for me and made me feel awesome. Great blog!

  24. Rachael says:

    Great list!

    I would add to Pinterest- Totally don’t pin the post, just the website. That way when people go back to a pin 6 months from now, it’s super easy for them to find. Bonus points if you’re a brand doing this.

  25. Benji says:

    At least for me it’s out of the box thinking – never tried deviating my work from what I used to do. It’s time to think again and alienate people.

  26. I was laughing so much reading this – say “exactly!” and “right?” over and over, except when I was saying “that’s bad?”

    Great post. The most entertaining one I’ve read in a while!

    Kimberly