Wading into the Social Media Pool

An update on my progress with social media:

I recently started tweeting (finally!). My initial concerns about getting into Twitter involved time & technology (yes, I’m a bit of a technophobe). So I’m taking my time to get comfortable with learning how to post & re-tweet … making new connections … and seeing what other relevant, interesting information is out there.

What I find overwhelming is the amount of information on Twitter – I’m concerned about adding to information overload (especially when I see people frequently tweet quotes as a way to maintain a Twitter presence). To help manage my anxiety in this area, I rely on these words of wisdom:

  1. Tweeting content in response to ‘What’s got your attention?’ rather than ‘What are you doing?’ [Gleaned from a number of Twitter how-to blog posts and e-books.]
  2. Focus on contributing to the knowledge base, rather than contributing to the noise. [Thanks to my friend Debra Semans for this advice.]

I’d love to hear from other social media veterans and newbies: How do you deal with information overload on Twitter?

 

4 Comments

  • Sybil December 24, 2010 Reply

    @Phil, @ Tom,
    Very helpful! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

  • Phil Gerbyshak December 23, 2010 Reply

    Welcome to the Twitter-sphere Sybil! Here are a few (OK more than a few) things to help you along your way:
    1) The best gets shared over and over again. This is a bit like Tom mentions with the fire hose thoughts.
    2) Create and add folks to lists that explain WHY you followed them, then look at your followers through that list instead of the massive stream.
    3) Set up a few saved searches for favorite hashtags (#leadchange is a good one) so you can use this as another view into what’s going on, and to get insights from others you don’t follow (but who may be talking about what you’re interested in).
    4) Find a tool you like and use it instead of Twitter.com – I love Hootsuite.com It works great and allows me to see more than just what I see on Twitter.com
    5) Schedule your most important tweets a few times a day and a few days in the week (using Hootsuite) as different people are on Twitter at different times. This will also allow you to see when your stuff gets shared the most, and then you can focus more efforts during those times.
    6) Remember to engage in dialog, and don’t just broadcast – If you don’t have any @ replies in your stream, you’re just broadcasting. Periodically go to your Twitter.com page and see what it looks like. If it’s just information, mix it up with some conversation.
    Most of all…
    7) Have fun! So many fun people use Twitter, for so many reasons, that there’s truly no right (or wrong) way to use Twitter. Just dive in as you get time, have fun, and find what works for you!
    Let me know if I can ever help more!

  • Sybil December 3, 2010 Reply

    Tom, I like your advice on filtering through the people you trust. Thanks!

  • twitter.com/Tom_Collins December 3, 2010 Reply

    Hi Sybil,
    Wonderful tips on how to focus on the value of your own contributions to the stream!
    For sipping from that firehose, I try to limit my time spent looking at it and have learned to scroll down the list and let my attention fall on the faces I’ve learned to trust, or tweets with links. My goal is to let the folks I follow act as filters and curators to fight against information overload, which is exactly what you are seeking to do for yours, I think – and I just added myself to your list! 😀
    Tom

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