If you find yourself avoiding Twitter or Facebook because there is too much junk in between the posts you care about, it may be time to do a little Spring Cleaning on your social channels.
Take a few minutes the next time you’re online to weed through the mess and remove what you don’t need. It’s as simple as unfriending or unfollowing accounts that don’t offer any value to you or your work. Then, there are a few other tools (all free!) to help make this process even easier.
1. Unfollow inactive or irrelevant accounts.
There are third-party apps that make finding and unfollowing inactive accounts quite simple. The two that I use are CrowdFire and ManageFlitter. Both allow you to find and unfollow accounts for free, so don’t feel the need to purchase a package for this task. Once you connect the account, you can sort all accounts that don’t follow you back or ones that haven’t posted in awhile. Typically if a business or individual hasn’t posted in the last 3 months, they aren’t going to anymore and aren’t worth following
Note: Crowdfire works for both Twitter and Instagram. ManageFlitter is only for Twitter.
2. Make Twitter lists to clean up your feed.
Twitter allows you to sort the accounts you follow into lists. By creating lists, you’re able to scan news and updates from certain companies or people in a category. You can create a “friends” list or a “business partners” list to easily find posts by the people you want to hear from. Try a “news” list for when you need to catch up on the news first thing in the morning or an “entertainment’ list for when you need a laugh mid-afternoon.
To create a Twitter list from your profile, click Lists in the navigation menu and then click “Create a new list.” People will be notified that you’ve added them to a list unless you make it private. Sometimes adding people to a list is a good way to gain followers because they know you find them valuable and will be connected to the others in your list, too.
Facebook also has lists. They aren’t as popular as Twitter lists, but they are an option. Facebook comes pre-loaded with categories like “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances,” but you can create your own, too. Add friends to these lists by visiting their page, and clicking “Friends” on the right-hand side of the cover photo. A drop-down list appears and you can select the group or create a new one.
3. Use the hide or mute buttons more freely.
Both Facebook and Twitter offer ways to stay connected to people without following their every post. You can “hide” or “unsubscribe” to both business pages and high school classmates who aren’t sharing things you care about.
For Facebook, you can hide or unfollow directly from the news feed. Once you see a post from a page you don’t want to see anymore, click the small arrow in the right-hand column. Choose “Unfollow” and you will no longer see posts from that page or person show up in your news feed. You can, however, continue to visit the page directly to see posts and you will still show up as a “fan” or “friend” of the page or person.
You can update this setting by visiting the business page and selecting “Like” on the lower right-hand side of the cover photo, then select “unfollow” from the menu. If it’s a friend, click “Following” from the right-hand side of the cover photo.
For Twitter, you can mute accounts. Visit the account’s profile page. On the right-hand side next to the “Following” button, there is a small gear button. Click that and select “Mute” to see nothing from this account in your feed. Or select “Turn off Retweets” to hide what the person retweets from other accounts if they’re overwhelming your feed.
4. Put all your channels in a social media management tool.
Organize yourself for the coming year and cut down on wasted time by using a social media management tool. There are several out there that offer various tools at different prices, but all of them allow you to view, post and keep track of your accounts in one place. Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social are some of the most popular platforms. You can schedule posts and check in on your pages by logging into just one account. No more flipping from Twitter to Facebook to share different stories and see what’s going on in the world. You can see them side-by-side.
If you manage more than one Twitter account for your business or personal life, TweetDeck is a free app built by Twitter t o keep track of these various accounts in one place.
As always, there are many tools and ways to customize social media channels to get exactly what you want out of them. A little time cleaning up will help you feel better about the channels you created and the information you’re getting on each.