I'm continuing my recent theme of posts around the importance of simple social media and our responsibility as professionals to remove, or at the very least not create, white noise on social channels. It's been only five days since I decided to start questioning everything I've ever been told, taught, lectured to or read about social media and best practice on social media platforms.
You'll remember from my previous posts that one of the first steps I took was to turn off any automated quote posting tools running on my accounts, after I decided they added no value to my messages and had become unnecessary white noise pollution on an otherwise informative and engaging timeline. Well, I thought I'd share some interesting statistics with you that come as a direct result of that 'turn-off'.
It appears that on average, I used to post 217 tweets a day, which included my own manual tweets, curated content/articles and automated quotes. You might want to sit down for this bit, because having simply switched off automated quotes, I'm now only posting an average of 110 tweets a day. That's a reduction of over 50%! Another way to look at it is that over half of my previous tweets have been quotes and not related to my business or personal messages. Or that half of what I used to post was what I now call 'white noise', polluting my timeline and diluting what I actually have to say. Can you imagine how clean Twitter would be if all of us social media professionals dropped automated quotes?
What's also interesting to note is that I'm still gaining followers at the same rate and I'm still averaging the same number of likes and retweets on my actual posts. Of course, it's still early days and things may change yet, but did automated quote posts add value to my account? Apparently not. Not at all. In fact, I can argue that I've received more engagement from my tweets and blog posts denouncing them, then I ever did from using them. Interesting, no?
That's the good news. The bad news is that my Klout score (which all us professionals prize so highly, simply because it's the only measure we have) has dropped 0.06 points to an all-time low of 65.54. This in itself is an interesting revelation too. Again, whilst it's perhaps to early to tell, initial reactions seem to suggest that by removing the value-less posts from my feed has somehow negatively impacted my score. Does this mean that, whatever the secret algorithm is that Klout uses, it's actually rewarding noise rather than meaningful social engagement? Especially as that's the only change I've made to my posting habits and my engagement levels are the same.
For me, it certainly reinforces my new found belief that we may not actually be using social media correctly. That by chasing the metrics we've long been told are our measures of success, we may be adding to the very spammy evils that we denounce and lecture as bad practice.
I think it's time to change that, to start re-writing 'the rules' with a blank page, don't you?