Decluttering social media with the social currency concept

subscription fatigue

There’s no doubt that many of us wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with and see photos of our loved ones if it wasn’t for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs or emails (do people still email photos?). Unfortunately, the more we interact online, the more we have to navigate through a maze of influencers, noise and clutter. It just snowballs.

What can we do to reduce the clutter on our timelines and in our inboxes?

What criteria are you using?

I’ve been using the concept called ‘Social Currency’.

What’s this social currency concept you speak of, dear Rhonda?

Social currency is a concept developed by Vivaldi Partners Group. They define it as

“the degree to which customers share a brand or information about a brand with others.”

But what drives a customer to develop an interest, to connect and engage with the brand?

What drives the customer to break up with them?

That’s where the social currency concept comes in. Marketers use it to help brands determine how to engage with existing and potential customers. Customers are indeed tough to understand. As customers, we’re seen as unreliable and unpredictable. One day we’re with a brand, the next we’re gone and it probably doesn’t take much for us to move on.

Still, every minute of the day brands are competing for our attention, asking us to ‘Retweet’, ‘Pin’, ‘Like’, ‘Share’, ‘Instagram’ or ‘Stumble’ their content. They also want us to ask our friends to do the same. They all want to stand out, big or small. So how do they win our attention?

By adding VALUE to our lives. Put bluntly, “If you’re not keeping me happy, let’s break up”.

The diagram below shows the six consumer behaviours marketers use to ensure we don’t break up with their brands. As you read it, think of a brand you absolutely adore and follow on Facebook or via email (perhaps your mobile phone brand – Apple, Sony, Samsung?). By the time you finish reading the cycle, you’ll agree that this diagram makes a lot of sense.

six behaviours of social currency

  • Utility: I think I get lots of value from this brand
  • Information: I receive and share valuable information about the brand
  • Conversation: I talk about the brand with others
  • Advocacy: I’m satisfied enough to promote or defend the brand
  • Affiliation:I connect and engage with other fans of the brand
  • Identity: I express a part of myself to others

Why am I using this concept to declutter?

I want to make space for the things that matter, especially blog updates and Facebook pages.

I’ve often flagged emails then forgot to go back and deal with newsletters from big brands. I’ve lost count how many I’ve subscribed to.

As for Facebook, updates move down like a waterfall. Not a trickle, unless of course it’s 3am, I can’t sleep, and all my friends have gone quiet.

Going through all these, I feel so tired and it’s getting harder to keep up. Sometimes I ‘m forced to mark them ‘unread’ without reading, just so I can feel better!

Using the concept,starting with the big brands I follow on Facebook and email

I’m asking myself the questions below as I go through each of ‘Liked’ pages, forum notifications or newsletters. As soon as I reach a “No” in my list of criteria I remove myself from the herd.

It’s funny, though, that I’m using the concept to disconnect from brands when all they’re trying to do is keep me around!

  • Utility: What’s in it for me when I receive posts and updates from this brand?
  • Information: Do I forward what the brand or others send me? Do I read what they send? At all?
  • Conversation: Do I even talk about this brand or their product with others? How recent?
  • Advocacy: Do I recognise this brand? Would I recommend it? Am I excited enough to promote or defend it?
  • Affiliation: Am I part of any community at all where we talk about our passion for this brand?
  • Identity: Do I make it known that I’m a fan of this brand? Is it part of my identity? Is it adding value to my status? Do I ‘belong’?

I’m not disconnecting from the many blogs that I follow or my favourite brands. I’m quite happy to follow via Facebook and some via emails or other RSS readers. I’m learning a lot from the technical and marketing blogs, while I also love to read personal stories from lifestyle blogs.

Next on my lists are Facebook Groups – but only the spammy ones!

[themecolor]What do you think of the concept I’m using? What method are YOU using to declutter the online mess?[/themecolor]

Reader Interactions


  1. I’ve been thinking about decluttering for a little while now and guess what this week when the girls finally return to school after two week’s holidays I’m starting!

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