For a famous person on Twitter, it’s easy enough to pick up followers – just write your name and what you’re famous for in your bio, and watch the fans flock towards you. But it’s also easy to get rid of these fickle minions, whether you want to or not – here are four Twitter celebrities who have done just that.
If celebrity gossiper Perez Hilton thought Directioners were just harmless teenage girls obsessed with Harry Styles et al, he received a serious shock when he tweeted allegations about another member of the world-conquering boyband.
The army of fans jumped to Malik’s defence in the wake of this tweet, but the singer’s subsequent exit from Twitter brought Hilton even more grief. His follower count took a serious dip, with high profile tweeters including Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga unfollowing shortly after the debacle.
Lesson 1: Know your audience
Even the President of the USA isn’t immune to a Twitter faux pas, as Barack Obama found out after an ill-advised social media campaign in 2011.
Urging his followers to tweet their Republican Congressmen with the hashtag #compromise as a way of fighting the deficit, Obama created a barrage of Twitter traffic, and lost over 36,000 followers in the process. Now that’s a deficit.
Lesson 2: Don’t spam
What happens when a neutral public figure expresses an opinion on a hot topic, however sensible it appears? You guessed it – they lose followers.
Katee Sackhoff shared a story about an accident in which a four-year-old boy fatally shot his father, with the message “please practice gun safety. This is horrible!” This tweet kicked off a huge debate, and 100,000 of her followers left as a result.
Lesson 3: Court controversy cautiously
But you don’t need political controversy to get rid of your fans – sometimes a bit of drunken tweeting will suffice.
Tulisa’s intoxicated ranting has lost her a few followers over the years, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Acknowledging the phenomenon, she tweeted “always loose a few thousand followers when I av a drunken rant with a bit of harsh language..#wellworthit.”
Lesson 4: Don’t tweet tipsy
And the odd one out? Justin Bieber’s alcohol-fuelled Lamborghini antics earlier this year did nothing to damage his Twitter following. In fact, they gave it a significant boost.
On the day of his DUI arrest in January, his following grew by 34,456 – almost as many as Obama lost during his #compromise campaign. At least Obama now knows the easy way back.
Lesson 5: A bit of bad behavior can go a long way. If you’re Justin Bieber.