Twitter Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Up Your Twitter Account

Twitter Spring Cleaning
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This is the time of year when spring cleaning articles are rampant. Brace yourself – this article is no exception to the rule. I’ve seen several potential origins of the practice of spring cleaning, so I can’t specifically tell you where it comes from, but I do know I tend to welcome this yearly practice. It’s as if I get a chance to wipe the slate clean and really get down to making my day to day routine a little more organized for the following year.

Obviously, this sort of theory doesn’t just apply to your personal life or your favorite sports team (Dallas Stars fans will understand my frustration here with all of the housekeeping that’s been done lately. I’m obviously still a little bitter about  if you can’t tell). In short, it’s important to really clean house with your social accounts as well. They can quickly get cluttered up over the course of a year, and once that happens, it’s easy for your Social Media guy or gal to miss out on potential conversations, leads and breaking news. One of the most difficult social accounts to clean up (in my opinion) is a Twitter account. It’s really easy to follow people and not think about it, but before you know it you may find your feed is just clogged up with irrelevant info. Here are some simple guidelines you can follow for a cleaner account.

Perform an Audit of Your Followers

As I mentioned, it’s easy to just follow people as you go along. If you feel that they are able to contribute some sort of industry relevant information to your career field or easily fit within your client’s target demographic, this can be a no-brainer. However, sometimes there are over-tweeters, people who don’t contribute much to the discussion, people who have nothing relevant to say every day (Oh, did you post a paper.li daily a few times today? Neat…) and so on. Rid yourself of these people. I’m serious. If they’re not relevant and are just cluttering up your news feed then get them out of there. SEOMoz has a tool called FollwerWonk that is perfect for doing just that. You can break down your followers on a variety of criteria, including social authority scores, follower counts, recency of tweets and more. In addition, it can show you if these users are following you back. If you have someone who doesn't contribute much to the discussion, has a low social authority score and isn't following you back, get them off your timeline. They’re probably just cluttering the whole thing up. There are plenty of more great features to FollowerWonk, by the way. It’s an ideal tool to use when cleaning your Twitter account up.

Just Because Someone Follows You Doesn't Mean You Have to Follow Back

Admittedly, this is something I struggled with for the longest time. I've seen lots of articles and blogs written about the validity of following someone back or not just because they've followed you. My advice is to look at the account first. If you think that they’re going to be a useful source of information for you or for your client or could help provide you with valuable leads and business, then by all means, give them a follow back. But if it’s just some dude that probably lives in his mom’s basement and tweets nonsense 300 times a day, you probably don’t have a lot of business following him. We've all seen the type – the guy who just complains about his personal life on Twitter or the guy who spams your news feed with the latest and greatest “marketing” info. These people have no business in your news feed. Don’t encourage them. Don’t feed the wildlife. Whatever way you have to justify it. Simply don’t. Rid your account of these people and rid yourself of the courtesy follow back. It’s okay to be selective.

Make and Use Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are perfect ways to stay ahead of the game when monitoring an account. It’s really easy to create a Twitter list, and the quicker you do this the better off you are. There’s plenty of ways to utilize a Twitter list, from creating your own private list, following a list that someone else has already set up, or creating a public list (anyone can obviously see who you’re following in this public list, so be sure to name it carefully).  You can use services such as Muck Rack to go through lists of journalists and reporters who may be covering your niche on Twitter and then add them to appropriate list categories, or you can just poke around the Twitter sphere itself. It’s a great way to keep everything separate and to help avoid your main follower list from becoming an irritating mess of garbage.

Give Your Profile a Face lift if Necessary

In the spirit of spring cleaning, it’s okay to give your Twitter profile a little makeover. Depending on the client you don’t necessarily want to re-brand everything, but an updated logo or a brand new background might not be such a bad thing. It’s a fresh look and it’s a way to generate buzz. If it’s your personal profile, update that profile pic. Give your background a new look. There’s nothing wrong with updating everything. It’ll be symbolic of all the hard work you've done cleaning out your account.

A Little Spring Cleaning Never Hurt Anyone

These are just some of the few things that can be done to give your Twitter profile a little face-lift  Whether it’s for your personal twitter or your client’s Twitter, you’ll find that a little spring cleaning is a perfect way to help your account stay on the right path. You’ll become more organized and make the most out of this social medium. Filtering out what is and what isn't important in 140 characters or less will have you more focused in on the right information for your account as opposed to some of the irrelevant banter that gets thrown on the internet. Got any additional tips/suggestions? Feel free to share them in the comments!

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