by Jenny Hansen
For the rest of you: This is one of the most easy-to-implement social media posts I've ever done here at WITS. Enjoy!
It's the beginning of a new year this week, and a great time to form some new social media habits.
One great New Year's step is to update your profiles on your various social media tools. Make sure your achievements and links are up to date.
A few months back, I did my yearly Twitter clean-up in Tweepi, which is something I recommend you try.
Mind you, I don't advocate doing this very often. It's time consuming to go through all the people you follow 20 at a time. That's all you can see at once on the free version of Tweepi, so this will yearly clean-up will take you an hour (or more, depending on how many people you follow).
Why do I recommend you do this yearly?
- It immerses you in who you followed and why, encouraging you to reach out to some people you might not have talked to for a while.
- You need to periodically clean out the bots and people who have abandoned Twitter - they're skewing your numbers (more on that later).
- Tons of people follow others to get the follow-backs, then they unfollow everyone. This rude behavior leaves the Twitter newbies stuck with really high following numbers with a bunch of people who will never follow them back.
- If you do a lot of mass following/unfollowing, it can get you thrown into Twitter jail.
Back to the yearly Twitter Clean-up...
Do I believe in unfollowing everyone who doesn't follow you?
NO. This is as rude as those
narcissists spam-bots who follow just to get the follow-back.
There are people like J.K. Rowling and Harlan Coben, who I follow just because I love their books. I follow some agents and publishers because I need their information. I follow The Bloggess because she makes me laugh. I don't expect any of them to follow me back.
Which leads me to the next part of this post...
What is my criteria for unfollowing someone?
After spending more than an hour cleaning things up, I was pretty clear on this.
The three things most likely to make me unfollow someone:
1. They've never tweeted.
Ditto for someone who hasn't used their account in 6+ months. I start giving people the hairy eyeball at about 2-3 months of inactivity but if we're mutually following each other, I'll cut them some slack for life craziness.
Did y'all catch that?
2. Someone who ISN'T following me back gets closer scrutiny.
Hey, I'm human just like the next gal. We're all children/parents/workers/bloggers, etc. Our time is limited, and incredibly valuable, and we want to spend it with people we have a connection with.
If you've conversed with me, re-tweeted me, followed me or generally blown some sunshine my direction, I'm going to follow you. I just am. It's something nice I can do to say thanks.
Note: The only exception to this are the spam-bots who are doing these things to get followers. They're pretty to easy to spot once you've been on social media for a while.
When I do my once-a-year foray into Tweepi to look at who I'm following, if I see you in the "I'm Following" category (rather than "Mutual" which means we follow each other), I'm going to take a peek at your Twitter profile. Why do you think the process takes me so long?
Because I'm just as busy as everyone else, and have 3-4,000 people to wade through, if we're following each other, I'm probably just going to look to see if you're an active user, as I discussed above.
Just by tweeting every week or so, you are spared a closer look by most people during their clean-up. How easy is that??
3. Someone I know I've interacted with, who isn't following me.
If I've interacted with someone online, I follow or friend them. Ditto if we're in a writing chapter, Triberr group, or online chat together.
I know everyone doesn't engage in this sort of friendly behavior, and I don't expect everyone to love my stuff. It's okay if someone doesn't reach back out to me. If I dig them and they're an active user of that platform (in this case Twitter), the two of us stay connected.
But what about those
evil people who make nice with you and/or follow you, and you KNOW once upon a time the two of you were connected and had a chat?
They've earned a closer look in Tweepi by not being on the mutual follow list and Eeeeky! When you look at their Twitter profile, they've got 4,255 followers, but they're following 300 people. That one makes my blood boil.
I call social media party foul!
Why is my time so much less valuable than yours? It's not like you have four hundred thousand followers, and the huge demands fame adds to one's life. There is absolutely no reason why your Follower/Following numbers aren't closer in alignment.
Aaaaaand, I've just cleared you off my list.
I'm just one lowly blogger/writer/tech trainer. Y'all don't have to listen to a single word of this, though I hope you will.
Nobody can really tell you how to use Twitter. Twitter is a conversation and you can join it as you like. That’s the joy of it, and that’s the hell of it. Sure, I think the things I said here are true, but I can’t make you do differently. However you want to enter the conversation is up to you. My only suggestion is, do it. Have the conversation. Engage. Be social — “social” is the key word of “social media.”
Are you active on social media? Do you ever "clean up" your accounts? (Why or why not?) Do you have a social media game plan/strategy? How did you develop it? I can't wait to see what y'all have to say down in the comments!
Need a Monday pick-me-up? Hop on over to More Cowbell for 8 Fun (Mostly True) Facts About Mondays.
About Jenny Hansen
Jenny fills her nights with humor: writing memoir, women’s fiction, chick lit, short stories (and chasing after her toddler Baby Girl). By day, she provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s digging this sit down and write thing.