A Guide to Social PlatformsJanuary 23, 2014
In the rush for social media engagement, brands can fall into the trap of thinking that all social sites are the same. But we’re here to say that nothing could be farther from the truth.
Because of the unique goals and format of social media channels, different sites inspire different types of conversation. This means the same material is not suitable across individual sites.
So how do you ensure your engagement goes beyond a “one-size-fits-all” mentality? The key is in understanding the purpose, characteristics, and even audience demographics of today’s most popular social media channels:
Seven out of 10 U.S. Internet users are on Facebook, making it one of the most vast and diverse social networks. But in order to increase your brand’s page traffic, remember this: Facebook is a social channel that capitalizes on positive or strong emotions. Whether it be surprise, insight, or just amusement, social media marketers should always specifically tailor their messaging to produce a strong emotional response from their Facebook pages. Also make sure to include pictures and define a specific call to action, which will give the direction your fans need to increase interaction and engagement.
Because of its 140-character limit, Twitter places a premium on creativity—which makes it a perfect place for social media marketers to show off their personalities. Although functional #hashtags can be helpful for categorizing your posts (for example: #basketball2014), using a memorable, unique, or conversational #hashtag will increase your brand’s chances of standing out. Similar to Facebook, pictures help increase engagement. However, never cross-promote (read: copy and paste) a Facebook status on Twitter, as it is likely to get cut off or look out of place.
Instagram’s audience skews even younger than Facebook’s or Twitter’s, with 90% of its users under 35. This means that an ‘old world’ business method featuring statistics or stock photography won’t be right for this platform. Instead, this channel is more aligned for youthful and light-hearted material, with an emphasis on mobile photos that can be edited through Instragam’s own filter applications. Using Instagram isn’t just for the fun of it, however. Leveraging this platform will help a typically younger generation of users associate your brand with a relatable persona—which will in turn increase brand loyalty.
Understanding that each social media platform requires a unique approach will help you engage with users more truthfully, strategically, and effectively. When you eliminate the desire to standardize messaging, you start to create genuine and meaningful conversations around your brand—resulting in a more thorough reach across the social media universe.