Every Twitter user, at some point, should review the people they are following and those that are following them. Following for the sake of following is Twitter’s equivalent of spam emails, and everyone hates spam. Here are some key points to consider when choosing who to unfollow.
Obsessing over follows and unfollows
Ultimately, use Twitter in the way that it will benefit you most. Don’t obsess over who is and isn’t following you. Use an unfollowing tool to clean up your account, which is useful to clear out those accounts that you followed when you first started out on Twitter and are no longer interested in. If you unfollow someone simply because they are not following you, you may miss out on some great content.
If in doubt, say hi
Have a list of people who aren’t following you back and you’re unsure as to whether you should unfollow them? Drop them a tweet to say hi. This should help you to decide whether they are a keeper or not.
Are you bothered about the locality of followers and following?
I will only follow international tweeps if they post information that is really worth following. Otherwise, in a personal and business sense, they are of very limited use to me. I want to build a UK network of tweeps, and I’m going to be quite picky in doing this. I’d like to think that if content from across the world is that important, the network that I have built up will draw my attention to it. Others will have a different perspective on this, some want as many followers as possible. If you have a corporate account though, say a flower shop in Manchester, what use is a follower from Texas whose main interest is baseball? Building up a network of useless contacts will lead to you sending promotional tweets to thousands, which only get very few clicks. You’re creating a falsely inflated potential audience. It will look good saying to the boss ‘We have 2,000 followers on Twitter’ but in a couple of months he or she will be asking ‘So, where’s my Twitter traffic?!’.
Unfollow tools are useful, but not faultless
There will be the odd occasion when these tools register a user as quiet (not tweeted in a while), so try to scan through your lists before unfollowing to avoid ditching your favourite accounts. Avatars of the people who you regularly communicate with should ring a bell and keep them safe.
Unfollow en masse
‘Select all’ functions are not allowed by Twitter for third-party apps. I imagine that this is because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t make good sense for Twitter to allow you to dump all your followers. If however you want to axe chunks of people, without having to click and scroll your way through lists of 100’s of Tweeps, you can download check box plug-ins. I use CheckFox for FireFox. Just select all the text on the page, right-click and select ‘Check all’. Bam! Done.
Choose an unfollow app
I have trialled a number of apps, but the best one I have found so far is ManageFlitter. There is a Pro version, but to be honest the free version met my personal and business needs. It is only $12 per month though, so give it a try if you can. ManageFlitter enables you to unfollow:
- Those not following you back
- Accounts with no profile image (quite often spam accounts)
- Inactive Tweeps
- Talkative Tweeps (not sure why you would want to unfollow them…)
- Quiet Tweeps (tweet less than once a day)
- Bio and Tweet searches
Another service that I use regularly is UnTweep. Again, the free version is great and enables you to list people by the duration since their last tweet.
Looking for further Twitter advice? Read my Things to avoid in your Twitter bio and Ensure your tweets reach the largest possible audience posts. Also, feel free to add me on Twitter (unless you are a used car salesman based in New Zealand).