5 TV Habits to Apply to Social Media to Prevent Overload

social media overload, social media management, social marketing

“I can’t manage the information overload that comes with participating in social media.  How can I possibly read all of the tweets, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts from people I am connected with?”

I hear these statements all the time.

Just because the information is flowing  doesn’t mean we have to read it ALL!  When you are experiencing INFORMATION OVERLOAD, it is due to FILTER FAILURE.  Trying to read every social post is like trying to watch every television show that is broadcast across the airwaves.

Try applying these 5 TV habits for a little more sanity:

  1. Subscribe to your favorite channels: When you sign up for cable or satellite service, you typically do not pay for the sports tier if you are not a sports fan and the, so-called, premier movie channels are left for the movie buff.  Don’t connect with every person that connects with you on social sites.  If they only post information about sports, and you are not a sports fan, they are not adding value to your stream.  If they only tell you how to save money on weight loss products and you would never buy a fat-pill online, get them out of your channel line up!
  2. Record your favorite shows with your DVR: Just like being able to record every episode of GLEE or the OFFICE, so you can watch them when you want, you can do the same thing with tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite (two of my favorite social management tools).  You create columns for your favorite topics or people on Twitter and on Facebook you create LISTS for favorites, and you read those specific posts and tweets when you are ready to sit down with that bowl of popcorn and watch back to back episodes.
  3. Fast forward through commercials: The beauty of today’s television tools is the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward…especially through commercials.  Let’s admit it, even your favorite peeps can get a bit self-promoting at times, and that’s okay,  just scan through and move on.
  4. Only scan mindlessly through every channel when you have time to kill. Sure there are those days when you need to just turn your brain off and sit in a vegetative state for an hour, or perhaps you are stuck waiting an extra 40-minutes in the high school parking lot when basketball coaches forget that parents have lives too (Oh sorry, I’m venting…).  This is when you can go channel surfing through Twitter and Facebook posts that are not on any of your lists (especially when you are using your mobile device) and look for new favorites.  I actually try and do this a couple times a week to find new treasures I may have been overlooking.
  5. Occasionally turn the television off & go for a WALK! There are times when you need to UNPLUG and let the information flow move on a bit without you.  You can catch up later.  Step outside and take a deep breath in.  Do some social research at the park.

What other tips do you have for managing the massive flow of information? Please share them here…we need more information!

@GinaSchreck How to build business with Twitter

The Controversy Around the Digital Divide

Technology Speaker, Social Media Expert, Digital Natives, Digital ImmigrantsI grew up with 3 TV channels (not including the mysterious UHF channels which never had anything of value to a kid), I was the remote control.  I played records not MP3 files, on my Fisher Price record player.  The only phone we had was one with a very long cord that could be pulled into our bedrooms for privacy.  I am a digital immigrant.

I hear many people complain about the labels, “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants.”  I’m assuming what they really don’t agree with is some of the stereotypes that tend to go along with those labels.  Some will say ALL digital natives LOVE technology and ALL digital immigrants RESIST it.  Obviously that is not true, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are those born into a landscape of digital technology and those of us who have had to make that mental shift and MOVE.

I am a native to the United States, but that doesn’t mean that I know everything about our great country.  There are those who have immigrated over from other countries and I am amazed at those who know more about our history and landmarks than I.

Regardless of which side of the digital divide you were born on, it doesn’t change the fact that we must find ways to continue learning to use the tools of today.  My old record player won’t allow me to do all that my iPad will, I watch more videos on YouTube than shows on my television (unless it is in 3D -then our 3D TV delivers the goods!) and my Google Nexus One phone can do just about everything from helping me review restaurants online, making dinner reservations without having to call and be placed on hold. My phone can hail a taxi  or talk me through directions to get there all without having to drag my phone into a room for privacy…wait…PRIVACY…what’s PRIVACY?  Perhaps that’s yet another thing digital immigrants are struggling with understanding!


Why Your Learning Event Needs Twitter

Twitter training, Technology Speaker, Social Media Expert, Gina SchreckMost consider Twitter a marketing tool, or probably more accurate is that most consider Twitter a tool for blathering about what you are watching on television or eating for lunch, but I believe it is one of the best learning and post conference accountability tools I have seen.

I recently spoke at a marketing conference that did not set up a hashtag for the conference.  As soon as the conference was over… it was over.  I did get messages from individuals with questions and some just wanting to share their excitement for implementing new techniques learned at the conference, but what was sad, was the fact that these messages were just between the two of us.  There was not a system set up to allow everyone to share their new knowledge and continue learning from each other.

By contrast there are conferences that create a knowledge sharing community before the event even begins and it helps to connect people, allow them to share information with other attendees during the conference (both physical and remote attendees) and once connected, the community continues to share and learn well beyond the event.

So what is the best way to set up your conference community?

1. Create a short tag (# Hashtag) that you and attendees will use to group all tweets. The shorter the tag, the better since it has to fit within the 140 character tweet.  To check availability of a certain tag go to http://Search.Twitter.com and type in your desired tag to see if anyone is already using it.  Many use initials combined with the year (example #NSA10  or #Devlearn10) but keep it short.

2. Register your hashtag. By registering your tag, people can learn more about your event, the producers of the event and how they can participate. Go to Twubs (https://twubs.com/p/register-hashtag) and fill in as much info as possible.

3. Inform your group of the hashtag and encourage them to use it in every tweet that relates to the event or that they want to share with people from the event.  You may want to create a short video explaining this. You may also want to share tips on using sites like TweetChat to pull only your tagged tweets, or how to set up TweetDeck or Hootsuite with a column for your event tweets.

4. Facilitate the discussion but don’t take over. You can start with some great questions to initiate conversation or post helpful information that attendees will find useful and then let the community continue.

Remember, you are creating a learning and sharing community that should go beyond the one day event.  Here’s to BIG ON-GOING learning!


3 Facebook & Twitter Lessons from Sweet Ivy Bean


I learned about Ms. Ivy Bean at the end of her 104-year life, but in a matter of weeks, I became enraptured by and ended up learning a lot from this amazing woman.  Aside from learning she loves fish and chips, which she had every Friday at the nursing home, I also learned she is a big fan of Peter Andre, an English-born Australian singer–songwriter and television personality  (pictured here kissing Ms Bean), she  loved chatting with her thousands of fans and friends on Facebook and Twitter and said being online kept her from “falling asleep so much.”  Probably the two most important lessons I learned from Ivy Bean is to continue learning all of your days, make friends with strangers.

In 2007, Ms Bean learned to use the computer when social services brought laptops into the nursing home where she lived. She joined Facebook at age 102 and when word spread that she was the oldest Facebook user, she became a rockstar, quickly hitting her 5,000 friend limit.  That was when she discovered Twitter, which she said was much easier to use.  She tweeted (over 1000 tweets) about her life in the nursing home.  Some were mundane and some so sweet you just wish you could have spent many an afternoon sipping tea with her.

So what can we learn from the incredible Ivy Bean?

1. Be authentic and caring. Ivy loved hearing about and often commented on the adventures and family matters of her followers.  She also shared her concern with her house-mates when they were sick or even once when another resident, Kathleen, “went missing for over 10 minutes” and the police had to be called.

2. It’s okay to let people have a peek into your world. Ivy shared her excitement about getting an invitation to meet the prime minister but she also admitted that he wasn’t as good looking at Peter Andre! She shared her love of fish and chips and the joy she got out of having tea with her friends and playing Connect 4.  These snippets allowed people to grow to love Ivy and truly connect with her.

3. When you are open to learning something new, your world just might open up something new and wonderful for you! Taking up Facebook at 102 years of age and then Twitter shortly after, Ivy Bean discovered, and connected to, a world she had never known.  She became a source of inspiration and encouragement to those down the hall in the nursing home as well as people around the globe.  She was treated like a celebrity and was having fun with her new friends.

Thank you Ivy for connecting with the world and leaving a lasting legacy!

I hope to grow up some day to be just like Ms. Ivy Bean!

What can you do to inspire those around you this month?  Share your inspiration.