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4th Post- Tips for Pruning Your Twitter Tree

It’s been 2 weeks since I started my “30 Days to Success” series and I have increased my Twitter “Follower” account by 25%! I did this by following tips in Posts 1, 2, and 3. I deem this “measurable” as successful in that those following me are REAL people within the verticals I have identified (Social Media experts, Real Estate Professionals and Entrepreneurs to name a few). My future posts will speak to where you ultimately want to get to which is to start conversations and promote click activity within your posts. For now, let’s focus on this valuable community building exercise.

It’s very important to clean out the base of people that you are following for many reasons. One practical reason is ridding yourself of spam posters, repeaters and those just trying to sell to you.  Secondly, Twitter introduces limits to your account once you are following 2,000 people or more. From the Twitter Help Center: “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—basically, you can’t follow 10,000 people if only 100 people follow you.” I recently attended a seminar where the expert shared that this ratio is 10%. If you are Following 2100 people then you must have at least 1,890 Followers.

I have started to spend at least 30 minutes a week on “Pruning” the group of people that I follow on Twitter. I have checked out applications like Friend or Follow and the manage friends function at Social Oomph (this site is a paid application that is super rich in features but one that may be too much for many at the beginning stages of network building). I recently stumbled on Echofon and downloaded the Pro mobile version (one $4.99 charge for both my iPhone and iPad) and I am very pleased with the user interface and functionality.

I plan to jump onto Echofon for my iPad (they have a free Mac version where you can do the same) as much as I can to do the following:

1) Go to the “Users” tab where Echofon neatly displays thumbnails of all of the people following you in alphabetical order;

2) Click on each thumbnail and browse their stats. The Echofon window tells me everything I need to know so to make the right decision about the person I am viewing.  I choose to unfollow those who fall into these categories:

a. They do not follow me (where they are not a celebrity I like to stalk or a news feed that provides daily content)

b. They have not tweeted in weeks (they are not active therefore not connected to me)

c. Their tweets are spam-like, repetitive or just uninteresting

d. They do not fall into any of my “List” categories (more on lists in future posts)

3) For those who I choose to continue following I categorize by placing them in a list that I have already created in Twitter. I urge you to get in the habit of immediately placing new people you follow in a list so to make your content browsing and community pruning activities as efficient as possible.

I am now at a ratio of 932 Followers to 1193 people that I follow. I plan to take this 28% differential down to 12% over the next week using the above approach. The auto-unfriend capability that some apps provided in the past is gone due to Twitter penalizing this type of activity.The above may seem too manual to engage in but well worth your time and effort.

Please share your process for achieving a healthy Following/ Follower ratio so we can all benefit from the Twitter platform!

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