Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Stop Following Inactive Twitter Accounts with Manage Flitter

Did you know that Twitter users are limited to the number of accounts they can follow in comparison to the number of followers they have? I didn’t know this a few years ago when I reached 2,000 followers, but since then, I have had to continually manage my following to follower ratio. This is certainly not a problem for high profile individuals, celebrities or push-content accounts that share popular posts like Pete Cashmore of @mashable, @huffingtonpost or @ladygaga (who has the most followers at more than 33 million), but it is the case for most Twitter users.

There are various Twitter “Following Rules and Best Practices” that you should be aware of. The rule as it relates to the ratio I eluded to above states:

“… every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following. When you hit this limit, we’ll tell you by showing an error message in your browser. You’ll need to wait until you have more followers in order to follow more users…”
Image from ManageFlitter.com
During the last few years, I have found that I frequently hit my following limit and have to go back and un-follow users (especially at conferences when I’m actively networking and building relationships) who either no longer interest me or are inactive – a task that I used to do manually until I discovered Manage Flitter.

Manage Flitter allows users to filter followers and those they follow on Twitter so that users can make better use of the social media platform. Before using Manage Flitter, I was following more than 500 accounts which have been inactive (i.e. not shared a Tweet) since before 2012. That was close to 10% of the accounts I was following. I have since stopped following all of those accounts so that I can create more opportunity to follow active and engaging users.

And did I mention that Manage Flitter has a FREE option? Once you have subscribed by allowing the application access to your Twitter account, you can sort in various ways including: activity, no profile picture (another reason you should have a photo attached to your twitter account), not following you back, “fake-following” (Be careful with this one. I found many followers who are not “fake” in that list.), non-English accounts (which may or may not matter to you), and more.

Manage Flitter does seem to encourage users to un-follow accounts that don’t follow them back – but this is not a philosophy to which I subscribe absolutely. For example, I follow many media outlets which push content out but don’t necessarily engage in social media interaction. I follow them because I am interested in the news they have to share and as a result, I don’t expect them to follow me. Same holds true for celebrities with whom I don’t have a personal relationship, etc.

You can also learn more about each account, including volume of followers, following and messages, by hover the cursor over the username.

Bottom-line: If you’re going to use Twitter, then use it. That means actively engaging, sharing information of value, and managing who you follow by using tools that add to your productivity such as ManageFlitter.com. I’m hooked.

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