How-Tu Tuesday: Filtering Your Social Media Feed

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

September 29th 2015

The volume of content now posted to social media platforms is so vast that it is impossible to read and process everything – and why would you want to? Much of what users scroll through is irrelevant to them and unnecessary. This only causes frustration and takes longer to reach the content that the user does want to view. 

It can often be the case that social media becomes a black hole of procrastination and and an inefficient use of time. However, this shouldn’t be a reason not to use or be present on the social channels as, if used correctly, they can be an incredibly powerful tool for connecting with consumers and other stakeholders, discovering new innovations, networking with key influencers and promoting the brand name.

Below are a number of ways you can filter your social streams to access the most valuable content in the quickest time:

1. Hashtags

Hashtags were one of the original Twitter features, which has since been adopted by other social platforms, most notably Instagram. They significantly help users find the content they are looking for quickly and efficiently. Hashtags are especially useful to search for conversations about events, news topics, places or people as users on both Twitter and Instagram turn keywords into hashtags, thus allowing their post to show up either in the trending section or in the results when that particular hashtag has been searched.

2. Lists

If you haven’t already discovered lists on Twitter, it will be a revelation for you. Once created, they instantly make the user’s experience much more productive and time-effective. Lists consisting of other users can be made for anything; whether it be a list of people who work in technology, a list of fashion bloggers or a list of users who tweet about sport, it’s entirely up to the user and their filtering needs who is added to the list. Once people have been added, the list will act as a stream, showing only the tweets from the accounts that have been put on the list. Lists can also be made private or public meaning they can either be viewed by only you or, if made public, can be viewed by anyone else on Twitter who shares the same interests.

3. Favouriting

Favouriting tweets is Twitter’s tool for bookmarking. All tweets that have been favourited (by clicking on the star underneath the tweet) automatically saves the tweet to your favourites tab and can be viewed at a later date. This is useful for saving tweets which contain links to articles that you may want to read.

4. Top/Most Recent Updates

In most cases on social media, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn, the top/recent updates filter has already been set and the news stream will show the top posts as opposed to the most recently published posts. This proves useful for weeding out the irrelevant and uninteresting posts that users would have otherwise scrolled past. Although, as noted, it is often the case that this is automatically set for users, so you will need to check and ensure the filter is set to “Top” and not “Most Recent”.

5. Location

Another effective filtering technique is using the “Places” tab in the Instagram search functionality. As the name suggests, this allows users to search for posts based on their location. This can either be done through hashtags or selecting a location (often prompted by Instagram) when posting an image or video clip. This proves most useful for users who are searching for holiday destinations, event venues or places to eat.

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