imagenoise_signalWhether you’re new to social networks or already deeply engaged, you know it’s a constant struggle to filter out the noise and find the signal. Learning how to boost your own signal to noise ratio is a key to standing out and adding value to your social networks.

Signal and noise is an appropriate metaphor for understanding value in social networks for a few reasons. Signal suggests something meaningful that can be distinguished from other less meaningful communications. And signal requires interpretation and translation to give it meaning, making it inherently subjective.

In other words, different information has signal value for each of us.


Boost your signal

There is no denying that in an increasingly noisy environment, enhancing the signal value of your social channels and feeds is an important factor in building engagement.

Here are five ways to boost your signal to noise ratio in social networks:

1. Frequency of posts

How frequently you post, publish, engage and share contributes to the strength of your signal. Posting once a week on Twitter isn’t going to get you much attention because Twitter by its nature is a high frequency medium. However, consistently posting on your blog on a weekly basis – or even twice a week – is a great signal booster. Each social network has a range, within which you should work to arrive at the right frequency for your information and audience.

For data and insights on optimal posting frequencies, see The Social Media Frequency Guide: How Often to Post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and More.

2. Intensity of subject

Intensity in this context refers to the depth with which you go into any topic. The more narrowly defined and deeper you can go on a topic, the more intensity your signal will have for subject matter experts seeking your knowledge. If narrow and deep doesn’t suit your communication strategy, aim for definable themes in your social networking activities in order to boost your signal.

For financial professionals, I have previously identified 10 types of content themes to focus on.

3. Quality of content

Producing and sharing high quality content will always increase your signal’s value. While this is obvious, it is exceptionally challenging to execute on. The quality of the information you share and interactions that you engage in affects your signal profoundly. Buffer’s article on what they learned from pivoting their blog a few times is very instructive on this point. And I’m a huge fan of Neil Patel who seems to be able to produce content of considerable quality on a consistent basis.

4. Range of formats

While writing is a relatively easy and natural way to express your ideas, consider expanding your range of formats as a way to boost your signal. For instance, start with a written article expressing your thoughts, then repurpose the thoughts to other formats – an article can become a video on YouTube and a deck on SlideShare. Good articles shared on Twitter can become part of a curated article on your blog.

5. Personality engages

People connect with people in online social networks. Your unique personality traits and how they manifest in social networks can increase your signal significantly. People will be drawn to you by what you think, but they are more engaged by why you think it.

What positive insights do you have for boosting your signal online?