This morning I unfollowed a couple of hundred people on Twitter. They didn’t do anything wrong, but they weren’t following back after I followed them for a long time. I feel like I’m asserting my worth. Every few minutes, someone retweets articles from this blog and I really appreciate that. I try to be helpful and (sometimes in theory, often in practice) spreading the word helps readers.
But what does following and unfollowing on Twitter mean for you?
1. Fellow crime fictioneer Claude Bouchard built a huge Twitter following by unfollowing anyone who didn’t follow him (after giving them a few days to get around to it.) Then he follows new people. He’s gathered a group of readers and fans who have discovered he’s one of the good guys who writes about bad guys. (He also gave me a great review and cover blurb for Bigger Than Jesus, so clearly, he’s an adorable genius.) Unfollowing makes room for people who are into you.
2. There’s dignity in not chasing. I recently let a business deal slide because I felt I was dealing with someone who wanted to be chased but not necessarily caught. If I’m the one who always has to initiate, they just aren’t that into me. I don’t do business with people who aren’t into me, even if it costs me money in the short term. Finding a business partner is like finding a life partner. If it doesn’t start with love, there’s a much greater than 50/50 chance that you’ll be sitting across from them at a conference table someday looking sad. When they screw you over, they’ll say, “Thank you for your years of service. This isn’t personal. It’s just business.” If you’re friends, too, they won’t have the “just business” excuse.
3. Some people on Twitter demand “engagement”, as in personally. Yet they never initiate engagement themselves. “Engaging” everyone on a follow list of decent length is bad math. I’m happy to answer questions and talk to people, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to cater to every prince and princess’s self-centered whim. Twitter is a conversation at its best, but nothing is at its best all the time. That’s feel-good advice masquerading as good advice. If Twitter were really a conversation, none of us would have had time to write or read any books or go to the bathroom. (Okay, we could go to the bathroom and be on Twitter, but it’s icky. Don’t!)
4. Following people who aren’t into you is a self-inflicted wound. I should have unfollowed a bunch of people a long time ago. They didn’t succumb to my charms so I’m not asking them to junior prom anymore. It’s embarrassing. However, if they do that thing where they announce who unfollowed them or get pissy about being unfollowed, that’s ego and entitlement talking.
5. The TrueTwit validation thing? Please stop it. If I want to follow you, I don’t want to jump through hoops. It’s much easier for you to block the odd spammer than it is for me to “apply”. I work for myself. One of the reasons I work for myself is I don’t want to apply for a job, especially the non-paying job of following people on Twitter. It’s supposed to be the Internet. That means no arbitrary rules and fun! Don’t be Dean Wormer putting us on double secret probation.
What’s the easiest way to reclaim your dignity, grow your Twitter following and find people who are into you? Manageflitter. It’s free and details who is inactive and who isn’t following you. There are plenty of other metrics but those are the ones I use most. That and if anyone has an egg for a profile pic, they’re purged.
Every day is be independence day here. Here comes the stirring call to action.
There are people who automatically don’t like indie authors because they’re indie. They come in suspicious and paint everyone with nasty broad brushes. I believe these curmudgeons are a vocal minority and I refuse to chase them or worry about them. People who insist classical music is the only real music aren’t into my taste no matter how hard I sell the joys of Green Day, Everlast and the Pixies. I am an independent author with an independent mind. To form a beachhead, I must find readers with independent minds. I’m an indie author. Are you an indie reader? Follow me @rchazzchute. Or unfollow me @rchazzchute.
~ Robert Chazz Chute is a nice guy, despite the grumpy tone of this post. To hear the All That Chazz podcast, go to AllThatChazz.com. You’ll also find links to his books of suspense and very quirky crime novels there. Whatever you do, do it with dignity.
- Author Interview – Robert Chazz Chute – The Bunny’s Review (chazzwrites.com)
- Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers (chazzwrites.com)
- Why I’m Choosing Indie Publishing (chazzwrites.com)
- Thinning Out the Twitter Herd (socialdialect.com)
- Seriously? Stop. (craftybrainlint.wordpress.com)
- When is an “unfollow” a good thing? (yeahsocialmedia.com)
- Why I Won’t Follow Users of TrueTwit (blackinkwhitepaper.wordpress.com)
- Twitter Writing 101: RTs, Hashtags and More (windmillnetworking.com)