Social media success is not achieved simply by adding thousands of unknown followers to your contacts. When you focus on numbers only, you invite in a fair share of unwanted spam and junk followers.

It’s important to have a well-matched following who is open to your comments, information, and expertise. Otherwise, you’re stuck in the cyber equivalent of a crowded room full of people you really have nothing in common with.

There comes a time when you need to weed out the mismatches. Don’t worry- even if your numbers dip after doing this, the percentage of well-matched contacts will increase as a result. That means the majority of people in your network hold potential for opportunities.

If you’re afraid you might delete the wrong person, here are 6 guidelines to help you determine how to weed out your social media following.

  1. No Avatar

If the person has no avatar (photo that accompanies your posts), then remove him or her.

  1. Not a Real Person

If the person isn’t even a person but rather a puppy, a teddy bear, a slot machine, or my personal favorite- a flashy dollar sign- then delete. I also put pin-up type pics in this category, especially ones with user names like “MakeLotsaMoney”. Some businesses have social media accounts that aren’t related back to an individual. As long as it’s clear that there is a legitimate business behind this, then those can be the exception.

  1. Uneven Follower/Following Ratio

On Twitter, the ratio between followers and following must not have a huge gap. Twitter accounts that have thousands of followers but are only following a few people need to go. Those are usually spammers.

  1. Obvious Language Barrier

It’s great to connect with followers out of your country or who speak another language if you can understand one another, but if not, then there’s an obvious barrier. Unless you’ve committed to learning a new language via your Twitter friends, best to unfollow people who pose an obvious language gap.

  1. People Who Don’t Post

You may have someone in your following who signed up for Twitter or Facebook but never actually uses the sites or posts. Unless it’s someone you know who’s still learning and you have the patience, remove.

  1. Haters and Mean People

When you surround yourself with agreeable people, you can forget that the occasional mean person can surface and wreck the party for everyone. Don’t even waste your time with people who are using social networking as a place to bully, berate, and intimidate. You might be the next victim and it’s really not worth the time or effort to keep people like this on your list of followers. Block them or report them if a hater turns on you.

You want to weed out your social media contacts for the same reason you prune a fruit tree: so your harvest gives you a bountiful, high-quality yield. When you focus on quality over quantity, you have what it takes for real social media success.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

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