In “How Twitter became my secret weapon” reference is made to large amounts of money changing hands between folks who first made contact on Twitter. This is a great reason it’s worth applying some version of the 80/20 rule to who you follow on Twitter. It goes like this:
Follow the best, and keep finding more of them
Say you follow 100 people. 20 of them are giving you 80% of the value you are getting out Twitter. So unfollow the other 80. Now you have a new standard: the 20 people you are left with. Try to find new people to follow who are as high quality as those. Of course, it’s not that simple, but you should always be trying to unfollow lower quality people and find higher quality people to follow.
A wealthy man once asked a much wealthier man why they seemed to do similar work, but the wealthier man made many millions of dollars more income. The advice came back: “Get wealthier friends. Yours make about what you do. Mine make much more than I do. They lead me onwards.”
Of course, quality people can be measured in more ways than money, but the principle is the same: Try to follow absolutely the finest people that will engage with you on Twitter. Additionally, be a mentor to those that are also mentoring others. Always be helping, always be finding better and better people who will help you.
Less work, more benefits
Following fewer people but following more that are very helpful to you mean you’ll get much more out of the time you spend on Twitter. Now you might be thinking that this means follow just dozens of people, and that could be true for some. But there are so many quality people on Twitter that there are accounts that follow tens of thousands of people, and each one is very carefully vetted for quality, and people are regularly replaced.
So there is no specific number, but you should always be trying to refine your account down to a smaller quantity of very high quality folks if you want to get the most learning and help from your Twitter network.