Social Networks

Let's Talk About the Pros and Cons of Twitter Maintenance

You’re a brand on Twitter. Maybe you even signed up in 2009. Congrats, early adopter!

But, lately, things have gotten out of control. After hiring a bunch of people to oversee your social channels and hastily assembling some guidelines, maybe you call it a “policy,” you find yourself at a crossroads. This social stuff moves so fast!

And while Twitter has been your most active channel to date, it’s feeling a bit cumbersome. Your social strategy needs a tune-up and your account needs to be pruned. Or does it? Maybe the organic mess you’ve created is endearing, entertaining, even insightful?

The way you choose to prune your Twitter account should support your brand’s goals, whatever they may be. Actively taking control of your Twitter followers can enable you to create stronger community ties, extend content lifecycles, and curate live streams of insightful or provocative commentary — depending on the way in which you manage your account. There are a few ways to do this; here are the pros and cons of three popular methods:


Pro: Maybe you like to respond to new followers in real time. You’re probably signed in anyway. Sure, it might startle them at first but you know deep down your new followers love and appreciate the immediate attention. If a swipe right is all it takes on Tinder, you can certainly work magic on Twitter with an introductory favorite or retweet. You come across as on the ball, eager, and interested

Con: Everyday maintenance might give you tunnel vision. You risk becoming a little too critical of new followers, which could negatively impact your following. Be careful of jumping to judgmental thoughts like “ugh, not my industry.” Being too quick to filter new followers can close your brand off to potentially meaningful new connections. While some pruning is necessary, be careful not to go overboard — chances are, your brand’s following will be just fine without your near constant meddling.

Scheduled Maintenance

Pro: If you’re looking to cultivate a like-minded community without too many outliers, you might want to schedule your maintenance. Daily, monthly, whatever works for you. The point is, if it’s important to you that your brand’s social following remains focused, you need to recognize that your account won’t manage itself; it’s not a Roomba.

Con: If you wait too long, or perform this type of maintenance too infrequently, you might wish you hadn’t looked at all — malware, follow-backs, advertisements, weight loss, porn. You might even fall victim to one of those seemingly innocent messages; they are getting smarter! If you are managing on a schedule, make sure you’re not falling behind the pace of your account’s growth — and make sure you stick to the schedule.

Clean Sweep

Pro: Keep your community on its toes by changing things up: edit your bio, upload a new picture, and find a slick, tiled background. Find new followers and make new lists. Or don’t. You can also choose to revamp by ruthlessly blocking, deleting, and muting. Overhauling your account every once in a while can be a good way to give your brand a fresh perspective. Maybe try following some comedians; funny people usually have a way of cutting through the noise. A thorough cleansing of your account and its followers can be an effective means of keeping your brand’s audience on track. 

Con: Purging? Sounds intense. You might think: “how exactly will this help us grow our follower count?” Of course there are cons: it could reduce your followers, it could break from brand consistency, and it could attract the wrong type of new followers. This approach is not for everyone, but a healthy amount of experimentation on a lightning-fast medium isn’t the worst idea in the world — just make sure not to stray too far.

So, Now What?

Whatever method you select, having a plan is better than not having one — and it’s important to apply the same strategic thinking to every social network. Your audience is an extension of your brand’s reach that can’t be ignored. By tuning in to your following on Twitter, you can gain insight and evaluate the success of your brand’s engagement efforts. Once you’ve taken a hard look at the followers you’re attracting, use the feedback you’ve observed to adjust social strategies while keeping mindful of your company’s vision — and start bringing in the right followers to foster meaningful, mutually beneficial connections for your brand.  


Joe Bertino is a copywriter and communications specialist at Falcon Social. He writes about social media trends and customer stories, and can be found on Twitter at @jjbert.


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