The Unfollow Period:
We now enter the optional two-week Unfollow Period of the Nano Blog & Social Media Hop, which is from Monday, December 19, to Sunday, January 1, 2016. For certain sections of the Hop, the instructions below are to download free apps that make unfollowing easy; for other sections, I have taken painstaking efforts to present you with the links of the participants who are least likely to have followed you back. That way, you only have to check a small number of links as opposed to going through all of the links in the original Nano Hop post. This doesn’t mean these people didn’t follow you, so please double check if they are following you before unfollowing them. These links will disappear after the Unfollow Period. If you see your link, and you believe I included it here in error, no problem, just let me know.
After this email, I will only use this list A) to announce the prize winners in January; and B) if you are in the Facebook Hop which is moved to the New Year.
First, I owe everyone crazy thanks for taking a leap of faith, trusting that I could make the Nano Hop as successful as possible. It’s hard for me to say what the ultimate rate of full participation was, but I think we’re darn close to 85% in terms of partial participation. I had aimed for 80% full participation, but having no way to track that, I’m guessing we landed closer to 60%. Important to note is that many non-participants joined in and started following everyone’s accounts, and as the blog will remain posted, more followers will continue to trickle in. It’s to your benefit to follow these authors back. (And before you ask, no, I will not make changes to your links. There are too many of you, and I need to get back to writing my book!) We were never going to get to 100% participation, because I only asked people to participate in good faith. If I were to do it over, I would ask for a stronger commitment before people signed up, and put in place checks and balances, but hindsight and all that. It’s up to each of you to decide for yourselves if your participation in the Nano Hop experiment was worth your while. Was the follower increase you saw large enough for the amount of time put in? Are you seeing increased engagement now that people are starting to recognize your name? If you answered yes to both, then I hazard the time put in was worth it, and I’ll accept social media and blog love for life as payment. 😉 If you said no to both, then I owe you social media love for life. Well, let’s say I do either way. 🙂
Immediately below are your Unfollow Instructions and below that are 3 articles I hand selected on how to retain your new audience.
Below are instructions, for each section of the Hop, on how to as easily as possible unfollow those who didn’t return your follow. But before we get to that, I’d like to say, “Don’t”, “Why bother?”, “What’s the rush?” and “Save yourself some time.” Here’s why:
- Some participants got a late start and are still in the process of following you. For this reason, you may at least want to hold off on unfollowing for about a week. Put a note in your calendar to come back to this email.
- All things considered, do you really care if your profiles are padded with a few extra non-followers? For certain accounts, I do, but in reality, I’m not as active, for instance, on Pinterest right now, and I couldn’t be bothered to do the work to clear out my non-followers.
- People are far more likely to follow people that look like they follow back. If your following count is slightly higher than your follower count, I personally am more likely to follow you. I’m not saying you should never clear out your non-followers. I’m saying there’s no need to rush, and it could be to your benefit not to.
- Also, the people who didn’t participate may have had countless reasons for doing so. Life could have gotten in the way, they may have been confused or overwhelmed by the technological side of things, or despite my attempts to avoid ending up in junk mail, they may not have received a single email from me. And here’s the big one. They may have signed up for the Nano Hop and changed their minds when they realized what was involved. Should I have explained things more to people at the signup level? Yes, but I was still putting it together and didn’t know how it was all going to work. Should they have messaged me and bowed out when the Hop started so as to not waste anyone’s time? Probably. But it doesn’t mean they had malicious intentions to collect hundreds of follows without reciprocating.
Without further ado, here are the unfollow instructions, should you wish to use them. If you know of an easier way than my suggested methods, please explain in the comments, and I will adjust these instructions as necessary. Important to note: I never recommend mass unfollowing or maintaining a low following count. It will hurt you in the long run, because as more and more people become familiar with unfollow tools, they will unfollow you. In essence, you will slowly bleed your following, so it isn’t worth it.
Twitter: You could click on each Twitter link and check to see if each profile has followed you back, however, you will save oodles of time if you instead download an app that will sort your unfollowers into a section where you can select which ones you want to unfollow. Search your app store for “twitter unfollow,” and you will find many reliable paid and unpaid options to choose from no matter what type of phone you have. I used the unpaid versions of both of my apps for a long time, until I realized that as my following grew, I needed to purchase the paid options to make my life easier. I don’t ever recommend using a mass unfollow tool. It may seem easier, but using them can get your account deleted from Twitter. Instead, it’s best to use a tool that lets you unfollow no more than 100 profiles a day. I can only give you an app recommendation for iPhone, because I can’t trial apps for other types of devices: Unfollow for Twitter by Spicy Apps. Once you download this or any other app on your phone, it will load your unfollowers into a section called “Don’t follow back” or something similar. Again, be careful about unfollowing more than 100 users a day. Twitter frowns on this type of activity.
Facebook: Because Facebook blocked many of us from liking pages and deleted our recent page likes (we were doing it too fast even though none of my pre-research indicated this would happen), I have moved the Facebook portion of the Hop to the New Year, and because of steps I have taken, we will have a near 100% participation rate. If you didn’t read the email, you can find the plan here: http://eepurl.com/csOf1P. You don’t need to unfollow anyone during the Unfollow Period. Wait for an email from me in the New Year.
Instagram: This is the same rant as Twitter but with a free app recommendation for Instagram that I’ve just started using and like. This app is for iPhone, but again, you can easily find lots of free apps in any app store by searching “Instagram unfollow.” My recommendation is Followers for Instagram by No Apostroph3s.
Goodreads: Step 1: Go to your profile page, click on the icon of silhouettes of people in the top right-hand corner, then, in your right sidebar at the top click on People You Are Following. For each person that says “Friend request pending” click cancel friend request for them all (…if you want to. They’re just outstanding friend requests and so it isn’t essential to cancel them.) Step 2: I explained in the Nano Hop post that there are two types of accounts, and I asked you to take two steps with the Author Accounts. I asked you to both friend and follow authors. Below are the links of 7 authors who are least likely to have friended you back, and while it isn’t necessary to cancel friend requests, you can certainly unfollow them should you wish to do so. You can either save yourself some time and just check the 7 links below or you can check all authors by clicking on “Authors You’re Following” on the same screen near the top. Then right click/open each name, and look under their “Following” button. If it says you are friends, no action is required. If it says nothing, click “Following” to unfollow them. Or again, you could just do the same for the 7 links below.
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Google+: The most efficient way to do this was removed from circulation last week, so my big plan for you to easily find those who didn’t follow you back went up in smoke the moment Circloscope decided to shut its operations. My opinion is that the shutdown is part of a larger Google+ strategy to avoid runaway follower increases through management tools. If you already have this Chrome extension, then use it, but if not, there is currently nothing on the market to make your life easy. Instead, I’ve pulled the list of people who are least likely to have followed you back. Go to your profile, and in the left column, click “People”, then click “Followers” in the top menu. Search your followers for each of the following 23 names, and if they don’t appear, you can choose to unfollow them.
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Tumblr: Similar to what Google+ is doing, Yahoo has virtually shut down the ability to track your Tumblr unfollowers, and I’m pretty sure this happened recently according to the complaints I’ve read. You can’t even compare followers to people you are following easily. I’ve checked numerous free apps. To save you time, FriendorUnfollow has a free trial but requires permission to follow accounts on your behalf, and the Google Chrome extension that used to aid in managing Tumblr followers was recently changed to no longer include this feature. There are a couple of technologically intense ways to export lists for comparison that even I don’t want to attempt, as well as a couple of very expensive tools that are probably owned by Tumblr. Instead, here are 21 the links that are least likely to have followed you back. Go to your follower list in Tumblr, and if they aren’t following you, you can choose to unfollow them.
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Scribophile: There are only 19 people in this section of the Hop, but Scribophile also does not make it easy to find out who isn’t following you. I’ve compared my own followers/people I’m following and come up with five links who may not have followed you back. To save you from having to check all 19 people, you’ll save time if you click only on the five links below, scroll down and click on their “Favorites” on the left. If you’re not in their favorites, you can choose to unfollow them.
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Scriggler: I don’t have Scriggler, but there are only 6 participants in this section of the Hop, so if you would like to check if they returned your follow, here are their links.
Wattpad: Wattpad doesn’t make it easy to compare followers to those you are following, so I have done the comparison for myself, and here are the links of the people who are most likely to not have followed you back. Instead of checking all 59 participants, you can save time by only having to open the 17 links below. Click on each one, then on the left on the sidebar, click “following”, scroll through, and if you aren’t in the list of people they are following, you can choose to unfollow them by clicking the “Following” button in the sidebar on the right. Remember, just because they didn’t follow me back doesn’t mean they didn’t follow you.
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YouTube: YouTube only shows you your subscribers who allow their subscriptions to be public. Here’s the math. I had zero subscribers before the Hop. There were 42 participants. 19 people followed me in the past week, but I can only see 9 of them, because the others have privacy settings preventing me from seeing them. I can’t advise unfollowing anyone, because it is near impossible to determine whether or not they followed you. This one person withdrew their YouTube page from the Hop in the first week, so if you followed them, it is unlikely they followed you back.
Link no longer available.
Pinterest: The only free Pinterest unfollow tools on the market at the moment are ones that come with catches that make them untrustworthy, or they’re a scam. Don’t add any of them. The easiest way to unfollow non-followers on Pinterest is demonstrated in this 14-minute video that I personally am not going to bother with.
Blogs/Websites: First, let me apologize. This was the most difficult section of the Hop to get everyone to participate in. If I were to go back to the planning stages of the Nano Hop, I wouldn’t include it, but I did, and now I’m faced with presenting you with an option to easily unfollow those who didn’t follow you back. The problems are that we’re dealing with multiple website platforms, and there are two types of subscriptions:
- Reader/RSS Subscriptions: For instance, for WordPress.com blogs, to compare reader subscriptions to find unfollowers, you can check the list of blogs you are following here https://wordpress.com/following/edit against your follower list, which can be found at the bottom of your stats page. But if you are on a platform other than WordPress.com, you’ll have to check your settings to determine how to do this. If you’re wondering if the effort is worth the time, that’s up to you. I wound up with a lot of RSS/reader subscriptions, so I’m not really worried about it.
- Email Subscriptions: I have struggled with what to do here, because it’s a logistical nightmare. Some people were following back with RSS/reader subscriptions, and it’s not up to me to decide if that’s fair. I should have asked for the email address people were going to sign up with, but I didn’t, and so now there is no way for any of us to check if the person returned our follow. You can deduce what blog/website most of them belong to but not all. Instead of unfollowing anyone, my suggestion is evaluate the quality of the emails you receive from authors over the next while. If the quality is not up to your standards, then unsubscribe. This was never a commitment to continue following authors beyond the life of this Hop. This was always about giving each other a follower boost, and after that, it’s up to each of us to provide content that will keep people following. That’s why I’ve hand selected three articles on the topic of how to keep your following below.
3 Hand-selected Articles on Audience Retention:
Why Posting Everyday is a Silly Strategy and What to Do Instead: This blogger outlines the three way in which blogging too often can hurt your brand and lower your subscriber count.
The Art of Self Promotion on Social Media: Want to make sure people don’t have a reason to unfollow you? Learn about the different ratios that marketers use to balance self promotion with value-added content.
11 Common Blogging Mistakes that Waste Your Audience’s Time: Self explanatory.
Thank you for participating in the Nano Blog & Social Media Hop. You’re all awesome!