I mentioned a while back that I had been inspired to give twitter another shot. I said I was working through steps to turn twitter into a useful resource for me and that I would be sharing them at some point.
Well here is the first one - Spring cleaning the people you follow
It may seem harsh removing people from your twitter list but there are two important things to consider.
1. If you aren't reading their tweets because you follow too many people or have stopped looking at twitter because you really don't care what they're saying... is there any benefit for them to have you follow them anyway?
2. If you're worried that people will unfollow you if you unfollow them, don't be. If they are only following you because you're following them... do you really care if they follow you anyway?
OK now that's sorted, time to remove people!
First up - anyone who only tweets about their products; they're obviously only interested in themselves anyway
Second - people who occasionally tweet about their kids/pets/meals in an attempt to prevent you from realising that they are, in fact, exactly the same as type 1!
Those are the easy ones but I think its important not to stop there. After removing all of those people I was still left with over 200 people - still far too many to have any kind of meaningful interaction with.
So next up - people whose tweets are mostly conversations with other tweeters who you don't follow and you have no idea what is going on half the time. This may be a bad idea because people who have conversations are potentially more likely to converse with you but if you have no idea what's going on there probably isn't any point. If, on the other hand, something in their conversation strikes you as interesting maybe you should actually follow the other people too!
Finally - people who don't really have anything in common with you. Maybe people who make a completely different type of handmade product, people who are in a different age/life bracket to you. People who tweet about things that don't interest you or aren't relevant to you.
It may seem like a weird reason to remove someone but its exactly what you would do if you met these people in person. You would naturally gravitate to those with a similar outlook on life and have more to talk about with them than others. The exceptions are those who may be in a different life bracket but have also many years of experience and success in fields that interest you and tweet about it. It's not enough if their profile says they are an expert in your field but all they tweet about is their grandchildren!
Working out who to remove and who to keep takes time. I find it helps to keep tweetdeck open, whenever a tweet comes up that looks boring I check out that person's profile and compare all their other tweets. That's usually enough to decide to keep them or not.
If you follow thousands of people it might be easier to remove them all and start from scratch!
If you found this helpful look out for my next Twitter cleanup article - Finding good people to follow