Cut down social media noise

[tweetmeme source=”barrydewar” alias=”” only_single=false style=”compact”]You’re following too many people. I’m certain of it.

Your social media experience is determined by the quality of content generated or shared by those you follow. The problem is that you don’t choose these people based on what you think they’re going to come up with, not all the time. Instead, you choose people to follow based on a combination of real life friendships, other people’s recommendations and chance glimpses of what they might be capable of. In many cases these people just don’t live up to your expectations but you’re too attached to them to cut them loose.

It’s fair enough if for you social media is purely social. But if you’re using it for business reasons then too much time is wasted filtering through the stream of detritus that you have created for yourself. I do it too. I have an a-list of people whose tweets I actually read. I use this to streamline my experience so I don’t waste too much time. But I have to ask myself, why am I bothering to keep following all the rest? I do look at the stream but only very occasionally does someone make me notice them enough to graduate to the a-list.

So why do we do it?

Well, if I’m honest, for me it’s partly down to follower numbers. I want followers because it means a bigger audience for my content. I know from experience that when you prune judiciously, you lose a lot of people. I want to keep people so I keep following them but not reading their stuff. It’s a bit daft.

But you’re not me. You’re probably not a social media consultant trying to grow their footprint. You’re probably a business with a brand on the web which you are tying to make best use of. If that’s the case you should try clearing out people who aren’t providing any value to you. It’ll save you time. Don’t worry about the follower numbers, if your content is good your list will keep on growing anyway.

Just don’t start with me.


5 thoughts on “Cut down social media noise

  1. So, how DO you cut down on the noise?

    Surely it’s then down to tools and using them wisely. As numbers increase so does the noise.

    Is it best to use Twitter lists? Are they the way to save time.

    I’d like to see Facebook profiles that do much the same thing… then I can have ‘Family’, ‘Friends’, ‘School Friends’, ‘Interests’, ‘Groups’ and then get much smaller updates.

  2. You cut down the noise by following less people. Stop following the ones who give you no benefit. If I’m honest with myself, I only really listen to about 100 people but I follow 900.

    Lists are great but you still end up leaving lots of people off. Try it, I bet you can’t get a set of lists that includes everyone. Whoever is left over. Ditch them.

    Facebook does allow you to do lists btw:

  3. Well, I’ll give it a go. Was thinking about it this morning anyway.

    Trick will be finding out how to do it on Twitter / Tweetie for iPhone – I don’t want to be made to move to Hootsuite – no, no, no! I won’t do it…

  4. A piece of advice that I give to new Twitter users who are using it purely for business purposes is to focus on organisations (rather than individuals) for “core” information. Their lists are also worth checking. Another hint is to check how often the account has been listed by others. I run two accounts – @hazelh and @LISResearch – and it would be pretty obvious to me which one would be more valuable to a new user.

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