If you’re a regular Twitter user, you know how important your follower count is. The more followers you have, the greater your Twitter influence. From the day you created your account, one of your goals has likely been to build that number.
But along the way it’s inevitable that some who follow you will later change their minds and bail. Maybe you said something they didn’t like. Maybe they shut down their accounts. Maybe they were just adding you hoping you would follow-back and now see no reason to continue to follow you. Who knows?
Whatever the reason, it’s no fun to see your follower count drop, but it eases the social-media pain just a bit to know who stopped following you–you may choose to return the favor.
But how can you track who unfollows you?
Here are five nifty tools designed to give you the scoop on lost Twitter followers. Some of them do a lot more, but at the very least these will give you the names of your former followers.
1. Follow unfollowr
One of the easiest ways to find out who unfollowed you on Twiter is to simply follow the twitter handle @unfollowr. It will automatically start tracking your followers and send you an email or direct message you when someone unfollow you on Twitter. While this is the easiest method, there are other tools with advanced features to track your twitter followers.
2. Friend or Follow
The best thing about Friend or Follow is its simplicity. You don’t have to connect it to your Twitter account or even sign-up to use the free features. Just navigate to the site, enter your Twitter name, hit “submit” and in seconds you’ll have a list of everyone you’re following who does not follow you back. To unlock additional features, you’ll have to pay. A 7-day trial is free, and the service is $9.99 per month after that.
Who.Unfollowed.Me is very similar to Friend or Follow. Lists (who’s unfollowed you, who’s not following back, and who you’re not following back) are all available for free. You will have to give the service access to your Twitter account, but here’s the upside: premium features (unfollowing from the site and even some automated functions) will only set you back $4.99 per year.
Qwitter takes a different approach. Rather than using their site, they send a weekly email that summarizes the last 7 days of Twitter activity. A free account will allow you to connect a single Twitter account and will let you know who unfollowed you in the past week. For additional information, like the ability to track multiple accounts and get daily (instead of weekly) emails, you’ll have to upgrade to pro. A pro account is $2 per month.
NutshellMail is my Twitter-tracking web-app of choice, and here’s why: it works like Qwitter, sending emails to summarize new followers, lost followers and even Twitter updates. Additionally, you can use it to track your Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, FourSquare, YouTube and CitySearch accounts, as well. Updates come as often or rarely as you want. You can receive multiple updates a day (on the hours you select) or only one per week. And, unbelievably, it’s totally free. If you’re looking for a way to keep tabs on your new and lost followers without any hassle or cost on your part, this is the service for you.
One last note: Many of these services include the option to Tweet that you’re using the service and even name people who’ve unfollowed you. Don’t use that option. It looks tacky and/or desperate to gripe about lost followers in your Twitter feed. Use these services to maintain a clean, strong list of followers, but use them quietly.