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David Lee King

Tidy up your Twitter Followers



I recently went through my library’s Twitter followers and “cleaned up” our follower list. What was I looking for? Mainly, that we are following people living in our service area. Here’s what I did:

First off, I used FriendorFollow. It’s a pretty handy tool that shows, among other things, who follows you, who doesn’t follow back, etc.

Then, I went through our list of Twitter followers, one at a time, and friended these types of a accounts:

  • Do they live in Topeka or Shawnee County?
  • Do they seem to live in Kansas, and do we share some Twitter friends (another indicator that they are in our service area)?
  • If they mention Topeka or Kansas in their bio or recent tweets
  • regional businesses (probably have employees in our service area)

If they met these criteria, I friended them back.

I unfriended some accounts, too. Here’s what I unfriended:

  • If they haven’t tweeted in over a year – that indicates they don’t actively use the account
  • If they never tweeted
  • If their account is private
  • If they don’t live in our service area

So – I ended up unfriending some libraries, some librarians, some people who had moved out of the area, and some celebrities that we had friended. Not in our service are? We dump em.

What did that achieve? Hopefully, more interaction. More followers that might actually be interested in their local library and what we tweet. And several hundred more followers that we are connected to!

That’s what I did – do you ever clean up follower lists in your organization’s Twitter or Facebook accounts? If so, what do YOU look for? Please share!

Image from Michael Sauers

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.managingcommunities.com/ Patrick O’Keefe

    I got the axe! Haha. It’s cool. :)

  • JanieH

    I do a big clean up our Twitter follow/follower list about 6 months, though I do get rid of obvious spam followers as they come in whenever I catch them thanks to daily notification of new followers.

    Like you I look for who follows us back, who has not tweeted in over a year, who is in our direct service area, as criterion for the clean up.

    We do follow a lot of publishers and publicists as this is useful for book news and for booking authors to speak and we follow select libraries, but not every library who follows us. We follow a lot as many local people as we can identify and try hard to engage and interact.

  • Rachel Basher

    No it’s not cool. I’m quite offended by being deleted for living outside a region, or whatever restrictions you have decided on. One of the things I learnt last week from David’s presentation on social media use in libraries was about the outreach possibilities and availability of networking worldwide through Facebook & Twitter and now you are doing the opposite? Am I going to be removed from the Facebook page as well? :-(

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    My library’s focus is on our customers, who pay taxes and live in our service area. You live in New Zealand, I think – quite outside our service area! Just like I wouldn’t expect your library to friend me – I am WAY outside the bounds of your service area too.

    We look at this as no different from anything else we do. Could you check a book out at our library? No – not unless you either moved to Topeka or paid an annual “out of area” fee.

    So – my library? They reach out regionally (I thought I mentioned that in my presentation? If not, sorry! I should have). But my personal Twitter account, on the other hand, is a global one – and we’re friends there (I just friended you back). Individual librarians should definitely reach out globally – it’s the best way to learn, to grow, and to help each other.

    Hope that helps explain it a bit better!

  • http://www.managingcommunities.com/ Patrick O’Keefe

    Nothing is really preventing you from networking with them. You haven’t been removed from their Facebook or Twitter page. You can still (and are unless you made a change) subscribed to their updates. They just aren’t following you on Twitter (they already weren’t following you on Facebook).

    To put it another way: you can still send the library an email. They just don’t have to join your mailing list.

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