Every now and then, I run an application called TwitCleaner to thin out the number of people I am following on Twitter. This is a rather vain attempt at reducing the volume of noise in my Twitter feed. It helps, but not that much.
Twit Cleaner looks at everyone I am following on Twitter and analyzes what kind of user they are based on what they Tweet. Then it makes recommendations of who I should unfollow.
My favorite par of the analysis comes at the end when I can ask it to analyze my Tweets and let me see how I look. So far, it’s been nothing but compliments and “atta boys”.
What I find really interesting is how some some people appear to Twit Cleaner. Famous people. People who should know better. And, sad to say, some of you.
How Twit Cleaner sees the Twitter crowd
People are lumped into categories based on less than desirable behavior. Not icky behavior. Just not friendly or useful.
Potentially Dodgy Behavior – Nothing but links
No replies. No retweets. No engagement with the community. Just a constant stream of “Look at what I wrote.” A couple of these are the Twitter feeds for magazines, so I expect them to be nothing but links. But when it is an individual or, worse, a social media ‘expert’ who’s been flagged like this? Yep, unfollowed.
Repeating the same URLS – Duplicating the same link more than 25% of the time
It’s like deja vu all over again.
Posting Identical Tweets – posts the same tweet too many times
We heard you the first 20 times.
App Spam – more than 50% application spam from paper.li, foursquare, IFTT, etc
Surprising that IFTT, which is being pushed right now as a productivity improver is in the list of app spam. IFTT is short for “If this, then that”. In case you were wondering.
BOTS – more than 90% pumped out from an RSS feed.
Letting your RSS feed do all the work is probably not a winning strategy.
And there are more, but those are the biggies.
You shouldn’t be automating all of your Tweets
Most of the people that TwitCleaner flagged are probably using Hootsuite, RSS, and IFTT to automate all of their tweets. Those are incredibly useful tools and I encourage you to get to know Hootsuite, if nothing else, but when your Twitter feed is nothing but pre-written tweets you’ve scheduled ages in advance, there’s not a lot of value for your followers. You’ve just moved your interruption marketing to Twitter. And that’s the wrong outlet for interruption marketing.
You should engage with your followers
The other big flag were people who either don’t follow back, only retweet, or only post links. Twitter is a big water cooler environment. You need to talk to people. Otherwise you’re nothing more than the bulletin board at the water cooler. No one will pay you any attention.
I’m not a Twitter power user, by any means, but I do try to strike a balance between announcements, retweets, and conversation.
Give TwitCleaner a try and make sure you look at how the service sees you. Are you on any of their lists?
Si Dawson says
Thanks for writing about Twit Cleaner!
A couple of clarifications:
1. IFTTT (indeed all the ‘auto-post’ apps out there) are really only a problem if they’re abused. If the majority of your posts are coming out of some program somewhere, well, you’re not exactly ON Twitter, engaging, connecting, relating. Certainly using them to augment your presence is a smart use of time.
2. Hootsuite is totally fine as an app. That doesn’t raise any flags on our reports.
Thanks again for the article, it’s most excellent of you.
[Twit Cleaner Creator]
Thanks for the clarification! Twit Cleaner is a great little product and I use it on a regular basis. Good to know what is and isn’t going to affect my feed.