I started my Saturday like I would any other weekend. I opened the laptop and logged onto Twitter. It was probably due to the fact that one of my friends posed the question, “How do you manage your Twitter account?” She makes lists and tries to follow all the people she considers her “people” and yet she still feels like she doesn’t engage as well as she could.
I applaud her for that. She’s someone that gets that Twitter is great for personal conversations, great for tactfully written self-promotion, and great for building your network. But all of that is moot if you don’t have an engagement style that you are comfortable with.
So it got me to thinking about my account and all the people I follow. In my personal account, it was over 3800 people that I was following. That doesn’t mean all 3800 are on Twitter at the same time trying to get my attention. I think I’d go a little insane if that was the case.
On Saturday, I thought it might be time to examine exactly who I was following. Thank God, there are plenty of tools out there that make it easy for us to do that. One of my favorites is a tool called ManageFlitter. There are other tools that do the job but what this one does is best in my opinion. It scans your account and returns a result set that looks something like the following:
Now, I’m not a tit for tat person. I don’t expect reciprocity from every single person on Twitter. Some people are more selective than others and generally, I follow people because I’m interested in what they have to say. With ManageFlitter, though, I’m quickly able to see, for example, the people I’m following that aren’t following me back and are “Quiet” (meaning they don’t tweet often) or “Inactive” (meaning they haven’t tweeted in over a month). I can quickly and easily make decisions about who I want to keep in my timeline and who I can let go.
It’s not personal. It’s just management of my account. But I have to tell you, that sometimes when you are on the receiving end, it feels personal. As I was running the ManageFlitter report on my personal Twitter account, I noticed quite a few people that used to be following me, or that I thought were following me, were no longer doing so. And here’s what comes to mind…
What did I do wrong?
Did I offend someone?
Do I tweet too much?
Did I say the wrong thing?
And so I took my quandary to Twitter and I asked the simple question:
Knowing it was a Saturday afternoon on Twitter (generally not a busy time), I wasn’t sure if I would get many responses. But apparently, this is a topic people feel passionate about. I got more responses and engagement than I have in a while.
- Constant retweeting. Whether it’s your stuff or you’re simply promoting someone else’s, too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. This includes the use of Triberr, a separate beast I plan to tackle on Thursday.
- Too much self-promotion. This is something that brands and bloggers should be paying attention to. Tweeting out your links to blog posts or product specials is great. But if that’s ALL you do, people will get annoyed and unfollow you. As a blogger, plan to tweet out your link a maximum of 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening). Don’t harass people about it. As a brand, make sure you have 9 out of every 10 tweets to be non-product related. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about electronics if that’s your business. It just means that you need to be engaging with others and having a natural conversation.
- Ego boosting. It’s nice when someone says something nice about you. But when you retweet any time you are mentioned by anybody, it looks like you’re craving attention a little too much. A good deed isn’t such a good deed when you brag about it. Learn a little online humility.
- Undesirable content. This is definitely in the eye of the tweeter but you have to realize that not everyone wants to know about every giveaway. Not everyone wants to hear about how much you’re drinking tonight. Not everyone wants to hear @#$%^ as every other word in their timeline. That’s okay. It’s why we all have choices. Just know that you may not always be everyone’s cup of tea.
- Auto DMs. Although this only came up once, I love to mention this every chance I get. Nobody like autoDMs. Period Some people have a strict rule of unfollowing anyone that sends them one. Don’t believe me? Read all about it here.
So there you have it. Quick and easy ways to get yourself unfollowed on Twitter. Now, I’m off to try to figure out which one I did…
P.S. There are many unfounded rumors out there that Twitter will automatically unfollow people from your account from time to time. No one can explain it nor prove it so for now, I’ll still address it as a conspiracy theory.