By Thomas Lashier
It seems like a simple concept: if you want people to interact with your brand’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. you should ask yourself why you use those networks in the first place. What do you want to see on Facebook? What kind of tweets do you retweet when you are scrolling through your Twitter feed? What kind of LinkedIn posts do you share with your co-workers?
One Size Does Not Fit All
When you ask yourself these questions, you will find that you use personal social networks for different reasons. On Instagram, you probably enjoy artistic pictures of your friend’s vacation or a fun photo of your sister’s dinner date. On Twitter, you might enjoy following live events like the #Olympics or parody Twitter accounts for a good laugh. (Read our post on hashtags here).
The point is, different networks are used for different reasons. You can’t come up with a blanket “social media strategy” that posts the exact same text, image, or video on every social network at the same time and think that you are going to make any progress towards reaching people on each network. You aren’t.
Photos are great on both Facebook and Instagram, but Instagram tends to be more focused on travel, food, and artistic selfies. Facebook sees more funny memes, group photos, and event photo albums.
Twitter and LinkedIn can both be used to share industry news and current events, but LinkedIn users typically seek more long-form content and expert advice that can be read anytime. Twitter users are looking for breaking news, quick articles with the most important information, and photos from the event itself.
What Posts Do You Like Best?
If you wouldn’t follow your brand, why would anyone else? When you are developing a content calendar (which you need to do if you are serious about organizing a social media presence for your company), you need to consider if you would find your content interesting before pushing it out there to the world.
Within Twitter, would you take the time to click on a link leading you to a 20-paragraph about filing your own taxes? Probably not. Chances are you are using Twitter on your phone for quick hits of information, so you’re much more likely to answer a question from a friend or re-tweet a funny photo than strain your eyes for 15 minutes to read a tax “how to” article.
Think about why you interact with posts on social media, and then create your brand’s posts around that same idea.
As we’ve noted, each social network is different. While there are exceptions to these, some general guidelines for successful posts are listed below:
Facebook: funny memes; photo albums of events; YouTube and Vine videos; short articles about sports, entertainment, and politics; life events (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, etc.)
Twitter: funny memes; live events; Vine videos; poll questions; conversations with other Twitter users
LinkedIn: industry-related articles; blogs; questions and conversations within LinkedIn Groups
Instagram: artistic photos (travel, entertainment, dining, selfies); 15-second videos detailing customer experiences with your product
For more info, check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s most recent masterpiece: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It is a great read on finding your brand’s voice on the different social networks.