How to Lose Twitter Followers and Influence Nobody

I’m sure many of us have found ourselves in this situation, we have a Twitter account which we update regularly with “quality content” for our own personal amusement doing all the “right” things. Before you know it you’ve got hundreds or if you’re terribly unlucky thousands of followers hanging on your every word. I mean, who needs that sort of pressure? I can’t even pee in a public toilet if there’s a guy within 2 urinals.

So what can you do to get rid of these stalkers so obsessed with you and what you have to say? I’m not talking about the bots and spammers, these guys won’t cause you any trouble. I’m talking about those guys who actually read your tweets, retweet you (to even more stalkers) and even, in the worst cases, try to interact with you. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of  having an account which has got out of hand don’t panic, there are a number of steps you can take which will see your follower count drop like a stone.

Stop Tweeting – The first tip is the simplest to implement, just stop tweeting, no matter how much you have been enjoying the process and want to keep going you’ve got to realise continuing down the path you are on will only mean more followers, is that what you want? Unfortunately, whilst this tactic is very easy to implement it’s not overly effective. It will take a while before people realise you’re no longer clogging up their stream and even when they do they may cling on in the hope you will fall off the wagon and return to feeding their tweet addiction.

Don’t reply to interactions – As mentioned above if you’ve been really unlucky some of these Twitter pests will be trying to interact with you on a 1-2-1 basis. I know, these people are unbelievable. So, when they do reach out to you with a comment, question or similar just turn your (virtual) back on them. Even if they persist great,  your continued lack of response will hopefully convince them to click the “Unfollow” button. This strategy works best when not coupled with the above complete Twitter abstinence, if the pests can see you are still active they know you are giving them the cold shoulder.

“if the pests can see you are still active they know you are giving them the cold shoulder.”

Get Hacked – This is a really great technique which requires little effort on your part but can reap great rewards in terms of a followers cull.  If you can manage to allow your account details to get into the “wrong” hands they will do all the work for you, spamming your stream with links to sites full of malware, adverts for diet pills, sending DM’s to your followers warning them of rumours which are being posted about them. The down side of this idea is that you may completely lose control of your account, meaning although the followers will be gone you won’t be able to continue tweeting in piece.

Tweet in bursts – Nothing annoys the Twitterati more than having their streams filled up with with Tweets from the same person. If you normally Tweet 10 times throughout the day store these Tweets up and post them all in the space of a minute. I guarantee within 2 – 3 days you’ll start to see the effects as you start to shed those irritating followers.  The upside of this is that you can still continue to use your account in almost exactly the same way as you were previously, you just need to schedule your “Tweet Time”.

Tweet overdrive – It’s all about upping your game and simply beating your followers into submission with a constant bombardment of Tweets. If you normally put up 10 Tweets a day, up this to 20 for a week. If you’ve lost less than 10% of your followers in the first week, up it to 40 Tweets a day. Continue doubling the amount of 140 character bombs you’re dropping until you have lost your target number of followers. I’m not going to lie, this is a pretty tough task, upping your tweet count so significantly and sustaining that over a number of weeks is extremely difficult, however you will start to see rewards within just a few days. Using the “Tweet overdrive” strategy in conjunction with “Tweeting in bursts” will maximise the effectiveness.

“Continue doubling the amount of 140 character bombs you’re dropping until you have lost your target number of followers”

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Tweeting the same thing over and over is sure to get up the nose of any followers who are paying attention to what you Tweet. Repeat the same thing often enough and they’ll soon get tired and scramble for the Unfollow button. Mission accomplished.

Go off topic – Your Twitter parasites have latched onto you for a reason, and that’s generally because you are tweeting about a topic which is of interest to them. The answer in this case is to simply cut off the supply, give them nothing to feed off, as soon as they realise what has happened they’ll soon jump to a new host.

Sell, Sell, Sell – People hate to think they’re being sold to on Twitter and you can use this to your advantage if you are selling a product or service online. Until now you have probably been quite relaxed in your approach to selling via Twitter, using the medium more to support the sales and customer services process than to actually sell. However, now we are looking to lose followers that has to stop, you need to go in with that hard sell, and I mean HARD! Tweet exclusively about your product/service, your prices, your sales. Not only that, start to specifically interact with people via @’s or where possible DM’s with the sole intention of getting them to part with their cash. They’ll hate that.

“you need to go in with that hard sell, and I mean HARD!”

TWEET IN CAPS – Very easy one this, simply flick the caps lock on before you post any Tweets and SHOUT at your followers.

Remove your profile picture – A popular tip for those wishing to increase their credibility via Twitter is to use a custom profile picture rather than the standard egg and chances are this is one of the first things you did back when you were in the utopia of zero followers. To reverse this effect you can login to your account and remove your current picture, Twitter will then kindly replace it with an beautiful, trust destroying, unfollow evoking egg.


If you have found yourself with an uncomfortably large following start implementing the strategies above as soon as possible in order to stem the tide. If you fail to take action the army of snoopers is only likely to multiply!

Of course if you choose to do the opposite of  the advice set out in this post you may see an even more dramatic raise in your follower count, you have been warned!

Post by Gaz Copeland

Image: Stuart Miles /


  1. Crockstar says:

    Hey Gaz,

    Good points here, a nice “how not-to” list 🙂

    One thing I would add to what you touched on in the “sell, sell, sell” section is people being self-involved or egotistical. Personally, I find that I unfollow people most frequently if they constantly are begging for RT’s of their own stuff and/or only seem to post stuff written by themselves or their colleagues.

    For me Twitter is all about sharing rather than using it as a megaphone so I can only take so much before I eventually give up.

    Another surefire way to unfollowing land would be incredibly rude or otherwise offensive tweets. I know what you’re saying about “going off topic” and this definitely fits there but I don’t have an issue personally with following people if they want to chat occasionally about stuff outside of their expertise (family, football, etc.), but I do have a problem with people who tweet to judge/isolate… so positivity is a big one for me.

    In any event, just my two cents, think you’ve nailed a lot of them and I’ve definitely lost a fair few myself from making some of the above mistakes.

    Cheers for sharing,

    • Thanks for the input Sam, and before 7am too! Respect! 100% agree regarding the ego tweets, I toyed with the idea of including “be offensive” in the post but in the end it didn’t make the final cut. I figured, and Sean agreed that many people actively follow “offensive” twitter accounts. Look at the amount of Trolls there are around the internet.

  2. I know there are people out there defollowing people to have a cool number in “following”. For example, if you follow 161 people, you remove one just to have 160, that is better to see. People may think it’s an twitter OCD , but I think it’s matter of style.

  3. chrisroots says:

    Thanks, Gaz

    I desperately needed these tips all these people following me is no good for my paranoia…

  4. alanchar1978 says:

    I must delete about 10 new followers a week when I find out that they spam up my twitter feed with hundreds of tweets at once.