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I’m old enough to remember the days of bringing a Walkman into my bed at night to try and listen to baseball. On the clearest of nights, I could hear the radio home of the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals, and sometimes, the Boston Red Sox from my New Jersey bedroom. However, most times, I’d have to deal with plenty of static and interference.In our social media world today, we have the same issues. While we can “hear” some of the most influential PR/social media/marketing folks, we still need to get through the “static” to actually listen. Why? Our Facebook and Twitter streams are clouded with too much noise and clutter that affects what we take in.
So, how can we better listen and engage our followers? Here are five tips to fine tune your focus on social networks.
1. Unfollow those who aren’t valuable to you- I know this is a HUGE sticking point with some folks. But, ask yourself this question: If you didn’t like the music being played on a radio station, would you still listen? Pare down your followers to those that deliver the smartest, most relevant content.
2. Change your channels- Don’t spend all your time on Twitter. Hop on Facebook and/or Google+ to get a new perspective, and vice versa. Too often we spend all our time in one place. Get some variety.
3. Listen closely- What is it you are really trying to accomplish by engaging on social platforms? Don’t just retweet for the sake of it. Actually read what is included in a tweet or Facebook post. Too many times, we are quick to share something and it may not even pertain to your network.
4. Have your “pre-sets”- Just like your car radio, you should be using Twitter lists to your full advantage. This is an outstanding way to tune out the static on your feed and focus in on what you really want to “listen” to.
5. Focus in on certain times- In the radio industry, there’s morning drive and afternoon drive. You can pretty much marry that to social media as well. In the morning, we see a ton of blog post and news updates. In the afternoon, we see content that comes from webinars, conferences and events. These are the times for optimal reading.
Keep in mind that it is up to you to choose who you wish to listen and engage with on social platforms. When you complain that someone is an oversharer or they whine too much, you have the power to “change the channel.”