How to Clean out Who You Follow on Twitter

Originally answered on Quora

Your Twitter following journey could look like the below

  • You follow people who share similar interests which you would want to follow anyway
  • You interact with them. If you reply to the tweet you’ll find you get impressions from more than the person, but their audience too.
  • They don’t engage with you back, so you decide to unfollow them. If they’re not adding value to you, and they don’t have a community (lots of followers) who you can get involved in then it might be time for them to go.

Now for the tool

To follow people, I just use Twitter. I check out Twitter lists from industry leaders and see who they follow. Then I check the person out and see if I could follow them too. I also check out who engages in the community, tweets on hashtags, or who the industry leaders are following.

I usually check in with who I follow anyway by manually going down my list and liking / replying to their tweets. I keep my followers targeted as if you start following people all over the place, it can be challenging to have that quality interaction.

To unfollow, I use Twitonomy, which past its retro facade is quite a useful tool. It’s free but does require you to sign in with Twitter. Let me take it for a spin with you.

So this is the interface. The first thing you want to do is go onto your Following tab. This tab will show you all the list of people you follow. Every time you log in, it refreshes the data to get your latest followers.

The default sort order is in order (i.e. the person who you most recently followed will be at the top). You can then see the bio, whether they follow you, the time they joined Twitter and some other vital stats. These can help you decide if you hit the unfollow button.

So how do you decide who to unfollow

Let’s start with inactive accounts. Especially if you’ve been on Twitter for a while you’ve probably still got people on there you don’t follow anymore. So if you sort by the last tweet, it will help you identify accounts that are “dead”.

So when you hover over a profile, you’ll see the last tweet. This recent tweet was from November, so this account isn’t very active. So I’ll choose to unfollow this one.

Not all accounts that don’t tweet are inactive. Some people are just being quiet and prefer to read instead. It’s worth looking at the report see if you know them before you unfollow.

Unfollow smaller disengaged people

You’ll want to set the tab at the top to Show: People who are NOT following you. And then sort followers or following high to low.

People you’re following who don’t follow many people themselves are unlikely to follow you back. If you did follow them in the hope of an unfollow chances are it’s not going to happen.

In my case, most of these are industry accounts, so I’ll leave them here.

These are my accounts sorted by the number of followers. Most of those are local marketing agencies which mean I keep following them.

If you’ve got any questions on the above (I know there was a lot there) then just leave a comment, and I’ll try my best to help.

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Jake Symons

Jake Symons

Jake Symons is an entrepreneur and passionate mental health advocate determined to help small businesses thrive on digital.