“Spring cleaning” is a great thing. It’s not limited to cleaning and organizing your house. It doesn’t even have to be spring to do it.
Your social media followers need the occasional “cleaning”, too. So if it’s been a while since you’ve organized those you follow on social media, now might be time for you to create a method for your social media follower madness.
Here is how to organize those you follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
As a personal Facebook user, you can group your Friends into specific, smaller lists. By default, Facebook offers a couple Friends list options (e.g. Close Friends). You can use the default options Facebook provides, or create your own Facebook Friends lists.
The benefits of using Friends lists include:
- You can post an update that is only shown to that specific list of Friends. This is helpful whenever you have something specific to post that isn’t relevant to all of your Friends. One example of this would be if you had information on an upcoming local event that you wanted to share only with your neighbors and other local connections. When you begin to compose a new update, simply click on the Audience tab to reveal a drop-down menu of choices, and select the Friends list you want (Your audience is set to Friends by default). Then when you click to post this update, it will only be visible to the Friends you placed in that specific list.
- You can use your Facebook Friends lists to see all the content those Friends post instead of the News Feed-filtered version. Once you’ve created your Friends lists, you can visit those News Feeds by clicking on a list name in your left sidebar. You’ll then be able to read every update posted by all the Friends in that list, in reverse chronological order, instead of the Facebook-filtered update list. Your Friends lists are located in the section beneath your Groups.
To create a list of Facebook Friends, click on the “Friends” sub header in the left sidebar (as seen above). Next, click on “+ Create List“. A pop-up will appear asking you to give your new Friends list a name. Then you can begin typing the names of the Facebook Friends you want to add to that list.
Once you are following more than a couple hundred Twitter users, it’s pretty impossible to keep up with the tweets posted by your most favorite Twitter users by viewing only your main Twitter feed. Twitter lists are Twitter’s way of segmenting those you follow into smaller groups, and seeing only their tweets in a filtered tweet stream. You might also want to strategically focus your Twitter time on accounts you’ve determined are worth your added attention, such as tweets posted by your customers, tweets posted by your competitors, tweets posted by relevant industry news sources, or tweets posted by users you hope to earn a follow-back from. Creating and using Twitter lists lets you more easily focus your Twitter efforts on those key accounts.
I recommend visiting your Twitter.com profile to create your Twitter lists. You can see how to create lists in this post of ours. Twitter lists can be public or private. I recommend privatizing any Twitter list that shows preference (e.g. Favorite Customers) or that could reveal your broader Twitter strategy (e.g. Main Competitors to Watch).
Once Twitter lists are created, I suggest adding each one into a column in your favorite Twitter management tool (I prefer TweetDeck). This makes for easy viewing of the tweet activity of your users in your Twitter lists.
The nature of Google Plus has always been to segment your message by (the correct, relevant) audience. This is one of the reasons I love Google Plus; it’s unusual in the social media realm to see a platform set up with this kind of privacy and organization to begin with. Google calls these groupings your “Circles”. You can create as many Circles as you’d like, name them whatever you want (no one but you can see the Circle names), and place other users into whatever Circle, or Circles, you would like. Then when you make a post on Google Plus, you can determine which Circles get to see that content posted. Circles make it easy to control who sees what you post, while also making it easy for you to organize those you follow into whatever groupings you’d like.
I admit to becoming lazy about my Circle organization, and have recently been cleaning up the profiles I follow and reassigning them to different Circles. Google Plus makes it easier than any other social media platform to move around those connections as you see fit. Simply hover, and click/unclick as needed.
This Follower organization tip for Pinterest isn’t really about organizing those you follow into smaller, more manageable groups (which isn’t possible on Pinterest), but rather, it’s a tip that can help you stay more organized and focused with the boards you choose to follow. Pinterest is different than other popular social media platforms in the sense that you can choose to follow back a user (and all of their boards), or you can select to follow just a couple specific boards created by each user.
Most Pinterest users have some variance in the content pinned to their boards. For example, I have a social media & online marketing board, plus boards on fashion, home decor, healthy eating, Disney vacations, and exercise. If you are interested in following my social media-related pins, you’re probably only going to want to follow that board of mine so the other content I post doesn’t clutter up your Pinterest feed. Keep in mind that following all of the boards of all the users you follow means that you can potentially see more pins in your feed that aren’t relevant to you than pins that are. That’s why it’s important to spend the extra time to review and select specific boards to follow instead of simply clicking the Follow button at the top of another user’s profile.
Here’s an example from the HubSpot Pinterest boards. I did not want to follow their “What to Wear to Inbound 2014” board, but I did follow their Inbound Marketing board.
Being selective about the Pinterest boards you follow is going to keep your Pinterest stream much more tailored to your specific interests and make the time you spend on Pinterest more fruitful.
It’s pretty easy to let your social media followers grow into an unmanageable mess. Following these organization tips above, you can again regain control over your social media accounts, and make a better use of your daily social media time.
What additional social media follower organizational tips do you have?