I continuously hear people talk about how great it is that you can link your social media accounts. If you’re wanting to share a picture of your cat to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flicker, Pinterest, or any other that’s fine. You know why? Well to start no one really cares about your cat but more importantly you aren’t trying to market your cat. However, if you’re a business that is trying to market something via social networks for the love of god don’t post once and have it go to all your social media at the same time.
Reason 1 – They aren’t the same!
This is kind of a cop-out reason but it needed to be stated to set up for the rest of the post. Social media sites are not the same so don’t treat them the same! Imagine if you are buying a gift for three kids. A nerdy boy, and athletic girl, and a very girly girl. If you buy them all a pink dress only one will be happy. The same is true for social media! If you use one thing for all social media it may work for one, maybe two platforms, but it will not be successful on the others. Companies need to tailor content for each social network if they hope to be successful.
Reason 2 – Different Content
If users posted the same things to all social media platforms there wouldn’t be multiple platforms. The reason Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (I’m just going to focus on the big three) are successful is because they are tailor to different content. Instagram is obviously incredibly visual, Twitter is a micro blog for content, and Facebook pulls from both needing strong copy and enticing visuals. If you post a great picture on Instagram and share it to Facebook and Twitter, it will do well on Instagram because it is tailored for it. It will not do well on Facebook or Twitter because the copy sucks.
Reason 3 – Different Context
Instagram being incredibly visual the image posted has to be engaging in itself, this is because Instagram doesn’t have a native “sharing” feature. In this context the content needs to be able to stand alone. Twitter, on the other hand, does have retweeting which allows a well-constructed post to spread quickly to a large audience. However, in order to have a post spread the copy needs to be something users are wanting to share to others. Facebook combines both the micro blog features and visual content. Therefore both aspects need to be strong in order to engage its audience.
Reason 4 – Different Audience
Instagram and Twitter are alike in the sense that you have your “followers” but you are able to reach out to a much larger audience through the use of hashtags. Even further so on twitter with the ability for your audience to retweet your content. Facebook on the other had is more of a pay-to-play method. Visitors can see your content on your page if they search it, but with the latest changes to organic reach businesses are forced to pay to reach a larger audience. Reaching large audiences on different platforms requires different posts. Posts that utilize the features of the different platforms to best reach target audience. By using only one method only one network will be successful while the others will suffer. What these audiences want is different as well, that links back to the content and context sections.
Reason 5 – Different Shelf Lives
The time a post is active on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook is very different. Content on Instagram is buried quickly by other posts, especially posts related to popular topics. Content on twitter gets buried even faster. Facebook offers a much longer shelf life for content and has the ability to be seen by users for a long period of time. The speed that content is buried coincides with the speed that content needs to be posted by companies. It is completely acceptable to post on Twitter or Instagram multiple times a day, however if this is one on Facebook it becomes annoying to users. Therefore there is no happy median in which a company can post to all platforms at once. By doing this a company will either look inactive on Twitter/Instagram or way to active on Facebook.
Spoiler Alert: If you want to be successful you need to work!
The goal of a social media campaign in most cases is the build brand presence and to engage with consumers. If that’s is your goal than put in the work to do so. It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort to tailor posts for each social network. The old saying goes “you get out, what you put in” it holds true for social media. By putting in the effort, and putting the right content in the right context the overall campaign will be much more successful.
Thanks for reading,