Isn’t All Social Media the Same?

An article on branding strategy for Google+ running on Mashable states “You should not assume that your Facebook fans and your Google+ followers are the same people ” – a very interesting, if not commonly understood point that extends to all social media platforms.   

The reality is that different groups of people use various social media platforms for different reasons.  While LinkedIn is ideal for business to business networking, Facebook, Twitter and now Google + are vastly different in their approach, audience and intent.  The availability of Google+ pages for business certainly is good news, but it’s a mistake to assume the same population that follows your business on Twitter or Likes you on Facebook or is a contact on LinkedIn is all the same.

When it comes to social media, comparing platforms is like comparing apples to oranges to grapes to pears.  There are similarities, but the differences are significant.

The introduction of a new social media platform, like Google+ pages for business, means there is another avenue to reach a segment of your target audience.  It doesn’t mean the audience is like that of any other platform.  It doesn’t mean the same content should be recycled across platforms.  It doesn’t even mean it’s a perfect fit for your business model.

Social media use should be tailored to your business.  Period.

Using Which, For What, How?

Understanding the fundamental differences between the platforms and keeping an eye on how your audience uses your social media efforts (meaning, check your metrics regularly) is the key to effectively leveraging social media for your business.  The Mashable article explains “Twitter content leans towards short, informative, witty posts that typically link away from Twitter to an article, blog post or website. Facebook thrives on a mix of informative posts, links, marketing campaigns (deals, coupons and initiatives) and easy questions designed to drive engagement. ”  It goes on to recommend that while Google+ is in early stages, it’s wise to keep in mind how people use Google and for what when choosing  what content to post there and how.

It’s great to have a new addition in the social media tool box, but like any project, matching the tool to the job and using it properly makes all the difference in the world.

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