» Social Media: De-Cluttering Your Connections

The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.

In the early days of email, it was exciting to hear that ‘ding’on AOL, and the voice, saying, “You’ve got mail!” It didn’t take long before the trickle of email became a river, and now, a tsunami. Not as much fun.

The dawn of social media platforms, in particular Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, created a new magnetism between people from all over; from your past, present, personal and business. But what happens when you accumulate too many connections and they begin to clutter your social presence?

Social Media: De-Cluttering Your ConnectionsCollecting Friends and Followers is Easy – Maintaining them is another thing entirely.

Before you start wildly un-friending and disconnecting, begin by reconsidering your purpose for each social media platform, its structure and features which serve you, and categorizing the remaining connections. Social networks afford you to assign people to lists, so try grouping them by purpose.For example:

  • Specific trade association or networking group (local and/or national)
  • Industry (general) i.e. Wedding Industry (local and/or national)
  • Business category i.e. Wedding Photographer (local and/or national)
  • Media – magazines, websites, bloggers

Facebook

Facebook is often the hardest network to cut your Friends list, as connections on Facebook are reciprocal and so the connection will definitely notice if you remove them. Luckily, you have choices beyond the Friend category that help you to further filter out what you see in your News Feed (and what you don’t):

  • Close Friends: These are the people I have close relationships with, want to communicate with and listen to, or develop connections with.
  • Acquaintances: You’ve met someone at a conference or a networking event, and suddenly you’re Facebook friends. Giving them the acquaintance designation means you want get as many updates.
  • Get Notifications: The individual may be fine, but may post too often for your tastes. Or their judgment about what topics to post about (politics, religion, normal weather, local traffic jams, taking the kids to soccer, or standard meal fare) has become annoying. Turn their notifications OFF, and retain them as a friend.
  • Unfriend or Block: If an individual is in your business realm, un-friending them is a double-edge sword. Better to turn off their annoying notifications, but don’t un-friend them in case you run into them offline.

To cut down your list, ask yourself who you would recognize at a conference if you bumped into them. If you haven’t had enough interaction over the last year to connect, visually, or feel the desire to share a cup of coffee, why are they still a friend on Facebook? You don’t want true connections to be lost in the noise and clutter!

Twitter

Twitter is easier to manage because it’s not a 2-way street, automatically. I can choose to follow you, but you don’t have to reciprocate. It has alist function, much like Facebook, to help focus your reading/listing. The best way to thin the herd on Twitter is to filter before accepting everyone. Consider what can be gained by following a user before you follow!

My favorite tool is to mange my Twitter audience is Manage Flitter. It offers many options for sorting, evaluating, and choosing to show you which accounts are dormant, don’t have a headshot, only use foreign languages, who has not followed you back.

­LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a growing variety of networking tools and even recommends people you might know to build connections.It’s simply enough to go through LinkedIn connections and disconnect from those not active with you, reducing it to people you know.

Social media overload did not develop in a day, week or month. Think about how you have organized and made choices in these social platforms and others. Then, think again, and devise a plan.