Social Media “Friends” – When To Unfollow, Unfriend Or Disconnect

I recently had this issue come to a head and have kept quiet about it, but while traveling it crossed my mind that there are probably a lot of people out there in a similar situation, so here goes…

unfriend or unfollowThe fact is you’re just not going to hit it off or even get along with everyone or every personality. This is going to be true even if they are your target audience, age group and demographic. The fact is that we are all human and not all humans get along or even want to get along. Some people just get on other people’s nerves for whatever reason. Heck I know many that just don’t like me, and that’s ok.

So over the past few years I have been connected with someone all over the social graph. I mean everywhere. We have engaged some, but there was always something a bit off. The only time the individual ever commented on anything I wrote or shared it was always in a very condescending, arrogant and argumentative way. Have you ever experienced someone like that?

After more than two years of this largely out of mind situation, I decided I would investigate a bit further. I watched what they did when engaging others. Whether they shared other people’s content we were both connected to and what the support looked like that they afforded those other people.

Here’s what I discovered:

1) They were in fact considerably more antagonistic with me then with anyone else we were mutually connected with.

2) They were considerably more supportive to others we were mutually connected with.

3) They did have an occasional troll-like temperament with some other people, but not as consistent as with every engagement with me.

Once I had confirmed my feelings through my investigation, I asked myself the following questions:

1) Do I genuinely like this person?

2) Are they supportive of our company and our technology?

3) Are they likely to ever purchase and use our product?

4) Do I consider them someone who has similar industry ideals as we do?

The answer to every single one of these questions was a definitive NO, which led to a final question…

WHY am I connected to this person, sharing their content and being supportive of them and what they are doing?

Answer: There really isn’t a good reason.

With that, I took a few moments and quietly disconnected from every single social network connection where we were “friends”. To be honest I did not feel bad at all. I don’t particularly dislike this individual, but I also don’t like them either, and just like in real life, you don’t have to hang around business associates you will never do business with and don’t particularly get along with.

So here’s the deal; You DO NOT have to have your brand or personal social media accounts connected with people who are not a good fit. Don’t feel obligated to remain in relationships that offer no value. If you’re using social media for marketing, you do in fact need to be polite and open, but you don’t have to continue in circles with connections that are not uplifting, enjoyable or a non-prospect for what you do. Be kind, be discrete and move along.

27 Comments

Filed under Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

27 responses to “Social Media “Friends” – When To Unfollow, Unfriend Or Disconnect

  1. Early on in my involvement w/ Twitter I made the mistake of just blindly following those who followed me (except those that are obvious spambot/pornbot), without thought to whether or not following served any purpose – Simply to “be nice” (maybe too nice). Some of those twitters, I soon realized, did nothing more than toot their own horn (no engagement) Unfortunately with the follow/following relationship in place I would run into feelings of guilt for dropping them (now not so much).

    Which raises the question (though I am going a bit off topic)…. I’ve seen some people say that you should always follow back your followers — (something about maintaining the proper ratio of follows to followers). Not sure what my thoughts are on this.

  2. Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou

    Agreed! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week Mr BundlePost :)

    Kind regards,

    Veronica Athanasiou

    Connect with me on my Website , Facebook business page , Business page on g+ Pinterest boards , LinkedIN Company Page , Twitter account

    Get Social Media Picks delivered to your inbox once a month. Subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/GZPBb

  3. Very insightful, Robert. Do not spend one second on people who are not mutually supportive. Thank you for writing what I have so many times wanted to share…

  4. Hi Robert,
    Long time, no comment (from me that is).
    I read this and my thought was, It needed to be said.
    Thanks for keeping up the good fight and teaching others to be sociable on social media. BTW, sorry to hear that someone was particularly antagonistic or less than cordial to to you, I don’t see how you would attract that kind of response.

  5. I totally agree with you there. I pretty much like everyone & would like for everyone to like me, but at the end of the day, if God intended us all to be friends there would be a lot less of us in the world. That’s the way I like to look at it anyway. Thanks for sharing as always awesome stuff.

  6. Very interesting post. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have had some experience with trolls, but not an ongoing situation like that. Wow!

  7. This is very timely. For three years I have been dancing with a distant business associate on social media. I noticed she disconnected with me on one site but remained connected on others. I actually felt a sense of relief and quietly started to disconnect on all fronts. I don’t miss the snarky comments or lack of support, though there are no hard feelings.

  8. Reblogged this on The Blog of Micah Birkholz and commented:
    Great piece by my friend @fondalo aka Robert Caruso about what makes a friend on social media…

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  12. You better reconnect with me right now ! LOL

    There are people that I’ve done the same. It’s a big world and it’s OK if we all don’t get along :)

  13. Hello Robert,
    Something similar happened to me a couple of weeks ago. This guy was always questioning my work and criticizing all my attempts at doing anything social. Whether it was my articles or my interactions, he would have something to lecture me about. The last straw was when he tried to talk me into stopping the release of my new eBook. His arguments made no sense: Since social media changes all the time, why on earth should I write a social media book? The more I tried to explain that the topic of the book was evergreen, the more he tried to persuade me that I was making a mistake.
    Needless to say that I had a few (but polite) chosen words for him in private. And he turned into a trolling machine.
    I unfollowed him everywhere, and I don’t feel bad at all.
    As you said, we don’t have to be connected to people who are not a good fit. And we cannot please everyone.
    Great article!

  14. Katie

    Why are you worrying so much. Follow your instincts and pull the plug.

  15. This post is like a breath of fresh, crisp, fall air upon my face. I have one “friend” who actually used to be a friend many moons ago who has become almost stalker-ish and oh, so opinionated. Done and done. Thanks for sharing!

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