Two quick pieces of advice about follow/unfollow etiquette:
- You don’t have to let somebody know when you’re following them. Twitter does that for you via email, and if the person has opted out of receiving those communications then they’ve done so for a reason
- You don’t have to let somebody know that you’re about to unfollow them. Even if you tell them why (in bone-shattering detail), what exactly are they supposed to do about it?
Grovel to win you back? See the error of their ways and do a complete 180 with their life? Ask you to marry their daughter?
BONUS: Never tell somebody that you’re thinking about following them. What in blue blazes is that supposed to mean?
For many new users of the service, sending these kinds of messages seems polite, but it’s absolutely unnecessary, and can sometimes be quite irritating. This is certainly the case if the announcement is in any way automated.
Let’s face facts – there’s every chance you’re as much of a part of the problem as they are. Taste, as they say, is very much a matter of taste.
It’s cool that you’re looking to find new people to follow, but if you want to get noticed then make the proper attempt to engage. And if you absolutely must send a message when you start to follow somebody, make it as creative and original as possible.
And never, ever, sent automated ‘welcome!’, ‘Thank you!’ or ‘Now Like my Page on Facebook!’ messages – privately or otherwise.
Otherwise, here’s the irony: you’ll just get ignored, or (worse) marked as a spammer, and end up lost and adrift in the stream with everybody else. And then it won’t matter what you say.
(Image credit: Arcady via Shutterstock.)