Twitter Karma: Track Your Followers and Unfollowers
In my last post I discussed 5 ways to follow people on Twitter, with the general idea being that it’s really easy to find tutorials about how to get more followers, but you rarely hear about a good strategy for following. Now that I have told you how to find people and follow them, I want to tell you how (and why) to unfollow them.
First, let’s address the why about unfollowing somebody. Everyone has their own rules about following (some follow everyone back, some only follow those they know personally), so likewise everybody will have a reason that they unfollow somebody, so these are some of my reasons and certainly they won’t all apply to you.
- They pull a “pump and dump”. I will detail this practice is greater detail in a future post, but it basically works like this: you are followed by somebody that follows (and is followed by) several thousand people. As soon as you follow them back, they unfollow you. They do this to artificially inflate their own followers number while not appearing to be out of whack with their number of following. Tricky…basically spammers that are a bit smarter. Some call them “networkers”, I call them pump and dumpers and I’m not interested.
- They really do answer the question “what are you doing” in every tweet. I know this was the original question of Twitter, but I think it has grown far beyond this. The only people that I can put up with telling me about every detail of every meal that they eat are my very close, personal friends…and at least with them I can tell them to knock it off in person. Don’t get me wrong, I like the personal stuff, but I also want a conversation, so I’m looking for some value. Either good links, humor or insight need to be peppered in among the tweets about taking your dog for a walk.
- They swear excessively without being hysterically funny. Unless you are @hotdogsladies you are probably just being crude. I assure you that I am far from perfect in this realm, however I just don’t like swearing online, especially in Twitter. It’s usually a substitute for something intelligent to say.
- They direct message me an offer to get in on their MLM deal. Do I even need to explain this? Just don’t do it.
- They don’t tweet for a month or longer. I’ve unfollowed some of my close friends for this reason…if you just aren’t into it, I’m not going to lok forward to your “sorry I haven’t tweeted for so long” post that goes up every 45 days.
If somebody has upset you for some reason, it’s easy enough to unfollow them. Just click the “remove this person” in the web interface, or “unfollow” in Tweetdeck. But sometimes it’s a little trickier, so here are some tools to help you make unfollowing simple.
- Twitter Karma. Dossy.org brings us this fabulous tool, I use it about once a month. Twitter Karma asks you for your username and password (it’s been safe so far) and then spends a minute or two calculating info about your account. You can sort by all friends and see the relationship (you follow them/they follow you) or sort by people you follow but that don’t follow you and vice versa. If you haven’t caught up with everyone that you want to follow, you can go to the “only followers” page, select all and then bulk follow. You can also bulk unfollow people. Results are sorted by last update, so if you scroll to the bottom of the screen you can easily delete people with dead or stagnant accounts.
- Social Too. This is one of my favorite new tools.
I previously used Qwitter to alert me of unfollows, but that service has been quite unreliable as of late. SocialToo not only gives me a daily email about who unfollowed me, but also lists who followed me! There are a lot of extra features available like the ability to autofollow those that follow you (I don’t use this) and the ability to block auto DMs from other SocialToo users (I DO use this!). Their best set of features comes under its own tab however, your unfollow preferences. You can choose from “Unfollow everyone who unfollows me” or “Don’t unfollow anyone for me” or (the one I use) “Unfollow if users unfollow you within ___ day(s) after you follow them”. I’ll talk more about this last feature in my future post about the pump and dump strategy of others.
I would love to hear your ideas about when to unfollow somebody, and if you know of some web services that help, please share in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS Feed, getting email updates when new posts are published, or following me on Twitter for information about what I’m doing every minute of every day.