Last night, a social media consultant and Massachusetts political candidate whose writing I follow, Ari Herzog, unfollowed everyone he was following on Twitter and started from scratch. And he’s done this before, all the while engaging in conversation with people about why he’s following who he’s following, and why he’s changing his tactics. He’s probably the only person I’ve seen wholesale delete all his followers and start over. Sounds crazy, right?
Wrong. First, it’s good to do your own thing, and you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody. Second, it’s good to reassess things you’re doing to see if they still work, if they’re still relevant to meeting your goals. Third, as Ari says, Twitter is not Facebook, it’s not an email list, it’s not a Rolodex – meaning, the people you interact with on different platforms do not necessarily have to be the same.
In fact, it’s probably better that all the people you know don’t use all platforms equally. I know people that love Microsoft Outlook for sharing news and information, others that use Facebook a lot but don’t microblog, and still others that worship shiny digital objects like Twitter and Friendfeed. A tenet of new marketing is to go where the people you want to talk to already are; well, if you mainly interact with someone on one platform and they rarely use another one, why bother trying to interact with them on the second one? Streamline your operations and do things that work to meet your goals.
Update: Robert Scoble unfollows almost 100k people, and wants to start a new movement – http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer/03d1701f/new-twitter-movement-unfollow-everyone