I have always had a personal Twitter policy that I don’t auto-follow people. It’s in my Twitter bio and I’ve held to that for over two years. I have always said it’s about quality not quantity. Whenever I receive a follow notice, I look at that account, what they’re saying, if they “talk” to people or if they just broadcast. I also look at the number of people they follow and how many are following them.
I rarely follow someone who has a gazillion followers, but I do make a few exceptions. Why? They actually engage with their followers – even with those high numbers. An excellent example is Jessica Northey. She has a huge following (over 150k followers) and, she really does engage with people outside of her inner circle.** She thanks you for re-tweeting her tweets or blog posts, she engages with you when you talk to her, and frankly, she puts out good content. She’s also got a killer sense of humor and she follows you back. Isn’t that what being on Twitter is really all about? I don’t know how she and others like her do it, but they do. Kudo’s to them.
I have contemplated cleaning my Twitter account for a while now. Over the past week, I’ve noticed friends of mine actually doing it. They are clearing out the bots, the broadcasters, and the people who don’t engage in any way. One friend is following over 50k people and has almost an equal number of followers. Another friend has numbers similar to mine. I follow just over 1900 people and have around 2400 followers. These numbers are not high in the general scheme of things, I know that. However, even when you’re following 1900 people, cleaning house, in my opinion, seems prudent.
This is my game plan over the next few days:
- Unfollow accounts that do nothing but broadcast. Initially, I followed them for content because it interested me. What I’ve done recently (where possible) is subscribe to their site and added them to my Reader. Now I’ll be able to look at their content when I want to. I can still comment and re-tweet their posts, they just won’t be floating in my timeline anymore. Some I will just unfollow, period. These include the ones that have a gazillion followers and NEVER engage with anyone.
- Unfollow the bots I didn’t catch the first time around. I know I have a few of them.
- Unfollow people who haven’t responded to my hello’s, RT’s or who have just stopped talking to me (for whatever reason). I get that we move on and I don’t take it personally, although I did in the beginning. I no longer rack my brain trying to figure out what happened, I finally realized it really wasn’t me.
- Unfollow people who I no longer feel I share a common interest. This one is all about me. Please don’t take it personally.
Am I being ruthless or unfeeling? I don’t think so. I’m just making my Twitter account more manageable, so I can continue to engage with the people who bring good things to my stream. Whether it is personal, business or a common interest, those are the people I want to continue to talk with.
I realize that I will be unfollowed in return. And you know what, that’s perfectly fine with me. Honest – go ahead. I don’t want you to continue to follow me when “we” don’t talk anyway. However, if you think I unfollowed you in error, let’s talk about it.
Have you cleaned your house lately? Would you? If not, why?
**Inner Circle – we all have them, don’t we?