Facebook is my friend. Not literally, of course, but like a virtual friends who keeps me up to date on important world, national, and local news, provides interesting information about industries and subjects I’m interested in, and lets me know what my friends and acquaintances are up to. And the reason it does that is because I have a wide range of Facebook friends who come from many parts of my life.
I’m friends with many former colleagues who were or are in the news business and their posts tend to focus on the news of the day. Given that “friends and family come first” on Facebook[i] and my friends are very into news, I’m pretty confident I’m getting what I need there.
The best part is that know I can count on them to share news and commentary from a variety of sources, including sources I likely wouldn’t seek out myself since their views of the world run the gamut. This offers me a much wider look at the world than I might get otherwise. I’m also friends with current colleagues who share similar professional interests and who use Facebook to share interesting and informative articles. My feed is filled with articles on these subjects of interest that allow me to take a deeper dive into them than my morning newspaper, say. (And yes, I do still get a newspaper.)
Conversely, I love Twitter for finding out what’s going on and having some control over what I’m seeing. I can easily follow people or subjects I’m interested in, and it gives me a quick overview of a vast amount of relevant information. The slightly tricky part is ensuring you understand the source so that you can also quickly weigh the likely accuracy of the post. It’s like scanning just the headlines in the newspapers. If it’s the New York Times you’ll probably get an accurate headline; if it’s the National Enquirer you’d better take it with a grain of salt.
Let me just say here, though, that I’m not an early adopter. My favourite tool for listening or monitoring for social media trends is the aforementioned newspaper. I didn’t join Facebook till 2011, Linked In till 2013, nor Twitter till, well, just last year I think. I am so far from having favourites.
One way I do try to keep up though is by using a hashtag for social media on Twitter, so I can find news and influencers. It’s very much like what I’ve done with several change management and communications gurus. I like this method because, once again, it allow me to scan lots of content in limited time.
What about you? How do you listen and monitor what you’re interested in and what’s trending in social media?
[i] Lua, Alfred. (2017, October 25). Decoding the Facebook Algorithm: A Fully Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes. Buffer Social. Retrieved November 15, 2017.