The explosive growth of social networking sites in the past few years has led to quite a bit of clutter, and people are starting to notice. Whether you choose to go on a manual de-friending spree on Facebook, or use a tool like UnTweeps to ax followers on Twitter, you aren’t alone.

In his post Six Social Media Trends for 2010, David Armano says…

With groups, lists and niche networks becoming more popular, networks could begin to feel more “exclusive.” Not everyone can fit on someone’s newly created Twitter list and as networks begin to fill with noise, it’s likely that user behavior such as “hiding” the hyperactive updaters that appear in your Facebook news feed may become more common. Perhaps it’s not actually less social, but it might seem that way as we all come to terms with getting value out of our networks — while filtering out the clutter.
This makes sense, paring down your networks can allow you to get real value out of them. But now Sean Silverthorne at Bnet is asking what does this mean for all the companies flocking to social media as a marketing tactic? Well, as so often is the case, if you’re doing it right it shouldn’t matter.
Yes, the fact that your target audience is paring down their network connections will undoubtedly make them harder to reach. Sending out a few intermittent tweets and counting on your customers to find and connect with you on their own just won’t cut it. Social Media has become such a big trend that it may seem like the answer – or that easy button from the Staples commercials – when in reality it is simply just another tool in the toolbox. Companies who have success in the space realize this, and use the social media networks as tools to build up a loyal customer base – and actually continue to interact with them regularly. Which is why they make the grade the next time that particular customer goes to clean out his or her network. It’s about becoming a relevant resource and providing real value to your followers/customers.

Which is what quality online marketing teams have been telling their clients all along.