I recently wrote a blog post on accepting LinkedIn Connections. The article stemmed a lot of debate with friends, tweeps, and blog readers on my stance that I must know, have met, or personally communicated with someone to accept a LinkedIn connection. This morning, I sat down to think about who I follow on twitter.
Though I have been registered on twitter for almost 2 years, I have only been an active user since July 2010. I had to consciously teach myself to “tweet” and share things in 140 characters. I have now trained my brain to think in these short snippets as it is rare that I have to edit a tweet due to length. When I first started with twitter, I looked to see who those I admire (ie: had interesting content, similar interests or I had met in person) were following to shape my twitter feed. Who I follow on twitter shapes my views on the hot news topics of the day and relevant insights in my field of recruiting, hr, and marketing.
I was totally ‘follow happy’ when I was first started using twitter. I followed so many individuals in all different spheres and interests. Many people additionally make the mistake of following lots of people to build their own following as they hope for follow-backs. I do not believe in this philosophy because twitter is about true engagements. I followed a wide depth of individuals as I was testing my twitter wings & exploring different ways of educating myself on different perspectives.
A year later, I’m a little smarter. I now use lists, a feature on twitter to organize relevant individuals under list topics I create like “branding” or “hr professionals” or “people I work with,” that allow me to quickly sort my huge newsfeed and filter on a specific topic. I really think twice before following someone as they must be in a specific field of interest. Now when I go to follow a new person on twitter, I look first to see their last few tweets, understand how often they tweet, read over their bio, see who they are following, and also see who is following them.
In order to sort out my following list and take out people who are inactive and not relevant to my new view of twitter & my more narrow choice of hot topics, I use a great application called ManageFlitter. It hooks into your twitter and sorts those you are following by a multitude of topics that easily allow you to “unfollow” people who are not adding value to your newsfeed. I use it approximately once a month to unfollow those who are inactive or see who isn’t following me back – only editing them if they aren’t tweeting on topics relevant I’m interested in. It’s a great way to streamline my feed and ensure I’m following quality individuals.
- Use applications to help you manage this process with quick filters (http://manageflitter.com/) is fantastic
- Visit your “following” list often
- Don’t follow people to build your own followings – follow those you are interested in. Ensure that the next month they have proven to be interesting! Create relevant material to build your own following lists & engage with your network
- Use lists on a regular basis to create easy filters to streamline your newsfeed on relevant topics
I hope this helps you clean up your twitter lists & edit those you are following to make the most out of this social medium!