This year, I’ve decided to keep my following count on Twitter to no more than 500 people, in an effort to simplify my social media use. Being an active Twitter user since 2007 means I eagerly followed hundreds of people who have either morphed into Twitter abusers (read: “Buy my product. Buy my product. Read my blog. Buy my product NOW.”), are no longer relevant to me, or are simply inactive.
I’ve been using a swell little tool to tackle this: ManageFlitter. Like many Twitter tools, it will show you inactive tweeps and slice and dice those you follow to help get your list under control. But what I love about ManageFlitter is its search functionality, which searches an account’s bio or tweets.
If you are looking for a quick way to clear your list of those potentially self-promoting or otherwise uninteresting tweeps, may I suggest searching for the following?
- Personal brand
I’m not suggesting everyone who uses these words in their bio is a self-promoting feed-clogger. But these words have proven to be a wonderful start for me in surfacing some of the chief offenders (i.e., snake oil salespeople of social media). For extra scrubbing power, consider:
- Gen Y
Again, some people use these terms legitimately, including some of my real-life friends. But those who do not tend to hail from the quirky cottage industry of navel-gazing generational rants or believe entrepreneurship is shaped like a pyramid.
For bonus points, I unfollow organizations. I’ve decided once and for all that for me, Twitter is best as a person-to-person environment, even if that person is tweeting on behalf of a specific organization. I find that I already like many organizations on Facebook, so it’s just double-dipping to see them in my Twitter feed.
And that, my friends, is how I stay sane with the number of people I follow on Twitter.