A while back I wrote about Twitter etiquette and unfollowing, and I think it’s time to update this post. I recently did another unfollow purge and it’s great to have control of my feed again. Living overseas has given me a special perspective on Twitter. Thanks to a 13-hour time difference, I get a totally different experience than most of you in America. I can only interact when you all are going to sleep or just heading to work, and the rest of the day, I fall into the dreaded window of prescheduled tweets. Alternately, if you don’t preschedule, I might not have seen a tweet from you in months (and vice versa). Here are some recent reasons I’ve unfollowed accounts:
1. STOP TWEETING YOUR BOOK PITCH. Every so often is fine, if you’re into that sort of thing, but when I’m seeing it every day, multiple times a day? Nope. Buh-bye.
2. Our schedules don’t jive. If we can’t interact and never see each other online, why bother following? This is mostly a product of my crazy time zone, but it applies to everyone.
3. You have thousands of followers and we’ve never interacted. The number of followers isn’t so much the problem—my main issue is the lack of reciprocation and flood of RTs from those 10,000 other accounts that have nothing to do with my interests.
4. Content overload. Following too many accounts was drowning my feed. Obviously, I could make lists to deal with this, but I don’t like sift through multiple tweet streams or digging to find the content that I care about. Trimming out the chronic RTers did wonders.
5. Reverse content overload. This gets back to #3. If I’m drowning in info following 500 people, I know you’re a disaster at 5000. Maybe you make use of lists better than I do and have a way to filter your content, so I let interaction be my guide. If I’ve had you in my feed for ages and we’ve never chatted or RT’d each other, this relationship is not working for either of us.
Unfollowing shouldn’t feel like a faux pas–if you’re not getting content that you care about, then don’t be afraid to cut the cord. We’re all flooded with too much information to deal with excessive self-promotion and irrelevant links. Unfollow and regain control of your social media!
I’ve been having a Twitter spring-cleaning. Too much of my feed was choked with RT’s from people I’ve never heard of, and the same self-promotional links repeated over and over and over again.
First, remember that I followed you because I thought you’d be interesting. I thought we’d be able to chat about our shared interests…because isn’t that why we’re here? I’m not dumping you because you don’t follow back—just because I like what you do doesn’t mean you reciprocate, and that’s fine.
I unfollowed you because:
1. You follow too many people. I’m not on Twitter that often, so when I see 3k+ or 10k, or 60k followers, I know you’re NEVER going to see anything I post. Even if you did, why would you care? You’ve got so many followers, you have no idea who I am or what I do. Inevitably you’re marketing something I don’t want, and filling my feed with RT’s that don’t interest me.
2. You don’t use @ replies. Your communication only goes one way and you’re just broadcasting information without interacting. If your feed is all “NEWS STORY via @whoever” the same applies. Maybe you don’t respond to my @’s and maybe when I check your feed, there isn’t a single conversation. If we can’t chat and you’re not a celebrity, then it’s unfollow time.
3. You tweet ALL THE TIME. My feed is flooded with contests you’ve entered and a million books you reviewed and EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING. I like following bloggers and book reviews because I’m interested in finding new books. When I’m logged in at 3am and I’m still getting buried in your avatar and prescheduled tweets then I’m going to have to unfollow. With the volume of tweets you’re churning out, you’re blocking the rest of my feed.
4. With a scary combination of issues 1-3, you are trying to sell me something. Probably your book. That’s not the problem—I’m trying to sell books, and so are all the authors I’m following. The difference is that you’re using Twitter as a megaphone, and eventually I start viewing your tweets the same as those annoying promoted links. You have become a business, and are more tweetbot than person.
Even though I don’t like these behaviors, it’s still hard to unfollow. I know you’re doing your best and working hard to promote something you love. I still like you, but you’re the friend who wants me to book a Pampered Chef party every time I talk to you. I might buy a utensil or two (because Pampered Chef is nice) but once I know I exist as a marketing contact instead of a friend, I will start to politely ignore you. In real life, I’m pretending I don’t see you at the grocery store. On Twitter, it’s an unfollow.