Tip Tuesday: Change What You Follow

Do you feel like your Facebook or Twitter feed is full of things you don't care about? My tip Tuesday today is about how to clean up what you read rather than what you post.

It starts out slow. You follow an internet personality after seeing a funny RT...you needed to for a giveaway...or you were following it for a special/newsworthy event. Now, looking through your feed on a daily basis, it just seems to be made up of stuff you are just not interested in. 

Here's how to fix it:

1. Decide first what you want to get out of social media. What topics do you want to be informed about? If you have a favorite magazine, think about what sections you really enjoy and see if you can find people talking about that topic. Although people do use Twitter and Facebook lists to separate it, I think it's easier to just decide what each service will be used for (fun? work? other?) and stick to it. That way, your brain isn't transitioning from your cousin's baby pictures to career development advice with a scroll of the mouse.

Even if 9 million people are following Kelly Clarkson (and you are a fan), be true to your own level of interest. I can't even say how many people I've had to unsubscribe/unfollow when they started posting 10x/hr (sorry, Kelly, but I'm out). If I need to, I bookmark the site or use an email subscription to make sure I don't miss a post.

2. When and where are you checking it? If you don't want to waste too much time, I would recommend keeping your amount followed under 150-200 on a single social platform. You'll probably only need to check it twice to catch 100% of the tweets; checking once a day will probably net 75-80% as content gets reposted. I once was subscribed to over 600 people on Twitter and it was basically like a 24/7 tsunami of information I couldn't keep up with. Yeah, don't do that.

Another thing to consider is when you are checking it. If you're the type to check Twitter or Facebook around the clock, news services and twitter chats may work great. If you only want to check it once, it'll work better to just read an updated article rather than the breaking news tweets of an event 6 hours ago.

3. Find better people to follow. If you really enjoy something, think about subscribing to the creator. Online, offline, photo, infographic, whatever. I found an article by Peter S Greenberg, travel editor for CBS, and 90% of the stuff he tweets is new and interesting in the travel world. I subscribed to Ben Schwartz who retweeted a Parks and Rec writer who was reading Killer Angels. So, just by following a comedian I like, I am now enjoying a great book!

Technical Stuff

Facebook
Facebook unfollow
I just took a quick screenshot of my own Facebook to give an example (nothing against The Points Guy!). Don't get tripped up by "I don't want to see this"...Facebook decides to ask you 10 questions why not, and then give you the same content as always. "Unfollow" will get those posts out of your feed, while still letting you "like" a page. 

(I usually give brands 2-3 terrible facebook posts before completely unfollowing, and unfollow people only if we haven't spoken in over 2 years. I would much rather catch up in person or on Skype than by looking at a "Summer 2014" album. Another method I have heard is to unfriend people on their birthday if you haven't talked in that year. Do not unfriend! If even one person takes it very seriously, you'll regret "unfriending" rather than "unfollowing".)

Twitter
Click directly on the bolded name, and click the blue button once. That's it!

For Twitter, it can be easier to make a concerted effort and get rid of all the clutter at once. Follow the tips above and be harsh about what you want to see 1-5x/day. Even if it's annoying to block out that time, it will make your future time on Twitter much more pleasant.

I really hope this helps you! What causes you to unfollow something on Twitter or Facebook? Do you have any tips for getting rid of clutter?

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