Proven Results For Writing Powerful Titles Immediately

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Title Analyzer Results

Title Analyzer Results

Let’s face it. Most of us are small business operators, advisers or entrepreneurs. We wear many hats – often too many. For the majority of us having our message stick out from the masses is very important and vital to our continued success and growth. Far too often we are forced to work our own miracles and many times that ends with less than desired effects or even abject failure. Failure, as is said, really is not a viable option.

One Solution: Hire a Content Manager

Hire a copy writer or a seasoned content manager. It may not be as pricey as you think and you may also hire one just to review your content and make suggestions. Just about any reliable copy writer with SEO knowledge can quickly craft powerful titles based on your subject matter. Likewise a content manager can scour your writings and come up with titles geared to appeal to both the human reader and the search engine robots and algorithms.

Another Solution: Use A Title Analyzer

There are a few title analyzers available online. The image to the right is from the title analyzer at The Advanced Marketing Institute.  Try it with the actual title of this article “Proven Results For Writing Powerful Titles Immediately“. This one actually compares the words in your title to their secret sauce database and provides a score for reference. I like the idea even though I am not necessarily sold on it because I do not, yet, understand fully what they are evaluating.

It is important for the search engines that your title fit certain parameters and it is important to the human that your title appropriately convey the content of your article or post. Nothing is much more disappointing than seeing a great title which has no relevance to the content. The worst offenders to this, so it seems, are on YouTube.

Use a meta analyzer like the one at MetaLength to evaluate some aspects of your title tag before you post your article and use just about any meta tag analyzer after you hit the publish button. All of these are designed to help you but not do it for you.

Use “Power Words” In Your Title

Copyblogger, Brian Clark, wrote one of my favorite posts on using words in your title to spark emotions. His article is better than most because of the simplicity of the list and the way he breaks the words and phrases down into specific emotional categories. It should serve as a good guideline for you to think about the words you are choosing. What emotions do you want to spark? Do you want to capitalize, as I often do for my political content clients, on frustration, anger and fear? Perhaps your content requires a more upbeat emotion from the reader like happiness, joy or excitement.

Make the words count. Keep the title short and on point. People will read your article if your title is successful in attracting them and if the title and the content are not relevant you will increase your bounce rate, decrease time on site, decrease share ratio, decrease number of pages visited, and generally fail at your goal. Wow, that really sounds bad! So make sure you craft the best title you can or hire a professional to assist. Please feel free to share links to your content in the comments below and the community of readers is always happy to help!

Listen to our discussion on Social Media Edge Radio here.

Where should small business focus in social?

For the small business owner when it comes to their most valuable asset, the one they actually have, it is usually time. Every single person has 1440 minutes in a day. I fully know solopreneurs try and use all of those without sleeping, eating or going to the bathroom. When my wife and I were building a multi-million dollar venture out of nothing we we up until 3 or 4 am many, many days and then back in the office by 8:30 or 9AM. We were working smart, we were just working hard at doing it.

Online sites ranked by minutes spent on them by users (times 1000) Nielsen May 2011

Social media marketing works. This post is not about the statistics for social success it’s about time. Well, it’s about time someone wrote it and it’s about the time you have available as a small business owner/builder. In reality the small business person has about 800 minutes per day, total, for work time. That’s over-doing it but I know it often takes it to make something from nothing but your hands and an idea.

Think of social media as any other event or marketplace. People come, hangout, interact, converse, and transact. In the physical world city centers, trade shows and malls often have much more activity than rural stops, home parties and walks in the woods. Social media has both. We don’t measure the rural stops, home parties and walks in the woods too often but we do measure the busier sites. It also stands to reason, if you are a DIYer, meaning you’re the one actually typing the blog, ahem, and posting to the community site, that you need to get the most eyes on your words as possible. In other words you need the greatest return for your investment of time.

Just because the number is so highly skewed toward the Facebook component does not mean you should forget about the others. In fact if you are a musician MySpace is still a great place to share your music tracks. If you are a recruiter you don’t want to leave LinkedIn. There is a bit of a science to the approach. Knowing where to look for the numbers and knowing which numbers to look for does require some experience, knowledge and skill but that is not to say you cannot do it yourself if you are willing to invest the time to learn. Do not, however, expect to buy a few books then suddenly be able to dominate the competition online. Beware of “SEO” and “blogging” experts, the snake oil salesmen of today’s new frontier!

In reality it may be more return positive to hire a professional to take care of much of this for you but in the event you have absolutely no capital to invest, been there done that, all you need to do is to look at this pie chart to get a good idea about where the mall is.

Take a good long look and when you’re ready to make the move you’ll at least know where to aim your arrows.

Suggested Video Toolbox – Equipment To Go On

What is the best video equipment for bloggers? I can answer that – from my perspective and experience. Whether you are brand new to social and web ready video or are ready to advance this is a well recommended tool kit for you. In fact today on Social Media Edge Radio we had a rapid fire, round table discussion of just which tools we use and recommend to other to use and we pretty much agreed on most points. Instead of a long how to article here’s the list:

 

To hear the replay of the show today with Jeremy Blanton, Mike Mueller, Randy Barnes, Jason Crouch and me (Ken Cook) visit Social Media Edge Radio.

While the question asked was “what is the best” that’s such a subjective question. We narrowed it down, pretty much, to these items. If you’re doing vlogging (video blogging) these will get you there. Can you buy more expensive equipment? You bet! Will you get a better result for your social media or blog? Unknown – sometimes the equipment can be “too good” for what you’re doing!

Here are some other recommendations to kick it up a notch:

Of course you can connect with any of us for video tutoring and possibly find is in a city near you for a session.

Klout and vacation effect

I did it. I took a full week vacation with my wife. Ten days to be exact. Although I took measures to make sure I was staying active in social media there was a failure especially with Garious. Either way the experiment was a success and a couple of tools helped me recognize the impact of being unwired for ten days.

Klout vacation impact

Klout vacation impact

When I left home on the 8th day of June my Empire Avenue stock was valued over 60. Upon my return I tracked the largest number of sales since I began and my value had fallen to 48. Sure, it’s “just a game”. Oddly this game gives some of the best real-time tracking of influence and activity of any other free tool on the web.

More importantly, perhaps, was the very obvious drop in my Klout report. The image says a lot. What it says is if you do not stay active and regular you will see a negative change in your engagement scores which are, at least to some degree, accurate reflections of your social impact.

How to avoid and compensate

My intention was to have scheduled blog posts and a few automated tweets to keep others engaged and to check my streams when I had connectivity. In fact I purchased a Xoom just for this purpose. Unfortunately, or in the case of vacation, cell service is somewhat spotty in the mountains of Alaska once you get about 50 miles out of populated areas.

I signed up for an account on Garious and carefully crafted about 50 tweets for every purpose from notifying friends about upcoming Social Media Edge radio shows, reminding them about upcoming events like next month’s webinar, and even saying happy birthday to a couple of friends whose birthdays fall in those date ranges. The failure is yet unknown as I have only just returned. None of the Garious posts were sent out.

Foursquare also failed. While I was checking in at various spots in Alaska the posts, although they went to Foursquare, did not post to Twitter or Facebook. I mention this only because you may be planning a similar trip and caution you not to rely on Foursquare for continued engagement. In fact this happened not only in the Pacific Northwest but in Destin Florida earlier in the month when I would check in but never received points for checking in because Foursquare and the map always disagreed on my geographic location. In other words Foursquare would say I was not at the location I was checking in.

WordPress performed flawlessly and posted the pre-scheduled blog posts right on time. Pre-scheduling posts is a highly used technique by virtually everyone I know who depends on steady readership for their blog to stay connected.

Why is this important?

If you are in a business which requires you to keep your connections informed and engaged even a gap of one week, as plainly pictured in the Klout image, can mean a negative trend in your engagement scores. Scores are simply a reflection of actual performance and a way to measure and respond.

Very simple social media in 3 steps

By the way, baby steps are only easy for people who have already learned to walk. Most babies fail dozens or hundreds of times before they can even walk across the room. Be patient, keep trying.

I asked on The Hip Roof Radio last night what I can do better for attendees of the seminars and events where I speak. Sheri Moritz said, “We leave these seminars with our heads spinning because we’re so full of SEO and ROI and metrics. Nobody ever takes the time to say ‘this is how you create a Twitter account, here is why and here is what you do with a Twitter account once you have one.'”

 

Speaking on Applied Social Systems at Xplode

Loudly And Clearly.

 

Part I

If you do not have a website with landing page capabilities on a server account you control – get one.

If you do not have a Facebook account you will never get a referral or client from Facebook.

If you do not have a Twitter account you will never get a referral or client from Twitter.

If you do not have a LinkedIn account you will never get a referral or client from LinkedIn.

Part II

Beware of bloggers, gurus and commenters with great sounding theories and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS shop for price before paying ANYONE for services such as setting up your WordPress blog. Think long and hard before you let someone handle your social media content for you because it’s not their license at risk – it’s yours and maybe your broker’s, too.

Part III

Here is how anyone can succeed in social media and I mean any one. Success is relative but this will get you there. DO NOT GIVE UP TRADITIONAL MARKETING IF IT IS WORKING! If you sell 3 houses at $3500 commission each a year from a $500 yellow sheet ad don’t stop. If post cards yield 2 sales commissions of $5000 per year at a cost of $1000 you’d be a bonehead to stop.

Get a website that can accept form data from visitors (landing pages, WordPress, hard coded – doesn’t matter)

Open accounts on at least those three social communities and use the same name or “handle” on all of them if at all possible

Write a short but very pointed profile (“I am a real estate agent with homes for sale in Tootooville. http://mycoolsitebyken.com 678-439-8683″)

Make sure your branding is an accurate portrayal of you and your services and use the same branding on your website, Facebook profile, Twitter background, and LinkedIn profile.

Do not use social media like a town crier’s podium – get involved, join conversations that you did not start, make friends, do NOT sell sell sell (with some small exceptions)

Establish a specified time every day to touch every site for your own plan – you can change later but develop the habit of checking Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as posting to your blog. (ActiveRain is great but get your own blog on your own server, too.)

Twitter

Twitter is so simple it is amazing. There are about 15 million real, actual users on Twitter. (source) That said most agents would be pleased to sell 1 more home per year for a 10 minute daily investment, yes? If you do not have a Twitter account go to Twitter and sign up. When asked to create a user name think about what your real name is, duh. This is not to say brand names are wrong but branding to your name is pretty simple and hard to duplicate (unless your name happens to be Ken Cook).

Whatever graphic representation you use in your marketing should be the icon for your Twitter account. You won’t burst into flames if it is not. It will be re-sized and squared so words generally are unwise. A good clean RECENT photo of yourself may be a good idea.

Find some friends you truly know on Twitter and follow them. Then message them to say, “Hi, I am finally on Twitter.” Do this for 10 minutes every day until you have a comfortable number of connections for you. I have 17,000 – I’m still comfortable but it is impossible for me to keep up with that many people manually so I use automation and lists. I use automation to “listen” for certain words. You may never need that but when you do I can help you.

Talk about whatever you want to talk about. Don’t listen to the “guru” who tells you not to tweet about what you are eating or where you went shopping – be yourself. If people do not like you for being yourself then you have still won. However … keep in mind Google listens to Twitter. This means people may actually find your Tweet with a link back to your landing page which asks for information from the visitor so you can provide them with the information about the content of your tweet.

Think of Twitter as a community picnic. You would not show up at the event and start shouting, “Hey! I have a listing at 123 Main!”, “Hey! Look at my post on Active Rain!” Certainly if you did your welcome would soon be worn out. Twitter is about engagement and providing value. Earn some respect and people will be more interested in what you are saying. That said you can do whatever you want and do nothing but feed your ActiveRain posts to Twitter. Google will find them. Just don’t ever let me hear you say, “I don’t get anything from Twitter”.

Facebook

Twitter is the community event and Facebook is the high school or family reunion coupled with a little industry love. About the best you can do for branding on Facebook is your profile picture and the five thumbnails to the right. Some people are pretty slick with that. Take a look at Randy Barnes’ Facebook page.

There are different types of pages and incorrect use is a violation of FB terms. Businesses have available business pages, personal pages are (intended) only for personal use. There are tons of terms to learn at Facebook and Mike Mueller is a true Facebook expert.

Facebook business pages provide excellent marketing opportunities and FB ads work. I’m not guessing that they work – they absolutely work. I have generated many leads and closed transactions because of FB ads to highly targeted markets and demographics. I can help you with your Facebook ads or applications. Did you know you can accept form information on a custom coded Facebook business page? Take a look at the one I did for one of our branches here.

Security and privacy settings. Seriously, to get into this here would take hours to type and it sill would leave something out. Don’t worry about privacy on you business page which is where you want everyone to see everything anyway. Do what you want with privacy on your personal page.

LinkedIn

Now to the Chamber of Commerce for social media. LinkedIn is all about business. It is a place to meet, engage and solicit other business people. LI groups are amazing and the more I use them the more I learn. Again, like Facebook, branding is limited but possible.

Every Tuesday night at 8PM eastern there is a chat on Twitter called LinkedInChat. I learn in there every week from people like @LinkedInExpert (Viveca von Rosen) how to use LI to increase the size of my network and learn from people who are experts in their fields.

Remember these six things

FUR and APE. Contact me and I will happily send you the white paper for free.

Next …

If you want more, deeper, faster, farther I’ve got it. I have been developing online applications, sites and communities since 1988. I still do it, full time. There are a lot of “new” people who have entered my industry. Some of them are pretty darned good. Very few of them are in the real estate industry. You can do one of a few things:

Sign up for the newsletter at http://SocialMediaEdge.com in the right side bar. I won’t spam you to death.

Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/thekencook

Call me 678-439-8683

I charge. It’s not a free service. However, I only accept payment through PayPal which has one of the most customer sided resolution services I have ever seen.

Being heard over the social noise

The reward with public streams of communication is the fact they are public. The challenge with public streams of communication is the fact they are open to the public. Confusing? It shouldn’t be.

Before there was the digital media explosion, and in fact still in some venues, one could find public bulletin boards for patrons and passers-by to post business cards, announcements, for sale, lost and found, and other types of communication. When they first were put into operation the venue management would usually be diligent about policing the content and making sure the postings were orderly. Many even had rules posted and a few had categories which could be posted in certain locations on the board. Fast forward six months to a year and the board would be inundated and disorderly making it nearly impossible to be seen in the crowd.

How can one be heard over the masses?

 

Marketers, even private marketers looking to sell a motor-scooter, are innovative. Soon you would see, on these bulletin boards, lime green paper or larger photographs pinned on top of the other ads. In fact this resulted in an early form of spam and you would occasionally see 20 or more business cards from the same person pinned all over the board where others had posted a neat little stack one on top of the other.

What has changed in the last 10 years?

While local bulletin boards were not invasive into our lives digital bulletin boards, digital marketplaces and social media services are now on our desks, on our laps and in our pockets. Moreover using fluorescent colors in the Twitter stream is not possible. So what needs to be done to stand out from the massive flow of information?

Unlike the local bulletin board social media is, for the most part, global. Chris Anderson of Wired magazine coined the term “long tail” which really is an obtuse way to say “highly targeted” marketing yet for the sake of using a standard term long tail will be used in conjunction with hyper-local or hyperlocal. Long tail means using highly targeted words in conversations in the social stream with the goal of being recognized by the searchers when those words are called by a search from an individual.

Instead of spending reading time reviewing the millions of posts that are made daily it really is not important how many others are posted but how many see and react to a specific posting. Furthermore that the person acting on a post is the ideal or nearly ideal candidate for the product or service being presented. For the sake of this article the assumption is the goal is a transaction. That transaction may be an order, a subscription or simply a “follow”. Being real transactions with a required financial investment from the user are generally the more challenging so more of a focus is placed on financial transactions.

Vendors generally know everything about the product or service being offered. Vendors quite often are limited in their knowledge of how buyers search for their product. More often than not the vendor’s choice of keywords will rarely be used by those with a transactional intent when searching for the product.

Sniping key words that pay

The good news is “Budweiser”, “Coca-Cola”, “Verizon”, “Chevrolet”, are national brands which spend millions and millions in marketing. Most small businesses simply need to attract a few dozen transactions per week to be very successful. Still with the right message and the right delivery local and regional campaigns can go viral, a term used to describe a campaign which takes on a life of its own and is spread from person to person without need for further input from the advertiser. Viral is hard to hit on and mostly unpredictable. Identifying, targeting and using keywords that pay, however, is a repeatable science.

Think like a searcher. If one goes to the web in search of a hair stylists they likely do not know the stylist by name so the search will not begin with “susan smith hair stylist”. More likely it will consist of terms such as “hair stylists in Columbus” or “beauty shops on Miller Avenue” for example. Contemplate what people would search to find the service they want. Some samples may be “how often should I change my oil”, “how much does it cost to paint a house” or “how to treat a toothache”. These types of searches produce indirect marketing opportunities and if the landing page is used can deliver a direct answer and convert to transactional from informational.

Using the example of “how often should I change my oil” may send a searcher to a landing page with a video explaining about why oil needs to be changed, a chart showing how often oil should be changed in different types of vehicles and under different conditions, a coupon for an oil change to be used within the next 7 days (which is emailed to the customer) and a click-able map of locations in the area.

In the stream (A candle in the sun)

Being found by search results is, at times, easier than being heard above the roar in the social stream. For example there are 130,000,000 tweets per day. The upside is not anyone follows everyone so each marketer need be concerned mostly with the number of followers they have online at given times. It is important to know when followers are online and when they are most likely to read and take action on what the marketer has to say. Find hundreds of available tools at http://oneforty.com by my friend Laura Fitton @Pistachio on Twitter.

Don’t be afraid to automate data mining

Many people are concerned, and with reason in some cases, about automated engagement in the social stream. Data harvesting is one-way and in-bound so do not hesitate to use tools like Google Analytics, Google Alerts, Twilert, and others. Find the one which best works for you.

Respond directly to questions or comments about your brand, product or industry. Some professionals do suggest using automated replies and there is no room for comment on that technique here for most readers are small business owners and independent contractors. It requires very little time to click a link in an email and respond to a question manually and directly. Engage first, direct the engagement from conversational to transactional and everyone wins.

Sparing use of automated delivery works also

In fact, as much as most do not like it, even massive use of automated tweets and posts works for some. No names will be mentioned so as not to glorify that method but it cannot be completely ignored that many do benefit from massive volumes of tweets. Try services like Social Oomph, Hootsuite or Garious (a favorite of the author) to send a few well-timed and well authored Tweets and posts.

If making use of automated distribution it has been shown automated posts with valuable information are received well where quotes, one liners and pointed statements are generally ignored. For minor and local brands automated posts without a link to a target of value may be pointless. When posting informational links make certain the target document answers the questions or addresses the topic clearly.

Get a little FUR in your social media

People like dependability. In fact they may not prefer predictability but dependability is a quality everyone can latch on to. Use the short acronym FUR to remember three key factors common with all social media success stories. Be frequent in delivering information. Use the available tools to adjust frequency for the best results. Deliver unique information. If the information being distributed can be found from competitors it may not have as much of an impact. Provide information that is relevant to prospects, readers, subscribers – whomever the targeted audience. That’s FUR: Frequent, Unique and Relevant.

Can social media success be measured?


Offline meetings are a great goal

For most bloggers, tweeters and Facebookers there is no real end to online. The online simply goes on and on and on and on, online. Some would offer their opinion, a theoretical enhancement of an unmetered status, of how to “correct” the issue. Perhaps there is no issue. However, in a summary inspection it is simple to tell if social media is helping one achieve their goals. That said there is not only one test and the definition of “success” is the big variable.

Most importantly one must have a goal even if that goal is dynamic and progressive. Goals for online activity may include getting people to “like” posts, having tweets “retweeted” and inspiring comments on a blog post. These may, indeed, be the end goal. For sites generating revenue on a traffic basis this may even make economic sense. Even if the goal is not an economic value one may still set this as a goal. It is not incumbent on the world to neither determine nor validate private goals.

Notable goals from a more economic than societal perspective may include realizing a set range of transactional engagements such as orders placed or subscriptions made. Although these goals may seem to make more sense economically the real value is primarily essential and most notable to the entity creating and managing or benefiting from the content and activities. As earlier indicated having “hits” is a goal regardless of whether or not that goal is socially acceptable as a true achievement.

Quite literally there are thousands of tools for measuring online activity. Knowing how many unique visits, the source of the visits (referring URL), the bounce rate, what time of day, is all elementary to virtually every site today. The real variable which provides the ultimate metric is: what is the true goal. Only the entity (company, organization, person) needing the answer to “can social media success be measured” can truly determine the real goal. Once the goal is identified then any statistician can create a formula for measuring success.

This, then, is the challenge to the aspiring social media success story to identify and define the goals in a format which is easy to communicate and easy to measure:

  • I want more friends on Facebook (define more)
  • I want 300 more friends on Facebook (define the time period)
  • I want 300 more friends on Facebook within 90 days

Now that the goal is known, easily communicated and easily measure the real work begins.  Find out when the next totally free, no obligation, 100% usable information webinar or local event is available. Click here.

Your online experience sucks because your advice came from a doosh

I am tech savvyGranted the chosen words do not make the classiest of titles but I may or may not have a bone to pick. In part I do but it is only from my personal experience and interaction with my clients and friends which inspired this short article. Surely I have trusted enough of the wrong people in my life. With today’s technology and the massive amount of information shared by our friends and others it is almost impossible, at times, to tell the difference between real trust agents and people who think they are correct just because they are writing.

The real estate industry is full of sudden tech advisers, tech consultants, social media experts … pick a title. Most of them are simply users of the technology and perhaps have a solid understanding of how to use the technology for a benefit or to achieve a goal. They have never actually, successfully created, measured and managed much more than their own account – if that. Others are simply looking for fame and will publish anything they can think of to get more comments, earn more points or score some favor as they reach for the stars.

Why I am investing my minutes into this article is because their advice can, and does, hurt some of you. Oh I don’t expect to get too many likes, tweets, comments, or reblogs from this article. It’s not pretty, it’s not open minded, it doesn’t extol the virtues of someone with more Klout than I. There is no idol worship and there is finger pointing and name calling. Call me the Chris Christy of Active Rain today. It is not my goal to be named the most influential, most quoted, most reblogged, most anything. My solitary goal is to urge and convince you to think, investigate, question, and prove what you are believing even if you read it on a well known blog or heard it from the big keynote at a big event from a well known expert.

Theory is great. It’s also fragile and breaks easily. We all need theory at some point to get us started. Fortunately for the wise the days of theory have usually past by the time we impletment a new tool, new method or new practice. For the pioneer there is theory which we usually write about as theory rather than edicts on a topic with which the are only vaguely familiar which only serves to deceive and confuse the reader.

Practical experience rules the real world. Because bloggers, real estate agents turned tech experts or Facebook moguls, have no need to meet any qualifications you can find an amazing amount of them. Even ones you know barely know how to use email can be heard speaking on the frightening aspects of Facebook security and privacy, how to game Twitter, how to write a blog everyone will comment on, or some other, equally exciting topic at local and national events.

Inspect the data. If someone tells you, for example, Twitter is a waste of time. First, don’t believe them. Second, make them tell you exactly why Twitter is a waste of time. If they have an account with that little silhouette for an avatar, have 8 followers and follow 11 people that will explain it. On the other hand if they have 10,000 connections, have tweeted a few thousand times and still say it’s a waste of time – ask them how they qualify why it would not be a waste of time.

Sometimes it’s a matter of expectations. If you expect to start a Twitter account, add 10 friends, push your Active Rain posts to Twitter and maybe “check in on your tweeple” about once a week – yes. Waste of time. Likewise if you sit in front of your computer or on your iPhone 10 hours a day Tweeting about Hollywood, politics, what you ate for breakfast, or similar and expect to be selling houses as a result … probably not working out.

Identify your personal goals. Then compare with the goal of the person passing out advice. Is your goal to meet people and get them to like your fan page? Work towards that goal and trust the advice of someone else who has successfully done so. Is your goal to spend as little time on social media platforms but drive visitors to your anchor site to request your ebook? Then trust someone who has done so successfully and ask them to prove it.

We are born with too little trust, give to much of it away through life and often pay the price by blindly following those who have not proven the value of their words.

This post is not only a rant but also a cautionary reminder to myself to write about what I know, know what I write about and to be able to back it up with real world experiences, data and recommendations from others.

// Beginning of hope.

 

How to unfollow Twitters who do not follow you

Free twitter badge
Image via Wikipedia

First you may want to know why anyone may follow someone to begin with. As for me if I see an interesting tweet about a subject I am interested in I may follow that person. Occasionally I follow people who have participated in a Twitter chat session with me thinking we may engage later. More often I will search on a subject, hashtag or Twitter list and follow people on that list. Sometimes I am simply doing research for Social Media Edge radio and don’t intend to ever have a full on, two way relationship.

Next you may want to know why it is such a big deal to unfollow those who do not follow you back. Again, as for me, I do follow accounts who do not follow me back. @Mashable comes to mind as does @Biz. On the other hand if @kvbuckley does not follow me back (no offense k) I may eventually unfollow – not trying to embarrass anyone just using a real world example. So why did I follow kv to begin with? Because we’re in related industries and the president of her company is a friend. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will ever engage and that’s not a bad thing. Everyone does not engage.

Then why not unfollow everyone with whom you do not engage? Great question with a simple answer: if someone follows me I do the courtesy of following them back (eventually). I do not automatically follow everyone who follows me – I follow back manually. For that reason I may only go through that list once every couple of weeks. So if someone follows me, I follow them back. If we never engage that’s okay but I don’t expect anyone to follow me unless I follow them.

So what about stream crowding? That’s why there are lists on Twitter. I have a list of “closest connections”. I have a list of past guests and a list of social media favorites. I also include people on those lists that I do not follow. I have a list for people who are oxymorons (claim to be social media experts and do everything to prove they are anything but).

Twitter Karma from Dossy

If you have just a few hundred to a couple of thousand of Twitter accounts you follow you can try Twitter Karma from Dossy. If you have a few to several thousand followers this one just doesn’t like to work. What I like about it, for small to medium accounts (perhaps no more than 5000 connections) is the presentation of all of the people you may follow on one page. You can also choose whether or not to show the avatar (thumbnail).

Unlike some of the others Dossy does not limit the number of accounts you can unfollow in a day. Others, even some mentioned here, limit you to 50 unfollows in a 24 hour period because you are using their API calls.

Dossy’s Twitter Karma is free, easy to use and gets the job done in both directions. You can unfollow those who do not follow you – keep the ones you want to keep like celebs and news sources – and you can also follow back those who have followed you. In fact the follow back function is bulk and you can follow up to your limit with the click of a mouse. As I was writing this post I unfollowed 577 and followed 602 – in less than 10 minutes.

A couple of others I have tried are http://www.justunfollow.com and http://www.doyoufollow.com/unfollow-tool.php

What are your thoughts, do you unfollow people who do not follow you? Comment …

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