• Matt Black

The Biggest Twitter Turnoffs

My autumn has been hectic.

Insane, really.

And boy, do my social media channels reflect it!

Although the jam-packed days have provided me with a ton of positivity and inspiration, they haven’t left many moments for timelines, snaps, feeds or apps in general.

I’m hesitant to call my recent lull on Twitter an intentional hiatus, but regardless, I’ve used the time to reflect on what I enjoy about the platform… and what I don’t.

There’s certainly no prescribed list of “do’s and don’ts” that every Twitter user is expected to follow.

But I suspect many would agree with me that certain unwritten rules should (and do) apply.

Here are a few Twitter turnoffs that might be costing you connections, hurting your online reputation and weakening your social media strategy.

Lack of engagement

Do me a favour.

Have a look at your last 10 to 15 tweets.

What do you see?

Are you having genuine conversations with your community and other Twitter users?

Or are you simply promoting your business or blog, in an effort to sell products and services?

The truth is, it’s ideal to demonstrate a healthy balance between engagement and promotion.

Talk with me, not at me.

There’s a huge difference between the two! And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to quickly weed out the Twitter users who covet genuine engagement while trying to help others from the ones who are simply in it for themselves.

Right or wrong, one of the first things I do when someone follows me or when I come across an interesting profile is check to see how frequently the user has legitimate conversations on Twitter.

If it’s particularly one-sided when it comes to self-interests, I often don’t hesitate to unfollow, knowing full well that I’m never going to actually get to know the person or communicate legitimately.

Remember: social media is meant to be just that… social!


It still stuns me that so many people are willing to air out their dirty laundry on Twitter and other social platforms!

Whatever happened to biting your tongue? Or addressing something in a more private setting… not in front of 320M monthly active users?

There’s a ton of juvenile behaviour that takes place right out in the open and to me, it sets an uncomfortable tone. There is a bunch of crossover in a lot of niche Twitter circles, with mutual connections being almost a guarantee. To watch two people you respect or converse with regularly hash something (often childish) out online is off-putting and embarrassing.

Try to remember that professionalism, respect and decency aren’t just expected in “real” life… these are musts on Twitter as well!


I debated even including this one because it’s so obvious.

But a list of Twitter turnoffs would be incomplete without mentioning the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad auto-DM.

Just don’t do it.

Please stop.

You’re making people angry.

No matter how enticing the “special offer” may seem, regardless of the “secrets” you’re going to share, an auto-DM is a horrible first impression for your followers. In fact, many people will quickly unfollow you for filing their DM Inbox with what essentially amounts to spam on Twitter.

I’d much rather receive nothing at all from you upon first following your account than ANY sort of auto-DM.

I personally liken the auto-DM to a bad, cheesy pick-up line at a party – before you even know my name… nobody wants that.


Not following back

I should start this particular turnoff with a disclaimer:

No, I’m not expecting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to follow me and raise an eyebrow in my direction.

And yes, I realize that Kate Upton doesn’t know I’m walking the same planet as she is.

However, if we share many mutual connections and use a variety of social media platforms to discuss the same industries, technologies or issues… why not hit the follow button?

It doesn’t cost you anything. You don’t have to sit through an ad. There’s no annoying feedback survey…

But here’s what there is – positive energy. And a connection that who the hell knows where it will lead!

A simple tap can provide your followers with a confidence boost, put a smile on their face or make them feel valued or knowledgeable. And while I’ll always put forth that I’d rather shake someone’s hand in person or have a face-to-face conversation, a follow is akin to a digital pat on the back.

If you’re a person who “just doesn’t follow back,” I guarantee that you’re costing yourself.

In my opinion, it’s arrogant and unnecessary.

Repetitive snubs

Listen, I’m not expecting every follower I have to share my tweets 100% of the time.

My content isn’t always going to be up everyone’s alley – that’s just reality.

But if we both follow one another and I tag you in a relevant post that is more than likely going to prove to be valuable to your community… what am I missing? Isn’t the whole point for us to communicate and create a dialogue that others from across the globe can participate in?

And while I’m not perfect by any means, I feel pretty good about gauging what’s applicable to specific followers and what’s not. More simply put, if our mutual bond is our love and use of Snapchat, you’re not going to be at the top of my list for a tweet or photo about the New England Patriots.

Snubbing your followers when they tweet you regularly is a bad practice, regardless of how well-known or successful you are. Some of my most engaged contacts on Twitter are New York Times Bestsellers, professional athletes, executives at Fortune 500 companies… if they can take two seconds to share, comment or engage, so can you.

What are your biggest Twitter turnoffs? Is there anything that drives you absolutely crazy on Twitter that I haven’t covered? Please share your thoughts with me in the Comments section below.



©2021 by Matt Black Ink | All rights reserved | Toronto