When do we stop following on Twitter? We don't. I've read recently a few articles on the "active" vs. mildly active endusers on Twitter. By some estimates only about 25 percent of the profiles we follow on Twitter are active. My own anecdotal evidence has pointed this out as well. As I go deeper into my timeline, the time of the last Tweet get's longer. Go two thousand people back, and I see last tweet: 3 days ago. Go 10,000 people into the list, and I see last tweet: 1 month ago. And I'm seeing it more and more across a wide range of accounts.
Networks that aren't growing are stagnating
When we allow an account to fester, and are not active, a unique phenomena occurs over time. The users drop off, drop out, or tweet less. Our timeline seems clogged with advertisements, automated messages, and links to for profit schemes. Why? Twitter is mimicking real life "live" networks. If we are not adding people everyday to our list we are not rejuvenating our conversation pool, we are not adding new life to our streams.
We went out and followed people to open our account, why stop doing what works?
People stop enlarging their account for many reasons, and I suspect the answer is rather subjective, and relative here, but it is once again, our "comfort zone". Others run into Twitter follow limits. Still others tell themselves that they don't have to or want to follow. Others are stymied by boredom, it takes work to follow 200 active followers. This causes the timeline to stagnate, and there just isn't much good conversation, the timeline becomes rather stale, and we are not entertained or stimulated.
Pick a number and stick with it. If that is 50 per day? Fine. More ambitious? Find 200 people each day. But stick with it, be disciplined, and stick with that number. I help people do this who don't have enough time to do it themselves, and I have a staff of specialists who take on new accounts.
Use Tweepi, a free API application for following and unfollowing. Follow 200 new tweeps per day, and give them a week or ten days to follow back. As you continue to do this, you can go to the last page of Unfollowers and "flush" them using Tweepi. You will begin to develop a pipeline that you are always flushing the unfollowers and following new people.
Engage the lively followers. RT often, put links into your timeline to outside articles, and use hashtags ( the pound sign or # ) for subject search. This stimulates activity from active Tweeps.
Be consistent, set rational goals and milestones that you can do each day, spend 20 minutes following and unfollowing each of your accounts, and you will always have new people and you will always be enlarging your network.