The Complete Twitter ‘Follow / Unfollow’ Toolkit

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My search for the ultimate Twitter management solution…

Three parts to the post:

A) The best ‘overall’ tools
B) The best ‘supplementary’ tools
C) The best ‘advice’ (courtesy of @mattsingley)

This post has been cobbled together out of frustration.

Put simply, most of the tools I’ve used of late that are supposed to make my Twitter account easier to manage have done the exact opposite.

The problem? Too many tools trying to do too many things (probably), but also many of these tools are created by one-man bands for free and aren’t subsidized in any way, which means maintenance is challenging.

The other challenge?

On January 15 2010, Twitter altered some rules which don’t allow for tools to provide bulk ‘unfollow‘ functionality which is / was the main benefit of these tools.

I’m getting to a point now where I’d happily pay for a tool that is truly robust and reliable, and brings together the key features important to me (*nudge* to anyone who wants to create a bespoke tool of this kind – I’m currently testing out SocialOomph which is a powerful ‘all-in-one’ tool…it might be the solution).

Anyway, I’ve compiled a list of some of the better ones that I’ve used, and categorized them by the type of Twitter user you might be…hope these help…

Part A) The Most Useful Twitter Follow / Unfollow ‘Complete’ Tools

1. Tweepi.com

It calls itself ‘a geekier, faster way to manage Twitter’ which is pretty accurate.

I like this because of the level of sophistication and detail it provides, but for some it may seem ‘over-complicated’.

Main functions: Geeky Follow (suggests people to follow based on activity patterns), Flush (identifies users who do not follow you back), Reciprocate (lists people following you that you are not following back), Cleanup (a look at your entire list, supported by stats, allowing for informed decisions to be made)

Who is it for? High Volume users.

*H/T to @blogtillyoudrop for this one 🙂

2. MyTweeple.com

By far the most useful and practical tool of this type around.

Main functions: Once logged in, it breaks down your contacts into three categories (your followers, people you follow and everyone).

A further level of sub-categorization is then applied i.e. location, date of last tweet, number of followers etc

And this is all housed within the one, easy to manage list, which allows for following / unfollowing at the tick of a box.

Who is it for: Mid-High Volume users.

3. Twitter Karma

This tool is easy to use, and gives you the best indication of how you are using Twitter i.e. if Twitter is supposed to be a conversation medium, you can see who you are talking with (ideal, but not always possible / practical), only talking to and only listening to.

NOTE: You’ll never be friends with ‘everyone’ on Twitter, and in some cases you only want to ‘hear’ what they have to say rather than actively talk ‘to’ them – the key, which I often stress via this Blog is to follow ‘topics’ first and ‘people’ second.

Main functions: Once logged in, it breaks down your contacts into similar categories to the ones provided by My Tweeple (all, only following, only followers, all friends, all followers and mutual friends).

This is great for getting a picture of your ‘Twitterverse‘ but without the bulk ‘unfollow‘ option robs it of it’s most useful element.

Who is it for: Mid-Volume users.

It’s at this point that my frustration with these tools kicks in – this is where the more ‘niche’ tools often appear, which although helpful, don’t give me an ‘all-in-one’ solution.

However, there are a couple, which used in conjunction with the ones above, are quite helpful.

Part B) ‘Supplementary’ Tools

http://www.untweeps.comidentifies ‘stale’ Tweeple i.e. ones who haven’t tweeted recently

http://whofollowswhom.com/ – another great supplementary tool, this identifies which followers you have in common with other people and is a nice way to build your network

Part C) Some advice on following and unfollowing

As I eluded to earlier, Twitter is a topic driven medium, and this should shape your ‘network’ – the best explanation I’ve come across regarding why and how to follow on Twitter is courtesy of @mattsingley who featured these two useful posts on the subject this time last year:

Five ways to follow good people on Twitter

Why and how to unfollow people on Twitter

Matt’s Blog (http://mattsingley.com/blog) is great, I’ve found him and his advice to be invaluable in the last 12 months -well worth subscribing / following.

Thanks
AV

8 Comments

  • Reply February 3, 2010

    Myra

    This is a really good article and it is helpfull for all of us who do twitt alot.

  • Reply February 3, 2010

    mecbc

    Thanks for the post. Very useful info – issues I have been searching for with little/unreliable info.

    Also, I really appreciate your link to Matt’s articles. However, in light of twitter’s recent rule change in bulk following/unfollowing it would be great if Matt could update??

    (Btw, your tweepi.com link is incorrect. It links to tweeepi.com (3 x e))

  • Reply February 3, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Christina – Hi

    Thanks for your comments / nudge re: tweepi.com.

    After reading back through Matt’s articles, the substance ad advice are just as relevant post the 15 Jan 2010 as they were before.

    The only thing that has been affected is a tool like Twitter Karma which doesn’t allow for bulk unfollowing anymore.

    If you have any specific questions or need a hand with anything, you can email me at thecommscorner@googlemail.com

    Thanks
    A

  • Reply February 5, 2010

    Doug Braun

    Have you tried TwitSweeper.com which gets rid of spammy/undesirable followers for you on an ongoing basis.

  • Reply February 6, 2010

    Francisco Rosales

    Great post Adam, I’m familiar with Tweepi and consider it a great tool to provide the visibility lost on Twitter.

    Thank you!

  • Reply February 8, 2010

    Roland C. Müller

    Nice post! Thanks a lot. There’s also a RSS-Solution I like: http://h3o.de/friends/index.php
    best wishes!

  • Reply July 17, 2010

    Susan Knight

    Love it when articles are to the point and make sense! (mostly because I am neither) Thank you!!

  • Reply October 6, 2010

    Diannewhite53

    great post!

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