I am always asking questions, of everyone I come across in Business, about the experiences and relationship that people have with social media. Responses vary, as you would expect, and there is usually a worrying trend of dissatisfaction – normally rooted in the inability of people to attain great outcomes from their online relationships, and their overall frustration with the amount of irrelevant content that they’re presented with in social streams.
I can understand the underlying reasons for both viewpoints, and there are simply a couple of factors at play, which represent the 2 sides of the social media coin … creation and receipt:
1. People struggle to know what to write about, but their “need” to participate remains, and so the content they create becomes largely meaningless or mundane. The end result is an overlooked piece of content, that benefits nobody, and adds to the already growing volumes of “noise” across social media.
2. An inability to filter.
With so much content being created, by an increasing number of users, on an increasing number of platforms, the ability of social media users to filter out the noise, and find the conversations that will benefit them, is needed more than ever … well, more than yesterday, but not quite so much as tomorrow! Just look at the growth in the volume of daily Tweets in recent years.
Filtering brings with it the ability to truly listen to our prospective and existing customers, and better understand their concerns and desires. When we find the relevant conversations, we can tap into new networks of prospects and potential partners. We can find the influential “players” in these networks, and explore ways to collaborate for mutual benefit. Opportunities abound for anyone who gains the ability to listen actively to their market, and social media makes that so easy (and largely cost-free).
And it’s not all about financial or business benefit. Sometimes we just want a more enjoyable experience from our social media interactions, and in ensuring that we only digest content that we can really connect with, we’re being more efficient with our time, and more congruent with our own goals and desires. Social Media Monitoring doesn’t have to mean anything more than a well-formed Twitter search. Get into the habit of filtering all of your social content, and see how it benefits you and your business.