6 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Twitter Account

Twitter Fail Whale by ShannaBanan-o-rama

Spring is here! One of my favourite things to do during spring (aside from eating spring-like food) is spring cleaning. Over time, you begin to collect things that you thought might have been interesting or useful only to find out that it sat in the basement and forgotten about. Never to see daylight again.

Twitter’s the same way; someone might have followed you and then you followed them back to be nice, only to listen to them talk about irrelevant information. The more and more people you follow, the more cluttered your newsfeed becomes. Here are six tips for spring cleaning your twitter account.

Spring Cleaning Your Twitter’s Preverbal Basement

I understand that social media can be a difficult to manage, especially if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to it. In order to help, I’ve listed a few guidelines that you can follow to help clean up your Twitter feed.

I recommend using the free web application, Tweepi. You don’t need to use it, but I find Twitter’s native lists time consuming.

1. Have an Equal-ish Following to Follower ratio.

It doesn’t have to be exactly equal, but balancing it out will help create a perception.

  • Following too many people creates the perception of desperation and lack of clarity. Not too mention it clutters up your newsfeed.
  • Not following enough people creates the perception of being better than others (think of celebrity accounts) or your organization has zero interest in engaging with other people.

@dn_nicholson Twitter Account

I’m currently following about half the number of my followers

2. Quality, Not Quantity

If you’re following someone just because they followed you – stop that right now. You should have a strong understanding of who your audience is. Why would they engage with your brand in the first place?

Refer to your social strategy (if you have one). If you don’t, look at your business or organization and ask yourself:

  • What service or offering is relatable to your customer?
  • Why would your customers follow you in the first place?
  • Who are the influencers in my industry?
  • Where do my customers live?

If you’re a Winnipeg-based small business that services only Winnipeg, then people who live in India may not be the type of people you want to follow.

Make a list of audience segments who you want to listen to. Eventually you’ll get a checklist for who stays and who gets removed.

Once you build your segment checklist, it’s time to take a look at the users themselves. Guidelines 3-6 will focus specifically on the quality of a user. As I mentioned previously, you can review people easily using Tweepi.

Justin Bieber's Twitter Account

Not the highest quality of tweets…

3. More Than a Month is Too Long

I’ve found that anyone who hasn’t tweeted in over a month is either inconsistent or doesn’t do it very often.

While they may continue to check their Twitter on a daily basis for content, they’re already following you. They’ll continue to get your tweets even when you don’t follow them back.


JohnJoe is probably not using Twitter that often… or at all.


4. The Bio Explains Who They Are

People fill out their bio because they want to tell the world who they are, what they do, and what they like. Here you can get the valuable information you need to decide if they’re someone you’re going to want to listen and engage with.

If they don’t fit your segment list, then it’s okay remove them. If you’re questioning the strength of the connection, move on to Guideline #5.

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murder Twitter Account

Vancouver, Blues, Rock & Roll. They’re awesome.

5. A Mutual Friendship

Tweepi will determine if “You’re Following” them or if you have a “Mutual” relationship (meaning you follow each other). If you’ve been following people back because they followed you, this is the time it paid off.

Since they’re following you, they’re considered as a brand ambassador. Anything you say will show up in their timeline and they just may retweet something to their followers. My advice: Keep them. There’s no point of spoiling a mutual friendship.

If you’re just following them and they’re not following you back, then that means you’re only listening to what they have to say. Not only that, but they probably don’t even know you exist. Move on to Guideline #6.

We Are Think Shift Twitter Account

We’re the best of friends 🙂

6. A Mutual Friendship

All in all, it comes down to the content. Review the last 20-30 tweets. If the information is relevant to you or your brand, and you’d be willing to share their content, then keep them. If you feel they provide no value, then unfollow them.

Lather, rinse and repeat guidelines three through six until you finished your entire following list. Once you’re cleaned up, it’s all about being intentional with your followers.

Refer back to Guideline #2 – Quality, not Quantity. You don’t have to follow back every person that follows you. If the content they provide is relevant, then follow back, otherwise, they’re interested in what you have to say.

Need Help with a Social Media Strategy?

If you want to talk more about social media strategies for your business or organization, give me a shout! I’d be happy to help!