Up until last week, I followed back anyone who followed me on Twitter. Using Social Oomph, it was done all automatically without me having to do anything. If you followed me, minutes later I would automatically follow you back.
I started doing this for two main reasons. First, I wanted to follow back everyone as a courtesy. If you made the effort of following me and listening to what I had to say, then I considered following you back was the polite thing to do.
Second, I wanted to follow back everyone because I assumed that it would get me more followers (a lot of people are following you hoping that you will follow them back, thus increasing their followers count).
After a short while this became completely unmanageable. There was only one solution: mass unfollow everyone and start from scratch!
Why I Unfollowed Everyone
Twitter had lost all its sense to me. Sure I was using lists (and thank god for those) to help me categorize my Twitter buddies and follow what they had to say but this wasn’t convenient.
I ended up following 37,752 people while I had over 40,000 following me. Everytime I would look at my Twitter timeline, I would see tons of spam, porn, tweets about people sharing how good their meal was and a bunch of other stuff I couldn’t care less about. Finding good quality content on Twitter had been made impossible.
I started missing the days when I was following a couple hundred people. Those were people I had chosen to follow and was genuinely interested in listening and sharing with. There really was no other solution but unfollow everyone and start fresh.
How I Unfollowed Everyone
It took me a while to make up my mind. Should I do it? Should I not do it? I was worried that I would lose tons of followers in the process but I soon realized that those people that are really interested in me would not unfollow me. Really, I had nothing to lose.
Once I made the decision to unfollow everyone, I had yet to figure out a way to do it. I started searching online for services that could do that for me as I was not going to unfollow 37,752 people manually. I ran into a few sites that helped me unfollow a few hundred people at a time, but clearly that wasn’t the solution.
I finally remembered a website called SocialToo that offered similar services a year or so ago. I went to the site and was glad to see they were still offering this mass unfollow service. They charge $35 for doing a mass unfollow of your account but to me it was well worth it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous before clicking the “run the script” button on SocialToo.
Building Up Relationships One Follow at a Time
It took about 12-14 hours for SocialToo to unfollow everyone I was following. I then looked at my timeline: it was blank. Nothing! It felt peaceful.
Now that my Twitter account was a clean slate, I started following people one by one. I started with people that were in my lists and added a few others along the way. It took me a couple hours to do that, but again, it was time well spent.
I did lose a few followers in the process but I don’t really care about that. The most important thing is that I fell in love with Twitter all over again and that I can finally look at my timeline without being overwhelmed by twam (Twitter spam).
Do you automatically follow everyone back on Twitter? Or do you hand pick those you want to follow back?