co Are You Adding To The Noise? |

There is a concept in social media circles known as your signal-to-noise ratio. What is meant by that exactly?

In social media terms, your signal-to-noise ratio is the amount of actual value that you provide relative to the nonsense you churn. Pardon the dirty speak, but that’s essentially what it is in low-brow talk. Now, to paraphrase it in more common layman’s terms: Your signal-to-noise ratio is how much chatter you engage in that doesn’t benefit anyone in any real sense (noise) versus the optimal value you provide in your social media content (signal).

Let’s say you have a Twitter account and you post 100 messages within 30 days. Let’s say that 50 percent of those messages are links to valuable content around the Web. These include news stories, blog content, resources that are relevant to your audience, etc. The other 50 percent of your tweets are nothing more than idle chatter (what you had for lunch today, a quip about the weather, a note that the Burger King window employee teed you off because she got your order wrong, and so on). Your signal-to-noise ratio is riding at 50%. Is that good?

In a word, no. You want to minimize your noise as much as possible while improving the value of your “signal.” In other words, you want to maximize the value and minimize the chatter.

That doesn’t mean you can’t send out the occasional frivolous tweet cheering on your favorite sports team or announcing your meal choice, but if you do that too often, then you run the risk of alienating your audience. Reduce the noise and you improve your social media signal.