Why I un-followed 47,000 people on Twitter
Remember when the band members from Metallica all got short haircuts? I remember hearing people say, “those sell-outs” and “it just isn’t the same seeing them with short hair.” Did anybody consider that after having long greasy hair for almost two decades, they were ready for a change? Long hair can be hard to manage, and so can a huge Twitter following.
When I first joined Twitter I was trying to get a book published. I still have a few good friends from the old days when I was using a blogspot blog – http://adriandayton.blogspot.com. For those of you that knew me back then I had one goal- to get my first book published. It was a book about virtues, so I figured a bigger following was better. So I grew… and grew.. and grew my following.
Somewhere along the way I switched gears and started talking to other lawyers about social media. This was a far more narrow niche and required a very tight focus. For this very specific group a big following wasn’t nearly as helpful or attractive. Worse still, I was following so many people that my Twitter stream was filled with content that was at best irrelevant and at worse distracting. The biggest challenge for me was that I could no longer focus on new followers or qualified prospects because they were lost in the noise. It was time to get a hair cut.
Months ago I noticed that Alexis Neely had trimmed down the list of people she followed- so I asked her how that went for her. She responded, “I have no regrets.” Than I noticed that one of the nicest people I know on Twitter, Del Williams had done the same. She told me how great it was to no longer have so many auto-DM’s and the SPAM coming her way all the time. She told me about a program called http://unfollowall.com that let’s you un-follow everyone with a click of a button. If you have a larger following it takes about 15 clicks- but it sure beats going through them all manually.
Do I regret it?
Actually no, you see the people that CARE have sent me a message and I have followed them back immediately, the people that don’t care- well, why were we following each other in the first place? Seth Godin says the magic number is 10. I have written about this before, but 10 raving fans will make any business successful. By following 50,000 it was making it hard to focus on the 10- or 100 people that I really care about.
If you were un-followed in what I refer to as “The Great Cleanse,” please shoot me a message and let me know so that I can follow you back. And this time, my following you back will mean more. Please don’t be upset with me though, I would hate to have to “sleep with one eye open.” (that’s a Metallica reference if you didn’t catch it.)
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