#161: Art of Unfollowing on Social Media – How to Unfollow and Why

Office Operations

The theme this month is Spring Cleaning Your Digital Space and nothing needs more of a spring cleaning than social media feeds. Get out your social scissors because we are going to get serious about getting rid of what isn’t serving you!

In this episode, I talk about why it’s important for you to unfollow irrelevant accounts, inactive accounts, or people you don’t know (I mean, who likes looking at pictures of someone’s kids when you don’t even know them?).

I also show you a tool that will help make it super easy to unfollow those on Twitter and if you even need to clean up your LinkedIn connections (hint: do you do passive or proactive marketing on LinkedIn?).

Hi and welcome to Systems Sunday. The theme this month is Spring Cleaning Your Cluttered Digital Space and nothing needs more of a spring cleaning more than social media feeds.

I’m Lisa Wells your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

You know that sigh of relief you breathe when you finish cleaning your house? That same feeling can be achieved by cleaning up your social media accounts. Just like when your home is a mess and you can’t find anything, the stress of an over-cluttered social media experience can be overwhelming.

In this episode, I talk about why it’s important for you to unfollow irrelevant or inactive accounts and unfriend or unfollow people you don’t know (I mean, who likes looking at pictures of someone’s kids when you don’t even know them?).

I also show you a tool that will help make it super easy to unfollow those on Twitter and if you even need to clean up your LinkedIn connections (hint: do you do passive or proactive marketing on LinkedIn?).

The solution to this chaos is found in organization. When thinking about cleaning up and organizing your social media presence, you should consider all areas of your online presence that could do with some tidying up. You will probably find it helpful to declutter the social media accounts you’re following, as well as streamlining your own social media presence to impact your overall strategy and goals for stress-free social.

If you’re still not convinced, having an organized online presence will result in:

  • Higher quality and more relevant content: When you organize and declutter your social media life, you have access to the updates and accounts you actually care about. The biggest upside? You won’t get updates that mean nothing to you.
  • More control: If you’ve ever liked a FB post that shows up in your feed but can’t actually remember who the account belongs to, doing some basic decluttering will help re-establish those personal connections. When you know who you are following, and can actually associate an account with a person or specific brand, your online experience will feel less stressful.
  • Better connections: When your social media feeds are organized and you have more control over both who you are following and your followers, you are able to keep track of your online connections and maintain a more personalized relationship with as many of them as possible.

Now that you have a better understanding of why it’s important to declutter your social media and online presence, the following tips will help you actually get to that space of digital zen.

First, get out your social scissors because we are going to get serious about getting rid of dead weight that isn’t serving you.

When I did this with my FB feed, I had about 900 friends. I went through each and every one of them and if I didn’t know them personally, have a business relationship, or have done business with them, I unfriended. For one, they weren’t adding any value to my overall goals and two , I didn’t know these people and felt weird looking at photos of them when I didn’t even know who they were. I then separated offline friends and family with online business stuff so that when I did post something that was purely business related, I had a way to segment that. When I was done, I had about 500 left.

You may decide to Unfollow them rather than Unfriend. If you unfriend, should you decide to be friends later on, you’ll need to add them as a friend again. If you Unfollow, you won’t see their posts in your feed but you’ll still be friends with them on Facebook.

After you’re done weeding out your friends, check your Pages and Groups that you belong to and remove those you no longer want to follow.

Now when I get friend requests, if I don’t know them or have done business with them, I send them a polite note that direct them to my business page. When you unfriend someone, they don’t get a notification, so don’t worry about that. Plus you need to protect your time as well as your sanity.

Go through your Twitter following and unfollow inactive accounts.

The idea is simple. Weed out all of the people you’re following who aren’t tweeting. Following inactive Twitter accounts can negatively impact your influence and even reduce your follower count over time. Inactive Twitter accounts are worth unfollowing because they don’t add value to your account. They never publish tweets, interact with others, or provide insight of any kind.
Having inactive users makes your account look less professional. Lastly, inactive accounts reduce your follower/following ratio. Rather than following these inactive Twitter accounts, unfollow them to focus on active and relevant Twitter accounts to follow.

You can do this manually by going through your list and checking things such as do they lack a profile photo or a blank profile page or does it look genuine. Also, look at their Twitter handle – active users have their actual names rather than a handle that has a bunch of numbers or that looks silly.

You can also use a tool to unfollow inactive accounts. Twitter has been going through lots of changes recently and removing access to many third-party tools, so as of the publishing of this video, the popular tool unTweeps is still working.

It lets you easily unfollow inactive Twitter accounts for free. The Untweeps Twitter tool lets you select days when an account has been inactive for a while, then click on the checkboxes next to inactive users and click “Unfollow.” Since this tool is exclusively for unfollowing inactive users, its interface is user-friendly.

On LinkedIn, I admit that I used to be not very discerning when it came to accepting connections on LinkedIn but now I do. I don’t accept irrelevant requests, for example, if you are a cryptocurrency expert, I probably won’t do business with you. If you are a virtual assistant, my information is highly relevant to you. I take the position that you can do passive LinkedIn marketing, which is maintaining a profile, building connections, and posting often and this gives you exposure to people searching for your products or services, gets you introductions to potential clients, and displays your recommendations from others on LinkedIn. This is how I use it.

But if LinkedIn is your thing, that’s where your clients are, you can most certainly do proactive LinkedIn marketing. This is where you post regular status updates, participate in groups, send messages and invitations to others in your network and group members, try LinkedIn advertising or upgrade to a paid LinkedIn membership. If you go that route, I would highly suggest you go through and scrub your list so that only relevant people you know or do business with are connected to you so that your focus is targeted.

Now that you have the tools you need to rid yourself of irrelevant accounts, inactive followers, and people you don’t know, make it a habit to keep your lists clutter-free from now on.

If you enjoyed this episode and want more productivity tips and strategies, check out Top Types of Productivity Tools Business Building Action Kit. You’ll learn about software and apps to help you work less, achieve more, and ways to leverage these tools to optimize your business systems.

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Join me next week in which I’ll show you how to get your computer to run faster with simple and easy computer cleanup tips. Bye for now.

Catch up on other Spring Cleaning Your Digital Space episodes + resources mentioned in the video:

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