How to Listen – and Be Heard – With Social Media for Business
Posted 07 May 2014
It looks like Twitter are rolling out an update which allows you to ‘mute’ people that you’re following. This will give users the option to continue following another user without receiving their updates.
The update is available to some users with iOS and Android devices. It will come as a blessed relief for avid social media users who, for whatever reason, feel obliged to follow somebody whose updates are annoying, irrelevant or simply uninteresting. It might be a coworker, client or a friend; you now have the option to continue following them, whilst secretly choosing not to receive their updates. The feature has been available for a while on Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck, but this is the first time that the company have rolled it out for themselves.
The introduction of ‘mute’ simply confirms something that we already know: when it comes to social media, some people are worth listening to, and others aren’t.
This has two implications in terms of social media for business…
1. How to Listen with Social Media for Business
Social Media remains one of the most effective way to learn, follow the progress of others and keep up to speed with industry news. It has changed the way that we receive and process information. We would argue that every business in every industry and sector can learn from the advice of others offered through social media.
The challenge, of course, is hearing through the noise of everything else that is shared through social media. Given that most of us follow people from different walks of life – work, friends, family, industry experts, celebrities etc – it can be hard to ensure that you’re getting the updates and expertise that you need.
There are various ways to overcome this challenge. Features like ‘mute’ are certainly very attractive if you want to disengage from prolific or irrelevant users. Google+ enables you to categorise the people that you follow into ‘circles’, helping to separate work and home life. Many of us have separate personal and business accounts, making it much easier to remain professional in the workplace and switch off when we’re at home.
There are also very practical steps that you can take to ensure that you’re listening effectively with social media for business. Scheduling one, two or three daily slots when you catch up on industry news, update your accounts and schedule posts will help you to stay fresh and differentiate between key updates and irrelevant posts.
2. How to Be Heard with Social Media for Business
The bigger challenge is undoubtedly learning how to be heard with social media for business. After all, if your followers have you on ‘mute’ then your social media marketing isn’t going to be very effective.
There are various ways to ensure that you’re being heard by your followers. It’s helpful to step back for a moment and consider exactly what you’re trying to achieve with social media. Setting goals will ensure that you remain focused and help you to develop an influential voice.
You might like to check out our recent blog on how to use social media to drive website traffic. After all, effective use of social media for business will have widespread benefits for your company.
We’ll look forward to seeing Twitter’s next updates and working hard to ensure that we continue to make the most of the opportunities that social media provide…