The articles here at Sprout Insights are written to keep you informed about ways to improve your social media presence. But beyond this publication, Sprout Social has tools that help you track and control that presence.

Twitter’s fast pace and constant updating mean that you’ll want to spend some time curating the list of people you follow. You’ll want to make sure that your accounts, whether personal or for business, are only following accounts that are worth keeping track of.

One easy way to make sure that your following list isn’t padded with silent, dead, or irrelevant accounts is to cull those profiles with Sprout Social. Here’s a rundown of how the feature works, and some suggestions for how to decide when a Twitter handle isn’t worth following.

How to Use the Tool

Once you’ve logged into your Sprout Social account, select “Discovery” from the menu at the top. This is the same tool where you can seek out important new people for your account to follow. Instead of going into the Suggestions tab where you can search for influencers, pick the second option, “Cleanup.”

This section of the Discovery tools allows you to assess the less vocal Twitter members that you currently follow. You have three options for sorting those profiles. “Silent Accounts” gives the names of Twitter users that have recently had little or no activity on the network. “Irregular Use” lists the accounts you follow that either have unusual patterns of tweeting or abnormal friend counts. “Do not follow back” shows names of profiles that you follow but that do not follow you back.

For each entry on one of the lists, moving your cursor over the white square will reveal some options for maintenance. At the bottom right corner, you’ll see two new buttons. The “Hide” button removes that profile from the list. “Full Profile” takes you to a snapshot of the account’s Twitter bio. Three small icons will also appear in the top right corner when you mouse over a specific account. These allow you to unfollow, directly mention, or report as spam from within the Sprout Social tool. If you aren’t using Sprout Social yet, you can sign up for a free trial and test out all the social media management features.

Choosing Who To Cut

It can be a challenge to cut people from your following list on Twitter, but there are some good reasons to keep your reading list under control. If you are looking to really use the platform for frequent communication and want to build relationships with people and brands, you’ll need to be able to keep up with what others are saying. Keeping a one-sided connection with a profile that’s no longer active won’t be productive for your company.

Since you can use Sprout Social to view the full profile of a silent account, make sure you double-check whether you’ve had useful interactions with that person in the past. You can also look through all of the account’s old tweets to confirm whether the individual is worth keeping. Somebody who tweets infrequently but has important ideas to share should stay on your radar. Infrequent tweeting with little value probably means you can unfollow safely.

One of Sprout Social’s convenient features is that influential users will appear on these lists with a small star in the corner of their profile photos. Even if those influential members are infrequent tweeters, it’s probably worth keeping the connections. Inactive Twitter members with less cachet, and with whom you haven’t cultivated strong relationships, are the best accounts to start trimming from your following list.

This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.

[Image credits: Näystin, Steven Depolo]