If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, then what does it do to your state of mind if your social media is a mess?
This is the question that Dora Fontein asks, writing on the Hootsuite blog. It’s easy to let social media accounts get out of control. They’re “out there” in the cloud and the amount of stuff that they generate can multiply quickly. And whether you realize it or not, every one of your social media interactions requires a decision: to read or not to read, to click or not to click. These decisions can cause the same kind of stress as actual clutter in your physical space.
The solution to this chaos is found in organization. When thinking about cleaning up and organizing your social media presence, you should consider all areas of your online presence that could do with some tidying up. You will probably find it helpful to declutter the social media accounts you’re following, as well as streamlining your own social media presence to impact your overall strategy and goals for stress-free social.
Less stress isn’t the only benefit. A more organized online presence can also deliver higher quality and more relevant content. And organized feeds give you better control over who you interact with, allowing for more personalized relationships.
Dora suggests taking the following steps. Her focus is on social media for business but the same concepts can be applied to your personal accounts.
Identify key channels
Think about what you want social media to do for your business and consider which channels are best for these goals. Perhaps video channels like Vine or Periscope aren’t right for your brand’s social media goals or maybe they’re a perfect fit. If you find that you’ve been spending time and effort on a platform that doesn’t match your goals, cut your losses and move on.
Many social media platforms allow you to segment the people you follow into lists. Twitter in particular lets you create a “curated group of Twitter users” who can be followed separately from the rest of your stream. Then when you’re interested in what a particular group is saying, you don’t have to wade through all of your other accounts. You might consider building lists for some of these groups:
- Top customers
Sometimes you have to trim back the dead wood. If you have connections who aren’t adding value to your goals or, even worse, are acting as energy and time holes, it’s time to let them go.
For Facebook, you can just click the tab with the checkmark that says “Friends” on anybody’s profile, and then go to the bottom of the drop-down menu and click the ominous “Unfriend” button. The other person will not receive a notification, and you will feel better about your life when you don’t have to see your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s views on the Illuminati all over your News Feed.
If you have to stay friends with someone for professional reasons but perhaps find their personal updates too much, you can also just mute the person’s updates when they come up in your News Feed by clicking the little arrow and selecting either “Hide Post” (to see less posts like the one in question) or “Unfollow ______” to stop seeing their posts while remaining friends.
There are also tools for cleaning up Twitter and Instagram accounts, which are mentioned in the article.
If you designate time to schedule posts during the week, you will most likely see a decrease in your stress levels. Of course, as you create new content or find opportunities for posts you can adjust your content schedule accordingly. The idea is simply to have a consistent number of posts to keep your audience engaged and interested, through ensuring you always have something valuable lined up.
There are more details and links in the full article. I’m sure you’ll find that social media with less clutter delivers more valuable information and promotes better connections with the people in your networks.