The real time web is both a blessing for marketers and a curse. On the plus side, you’ve got access to an unlimited amount of information, in real time. On the bad side, you have access to an unlimited amount of information, in real time.
Twitter updates the thousands of folks I follow every minute. Facebook updates pour in like a flooded river. And since LinkedIn can now be connected to Twitter (and people don’t understand that you shouldn’t do this) I get repeat updates from Twitter and regular LinkedIn updates all day long too. Oh, and what about the blogs you like to read?
How do you filter all of the information that is coming into your social networks?
Information is only valuable if you can interpret it. As part of any successful social media marketing strategy, you must incorporate a way to filter the noise. But how?
Understand What You’re Looking For
You can’t begin to become more efficient without having an understanding of what’s valuable. Know what information you’re looking for, and you can begin to set a system to find all relevant information regarding not just your business, but also your industry.
Identify, Follow, & Group Knowledge
Identify who is creating and spreading information you find valuable. Who or what groups post and offer relevant information for you and your business. Use Google Reader to store all the blog posts in one place. If you find a blog particularly valuable, such as The Real Time Marketer, have it sent your email.
Group valuable folks on Twitter either in a List your create, or a grouped column via a 3rd Party application. Follow relevant groups on LinkedIn and have a weekly summary sent to your email. (don’t select daily, just get 1 email per week).
By grouping knowledge together, you now have a few spots where people are providing information you need. These groups should be expanding, but make sure they’re manageable. A group should be big enough to allow a substantial amount of information, but make sure you can look through them quickly and identify the nuggets that are useful.
Use Aggregate Tools And Applications to Filter For You
Use third party apps like Tweetdeck, Seesmic, or Hootsuite to give you a entire snapshot of your social networks in one interface. You can see Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other networks all from one screen. You can also use these platforms to post on each network so you’re not bouncing back and forth. Don’t waste time jumping from one platform to the other all day long.
Allocate a Time Budget
You can look at information all day if you’d like, but my guess is that you have more important things to do. If you’ve set up your 3rd party apps correctly, you don’t need to spend all day online. Select certain times to log on and reply and comment where appropriate. If you have your twitter influencers grouped correctly, you can quickly run down their activities for that day and read or spread what’s valuable. Don’t allow social media to anchor you away from productivity and from accomplishing goals.
Drop What’s Not Useful
Just because a new social network pops up, doesn’t mean that it’s useful and makes sense for you. Google Buzz came out today, don’t waste your time. Being the first to a social network doesn’t offer you much value. Let others, like me, figure out how they can apply to you and your business and wait till you can make sure they’ll be useful.
If the sheer number of networks is bogging you down, either figure out how to make them more efficient or drop them. You need to figure out what is providing return on your time investment. Drop the dead weight. No one cares how many social networks you or your business is on. I go into more details HERE
Learn to master the art of filtering noise…if you can do this, your impact in the digital world will change dramatically. Good luck and as always, let me know how I can help.
This is DAY 9 of my “28 Day Blogging Challenge“
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Scott S. Bishop is editor for Real Time Marketer and a marketing strategist with a specialty in social media. He is an avid blogger and active across the net. He is @thescottbishop on Twitter