How to Avoid Information Overload in Social Media

By Brian Wendel

Sometimes, you can over complicate things.

Sometimes, less is more.

There are so many times when people tell us about their social media background and experience.  They know about Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Flickr, TinyURL, etc and we always respond with the same questions.

How are you using these tools and what is the result?

The answer is usually the same – otherwise we wouldn’t be on the phone.

There is a huge pool of elements you can choose from and an infinite variety of combinations you can create.  Twitter + sharing + commenting will give you a different result than blogging + LinkedIn + Flickr.   Nothing is set in stone and there is no strategy that is full-proof.

You might just need to simplify things.

It is time to bring it back to basics, and focus on execution instead of complex formulas that may work some of the time.

Determine how you want to engage with social media channels and then determine the best venues to accomplish a few of these tasks:
•    Listen
•    Friend
•    Share
•    Converse
•    Customize
•    Engage

This is a strategy that works well in helping you get proof of concept. Then you can begin to mix and match and customize the tools to achieve your goals.

It even works in professional football!

The Arizona Cardinals had their best year in franchise history. Quarterback Kurt Warner had one of the best passing seasons of all time.  When asked what made such a difference this year, Warner replied the Cardinals simplified the playbook. Instead of focusing on hundreds of plays as they had in years past, they focused on 25 to 50. They toned it down and worked on the execution.

The results were evidence that it worked.

Warner threw the same three passes to Larry Fitzgerald over and over and defenses couldn’t stop this dynamic duo.  This winning strategy and solid execution brought them to the Super Bowl.  Then in the big game against the Steelers they went away from their winning strategy.  Fitzgerald caught one pass in the first three quarters and by the time the Cardinals went back to what was working, it was too late.  Although Fitzgerald did have more than 100 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough.

The message is simple: Find out what works and stick with it.

Our goal is to bring the information overload to a halt, and help get clients going on a simple strategy that is easy to execute and results driven.

Are you ready?  Let’s do it.


1 Response to “How to Avoid Information Overload in Social Media”

  1. 1 Dave February 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Excellent post Brian and fantastic analogy with the Arizona Cardinals playbook. I think your post also applies to how people “befriend” others on social sites as well. The previous thought was to get as many friends as possible even those who you know won’t really keep in contact with. I think the next evolution within social media will be the cutting down of the hundreds of friends on these social sites and really focusing on the core contacts, which will only make how you use these social sites even more useful.

    Again, great post.

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