How to listen better on Twitter and Facebook

I would include Google+ in this tutorial, but as usual, Google made it easy from day one (unlike Twitter and Facebook) by asking you to easily organize people into groups (circles). I’ve found that a good amount of people are confused with how to filter out the chaos and build relationships online using Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully this tutorial is helpful if you’ve ever felt that way!

Social media, when I think it is used best, is social. You would think that would be obvious, but we all have “those friends” online that never join in on our conversations. I prefer to label them “Captain Me Planet” or “Me Monsters” (thanks to Brian Regan’s comedy piece below).


So, how do you not miss updates from those friends who actually do care what you have to say? Here’s how I have started to narrow that gap, and have built better friendships online. It doesn’t take lots of time, and might seem almost too simple, but give it a shot and let me know if it works just as well for you?


Create an Interest List. I labeled mine “I am a fan of these people”. Obviously, you’ll have to be friends with the person first. To add them to your interest list, just click their name when you see a status update (go to their wall), and click the gear / drop-down arrow to the right of the Friends and Message buttons and select “Add to Interest List”.

What I’ve done is bookmarked that page in my browser, and I typically visit it more than I visit the general Facebook Wall. If you’re ready to hear even more from the person, roll over the Friends button on their page and add them to a list Facebook has created for all of us – called “Close Friends”. You’ll start receiving alerts whenever they post.


Create a list on Twitter (step-by-step instructions may be read here). Like I did above with Facebook, I’ve labeled mine “I am a fan of these people”. Unlike Facbeook, you may add people to this list even if you don’t follow them. When you see a tweet of theirs and decide to add them to the list, click their name (will popup a window with their profile and a few recent tweets) and then click the person icon to the right of the follow button to add them to the list. You may see your set of lists by clicking the person icon at the top-right of your Twitter page.

And again, like I did with Facebook, I’ve bookmarked this list and also visit it more frequently than I do  Twitter’s homepage (tweets from everyone).

Enjoy! Don’t feel pressured to add me to your lists, but here are my Facebook and Twitter profiles if you do 🙂

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