Social Media Accounts Abandoned – Twitter


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I’ve talked a number of times about the rate of abandonment of Twtiter accounts being exceedingly high, particularly when it comes to businesses. Some people have suggested that the “giving up” phenomenon is a result of people testing the waters, and realizing it takes a lot of work, or otherwise not putting the effort into it, and as a result not getting a return.

That’s an interesting take, but the reality is that it’s not true, at least generally. Many of the abandoned accounts are characterized by sufficient tweets and followers to suggest that the businesses and individuals tried, some very very hard, to make things work, and finally realized it was a dry hole. Which it is and will be for most.

One could still argue that they failed because they didn’t know how to do it right. That’s something we really don’t know. So what does the data look like? Compiling generalizable numbers is difficult without funding and resources, since there is data, but from eyeballing, I can present some rather startling examples of business attrition on Twitter. I’d conjecture that there is considerable and similar attrition on other social media platforms such as Facebook.

Our criteria is that an account is abandoned if there have been no tweets from it in a month. Here are some illustrations.

GeorgeKao – Social media marketer – 3253 followers – 730 tweets  – gone one month

IMcashsaver – serving online business – 12995 followers – 15763 followers – gone one month

CoursePark – corporate learning – 461 followers – 549 tweets – gone one month

TracyRepchuk – Internet Marketer – 14954 followers – 6717 tweets – gone one month

StephenLibman – Performance Strategist – 2533 followers – 277 tweets – gone one month

BobPike – Trainer – 231 Followers – 163 tweets – gone one month

reith – Leadership Evangelist – 4135 followers – 4591 tweets – gone one month

maynaseric – Change agent – 35488 followers – 13024 tweets – gone for six weeks

This isn’t meant to be a representative sample of those who have abandoned their accounts, but you can see that there is a lot of variety even from the ones I’ve selected. Are there instances of people who didn’t end up with followers and only tweeted a few times?

Yes, but they are the minority. It’s clear that the people who are abandoning have tried, some very hard, to make this work.

Sadly, for most, it doesn’t, and they quietly exit, the invisible social media stories that we need to have to make proper business decisions.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


  1. There are some other possibilities. First, that the twitter account owner died. Second, that the twitter account user was offered a job and abandoned their personal business effort. Third, that their twitter activities yielded no monetary benefit. Gaining 10,000 followers around the world when your clients are right around the corner from where you live might mean that your twitter efforts are not the best use of your time — unless you’re able to generate followers that matter (i.e., if doing local PR, having predominantly local followers, including large number of influencers and news media).

  2. Why should microblogging be any different than blogging?

    From Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest (NY Times, June 2009):

    According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

    Blogging grew rapidly then growth flattened a couple of years ago. The same will happen with Twitter.

    Twitter and blogs go well together. I think the next few years we’ll see bloggers finding their comfort zone between short tweets and longer posts. I also think that many of today’s Twitter fanatics will grow tired of the frenetic tweeting which consumes too much time.


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