About a month ago, I clicked follow on Twitter to return the follow I had received. I got a message stating that I could not follow anyone else at this time. Of course I clicked the learn more hyperlink and that only left me more confused.
Rules I was not breaking:
- I was not impersonating someone
- I was not breaking a trademark using someone else’s name
- I had not published private and confidential info about someone
- I did not publish or pose threats of violence
- I did not misuse Twitter badges
- I did not break a copyright infringement.
Next I checked the rules for spam
- I did not have multiple accounts for disruptive or abusive reasons
- I was not selling or buying Twitter usernames
- I was not spamming anyone (in fact I hate Direct messaging spam)
- My posts were not mainly links
- I was not randomly following or favoriting or retweeting tweets
- I did not post other account info as my own
- Of course no graphic content
Next I checked my numbers. I had a little over 4,000 followers and was following close to the same number. More head scratching!
I decided to read Twitter’s follow limits again. Here is what I learned:
Everyone can follow up to 2,000 folks. Then it gets a bit tricky . It seems there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow and the number is different for each account and is based on your ratio of followers to following. To make things more confusing: THIS RATIO IS NOT PUBLISHED. Everyone is subject to limits, even high profile and API accounts. You cannot follow more than 1,000 a day (I was not). One reason Twitter does this is following on Twitter is not mutual. Limits on Twitter alleviate some of the strain on the invisible part of Twitter. The limits are placed for the sake of reliability. I am sure you have seen those ads on Twitter to buy followers.
After reading, researching and studying a bit more, I learned that a well-managed Twitter account improves branding and helps you to better engage. For me, that meant learning if I needed to clean up my account.
Follow versus Following
The first thing I did was check out some tools to check my follow and following as well as those that were not following me. I discovered much to my surprise I had been following over 2,000 folks that were not following me. Light bulbs went off. There was that 2,000 number again and I was following over that amount without returns. (I also had people I was not following that were following me.) I decided to start by cleaning that up: those that were not following me back. Caution: I did not just go into the account and unfollow anyone who did not return the follow. There are some folks I wanted to see their Tweets and knew I would not see the return follow. A couple of examples are Michael Hyatt, Jack Canfield, Medium, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dave Ramsey, Pat Flynn and more.
Next I looked to see who is active and who is not. I analyzed the profile of each to see if they fall in the realm of my ideal customer or if they are a leader in my niche. That honestly got to be a bit much, so I went to UnTweeps.
You allow access to your account
They scan your account and find those you follow and provide a list of inactive ones. Decide what you consider inactive and fill in the number. Thirty days inactive is what shows up by default. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I had been following a few accounts that had not been active since April.
Then you just check the box of those you want to unfollow. You could also choose to whitelist a person.
The very simple idea is to weed out the folks you are following who are not tweeting.
Those tools to learn who is inactive or not following you are :
Stop Following Irrelevant Accounts
Another step you can take is to stop following irrelevant accounts. I had been following anyone that followed me. I had folks that just wanted me to buy their service of getting me more follows follow me and I would follow back. Blogger Michael Hyatt also used to follow all of the people who followed him, all 108,698 and realized his inbox messages and irrelevant tweets were getting out of hand. He took drastic measures and unfollowed everyone. Since you most likely do not have that kind of problem, an alternative is to sift through people you follow and identify the ones that are irrelevant and unfollow them. Here is how:
Go to your profile page and click Following
This will then bring up everyone you are following
Look at the profiles and see if they are worth following. If you should decide you no longer want to follow, put your curser over the follow button. It will turn into a red Unfollow button. Click it.
Recheck your profile
I am huge on emphasizing that your profile needs to be great and clean. Your bio is your public identity on Twitter. If folks know who you are, what you do (your niche or expertise) then it stands to reason there is a much better chance that the right folks will follow you. Here are a few steps you might want to check out:
- Update your header (1500×500 pixels)
- Update your profile picture (headshot) (400×400 pixels)
- Choose your preferred them color in the design tab of settings. If you have chosen to use colors to brand yourself, this is where you want to use one of those brand colors.
- Make sure you have an accurate bio (max 160 characters)
- Make sure your location and website is up to date.
- If you want, you can add your birthday.
Delete off topic tweets
My blog last week was on irritating tweets. Imagine my surprise to discover that when I had visited Tweetsmap to see where my followers were located that I would see that map posted weekly on my site. Even worse is that it tells how many new followers I have and goes on to say it is more than last week.
Can anyone say humble brag? I wanted to crawl under a table. To delete these and any other posts, go to the ellipsis under the tweet. (The three little dots on the bottom right. When you click it, up pops a box, click on delete tweet)
Take care of those Tweets that you feel are dumb, or the tweets with typos. We may not be able to edit them, but we can delete them. If you see anything unprofessional, or something that might show you in the wrong light, delete it. Always better safe than sorry. We are talking about your business after all.
Make sure you keep your Twitter account clean and prevent finding yourself in a situation like I did. I now make it a point to check the account at least once a week, using only one tool instead of two or three because I need to delete so many people I follow. These simple tips will help you to keep your account up to date and “ready to use”.
Is checking on your account something you were already doing? What surprising things did you learn about your account using these tools? Please share with us!