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How To Become A Social Media Listener In 5 Easy Steps

How To Become A Social Media Listener In 5 Easy Steps

    A few days ago a friend of mine posted (on Google+) that nobody is listening on Twitter anymore. He offered his specific help to promote someone’ blog post there but got no answer. Obviously, because the other part wasn’t even listening. This story made me think about how people are consuming social media.

    Nobody will question that the biggest trend is to be a “broadcaster”. Use social media to promote your business, to enhance your brand, to increase sales. That’s what everybody and their mothers are teaching you nowadays. There’s so much noise in this area that it’s almost impossible to discern useful information from gibberish. That’s why many people entering in social media have really overwhelming experiences.

    I’ve been there too. I had my fair share of learning “how to influence people using social media“. But after having enough, a new trend in consuming this type of interaction emerged. Namely, I became a listener. And it took me only a few weeks to realize that the benefits of being an honest listener instead of an obsessed broadcaster are far more interesting than I thought.

    For instance, I can easily get access to trends. I gave up TV a few years ago and I don’t consume news in the traditional media form. But my need to stay informed didn’t disappear, on the contrary, so I just use social media to see what are the directions, who are taking the lead and what other people are saying about that.

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    Also, by constantly perusing my social media stream I grow what I like to call ”my filtering muscles“. I learned how to easily identify what is important from what is just meaningless repetition. And that proved to be extremely beneficial in other areas too, like casual social conversation. I can easily spot a lazy conversational partner and sparkle the interaction, if need will be. People seldom get bored while talking to me. Or so the rumor goes, anyway…

    But maybe the most important benefit of being a listener is that you get access to a lot of actionable information in your field. Promotions, events, new groups or things like these can be easily spotted and taken advantage of if you’re constantly keeping your eyes on the right streams. All you have to do is listen.

    So, how can you become an effective social media listener?

    1. Organize Your Broadcasters In Groups, Circles Or Lists

    Pretty much every important social media platform has this feature nowadays. You can organize your stream in smaller chunks. If you have a really big social media window, it will take some time to put it into ”folders“. But in my experience this will really pay off in the long run.

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    Also, as you grow the list of people you follow, do take the time to add them to their specific group, circle or list too. In time, their messages will become more consistent and it will also be a way for you to identify if that area really benefits you or not.

    2. Assign Specific Times For Perusing Each Group

    Don’t do it everywhere, anytime. It’s not working. I know, because I used to do it like this: on the computer, in my backyard looking at my iPhone or on the couch, scratching my iPad. The message will get diluted and the initial thrill of interacting will rapidly fade away.

    Instead, schedule some time for some specific list or topic and then drill down all the way to where you were last time you checked it. Dive in, immerse and try to get the most of it. Don’t give in to the thrill of interaction instantly, Just follow a fixed routine and let the results grow slowly.

    3. Respond

    This is not action. This is interaction: you’ll send a powerful message that you’re there, that you’re listening and that what the other part says is important to you. Also, be careful what you respond, with whom you’re engaging in and what do you really expect out of this.

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    Sometimes it will just be a casual information, but most of the time, after I started a thoughtful conversation on social media with somebody I was looking forward to do it for a long time, well, it ended with at least a constant and solid relationship, if not with some real life business stuff too.

    4. Follow Up

    Do this on requests, events or just facts. Ask around if there’s any change or if everything will go as planned. If somebody plans a launch, be there and help but also clearly state your implication in that project. If there will be a meetup, confirm your presence and the logistical details.

    That activity will prove that you’re there. That you’re alive and you’re having at least some simple synapses. People hate talking to robots, you know. So just by showing that you’re there and you’re interested in something, chances that you’ll ignite a solid interaction will grow exponentially.

    5. Take Notes

    I know this sounds utterly unproductive, but it isn’t. At least in the beginning. Do a daily writeup, sketch something in your journal or draw a mind map. Again, do this at least in the beginning. As your interactions will grow both in numbers and depth, you will find less and less useful to write down what happened.

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    But, as any other journaling activity, it will help you understand not only what is really going on out there (for instance, are they only posting boring links or stupid cats videos?) but also what are your real expectations. Are you happy with the time spent there? Just be honest.

    ***

    If you really take the time to look around, you’ll realize that social media is not just a noisy marketplace where you got to strive to make your voice heard at any price. It’s also a space of information, discovery and inspiration.

    In the end, like in any other area of life, it all depends on what you really want to make out of it.

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    7 Not So Obvious Habits To Maximize Your Productivity Digital Nomad: 10 Things He Does Differently After I Read This, I Started to Speak Less and Listen More… Doing These Simple Things After Waking Up Makes Your Day Better But You Don’t Realize It Beat the Blahs with The Boredom Manifesto

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    Last Updated on February 11, 2021

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

    Perceptual Barrier

    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

    Attitudinal Barrier

    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

    Language Barrier

    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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    Emotional Barrier

    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

    Cultural Barrier

    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

    Gender Barrier

    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

    Reference

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