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Social Media Pruning is on the Rise



Do you prune? Personally or professionally?

According to new numbers from Pew Research, social media pruning is on the rise and it’s no wonder. Look at how the typical, personal, social media profile grows. They start with friends, then there are the obligatory follows (relatives, co-workers. . . ), brands with deals and coupons and the games you play. Before you know it, your newsfeed is moving faster than a vaudevillian quick-change artist.

That’s when people start pruning.

63% of [the social media users Pew surveyed] said they have deleted people from their “friends” lists, up from 56% in 2009.

Understandable. But how about this?

44% have deleted comments made by others on their profile; and 37% have removed their names from photos that were tagged to identify them.

Now we’re not talking about clearing the clutter. Now we’re talking about filtering what people see and say about you. Interesting.

How do you suppose these numbers would play out if you were talking business fan pages and profiles? Deleting a follower on Facebook would be a rare thing but I have deleted many followers on business Twitter accounts. I feel that the people who follow a business should reflect the business itself. Because of that, I remove spammers and inappropriate accounts. I don’t know if anyone actually skims the feeds or followers of a business, but just the same, I don’t want adult language showing up in the stream.

As for deleting comments, that’s a tricky one. We’ve looked at a number of instances where a fan page turned into a battleground full of angry customers. Deleting those comments usually leads to more and worse.

For the one time complainer, I’d recommend leaving the comment and responding with a solution. If your mistake leads to an angry mob, apologize then wait for the action to fall off the front page.

Comments I do delete include spam and anything with foul language.

The worst thing you can do is ignore complaints and inappropriate comments. It makes it look like no one is monitoring the site and that’s not good for business.

What do you think? Would you delete a whole thread on Facebook if the comments turned ugly? Or is it a bad business decision to censor what your customers have to say?

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