Breaking up is hard to do? Maybe not in Twitter where followers of an account can easily remove themselves from a boring, intrusive or irrelevant accounts they follow. An Exact Target study shows the reasons how and why Twitter followers start abandoning our tweets.
More than half of Twitter users (52%) say that once content becomes repetitive or boring, it’s time to unfollow a brand, according to a report from Exact Target and CoTweet. Another popular reason (41%) for unfollowing an account is to unclog a crowded stream of tweets. While this reason makes sense — it’s hard to follow a steady stream of tweets — frequency of Twitter updates may also play a part in such disconnection effort. When someone spends the whole day updating his/her account with link dumps, conversation with followers or simply arbitrary update nobody seems to be interested, he/she is a good candidate to unfollow.
Other leading reasons Twitter users stop following brands are a company posting too frequently (39%), as well as only following a brand to get a one-time deal and a company not offering enough deals (27% each).
In the past, the number of Twitter followers is a sign of how influential an account is, whether it represents an individual or a brand. But this metric should no longer be considered potent enough to gauge power and influnce. The same Exact Target study revealed that 47% of those who created Twitter accounts no longer uses the microblogging tool. This is more evident if you have thousands of followers yet you barely get a retweet or reply on your tweet streams. Also a little more than four in 10 (41%) have stopped following a brand. On the flip side, 56% of those considered active Twitter users follow at least one brand and 71% to receive marketing messages. Which gives us a hint people follow us for a certain reason: they want to receive something. A link to SEO tips perhaps from SEO Hong Kong account, a Twitter exclusive online retail deal or a quick response to a simple query.
Pointlessness also contributes to abandoning Twitter. Not only people unfollow certain people on Twitter as 52% of formerly active users no longer use their account because it is pointless. Thirty-eight per cent said Twitter got boring (note to Twitter: add more new features!), and 23% said it got more chaotic (not Twitter’s fault if users initially intended to gather as many followers as possible, but ended up following too many, hence the chaos).
In terms of demographic personas, Twitter is more appealing towards younger adults who may have more time time to spare or wish to be express their thoughts more than the older ones. The convenience of Twitter — easily update using a mobile device and without requiring to type in too many words similar a blog — is definitely an added factor. A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that 14% of Internet users aged 18 to 29 use Twitter, double the ratio among Internet users aged between 30 and 49. Oldest Internet users (65 and above) understandbly have lowest tweet rate. Twitter users among Hispanic users is the highest at 18% compared to black Internet users (13%), white non-Hispanic users (5%). A larger portion of urban Internet users use Twitter (11%) compared to 8% of suburban and 5% of rural Internet users.