After you’ve been on Twitter for a little while, you will find that you’re following people who you’re actually not all that interested in. You want to remove them, but it seems like such a pain that you never bother. Not only that, but some of these people followed you just so you would follow them back, then they dropped you like a bad habit to game the system a little.
On the other hand, you see that there is a core group that you regularly interact with. You share common interests, DM and reply to each other’s tweets, and generally have a good time. Problem is, some of their tweets get buried by the noise you’ve accumulated.
This post will help you remedy this situation. You need to cut the dead weight and get focused on those who say things you actually want to read. Who knows, maybe you’ll replace the losers with more people you can relate to.
Trimming The Fat
We need to get rid of people who we follow that are not providing any value to us. First to go are those that aren’t actually tweeting. How can you get value from someone who doesn’t say anything? We can use Twitoria to drop anyone who hasn’t tweeted in a while. You don’t even have to give up your password. You do have to open each profile in a new window and manually remove/unfollow them.
Another option here is to unfollow anyone who is not following you. At first, I thought this was a shady thing to do. The argument is that you follow people because they provide you with good content, not because you expect them to follow you back. I actually agree with this argument, but the fact is that there are very few people who are just that awesome and the ones you’re following probably don’t fall into that category.
To get rid of the folks that don’t follow you back, hop on over to Twitter Karma. Put in your Twitter user name and password and whack the button (or just click Sign In With Twitter to use the safer OAuth option). It will take a while to load, but you will eventually be able to see all the people who you follow that do not follow you back. You can actually select them all and bulk un-follow them. Simple as that.
Finding Your Crew
Now that you’ve kicked some people to the curb, it’s time to take a look at who you actually engage with on a regular basis. You can probably name a few of these people off the top of your head. The reason that you need to know who your real tweeps are is so that you can give them priority by adding them to groups or simply looking out for their tweets. Also, it’s always cool to look at stats because you may be surprised at what they tell you.
There are a bunch of tools for seeing who your BFF’s are, but my favorites are Twitter Analyzer and Mailana. With Twitter Analyzer, just put in your Twitter username, click User’s Friends, then Closest Friends. I won’t get into all the other features available here, but you may also want to check out Disregarded Friends. These are the people you keep ignoring and you might want to correct that.
Mailana is a whole different story. Once you put in your Twitter username, you’ll see a graphical representation of your social graph. The thicker the lines that connect people, the more they talk to each other. The BFF’s list on the left should provide some valuable data as to who you like most.
Making New Friends
Mailana gives you a quick list of who you should be following based on your current habits. Another option is to check out Twubs or WeFollow to see what users are interested in the same hashtags or events as you. Probably the most popular tool for finding new followers is Mr. Tweet (@corvida recently became the Mr. Tweet blog editor). All you have to do is follow Mr. Tweet and he will DM you a link about what he’s found for you. This can sometimes take quite a while though.
A few things I’ve done to find new people to follow:
- Use Twitter’s built-in threading to see what parts of a conversation you’re missing. On the web, click “in reply to” and you can see who those you follow are talking to. They may share your interests.
- Keep an eye out for people talking about you or ReTweeting your stuff. Since Twitter implemented Mentions, you can just check your replies tab to catch these tweets. You probably don’t follow all of these people and the fact that they’re talking about you means you should check them out.
- Set up searches to catch people talking about topics you’re interested. Most Twitter clients have a method for setting up persistent searches. You can also just go to Twitter Search and look for keywords and topics that interest you.