Recently I stumbled upon a site that gave step-by-step instructions on how to automatically update your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress site, and numerous other accounts with the click of one button. This made me realize that people are beginning to rely too much on cross-broadcasting to update/maintain their social media channels. The notion of making life easier by just blasting one message, status update, or blog post across every channel is just plain old bad practice and needs to be used very sparingly.
Write for Your Medium– It is Advertising 101 to keep your channel in mind when building a campaign: you wouldn’t write for TV the way you would a billboard, and you wouldn’t use the same copy in a magazine and a radio ad. If this is common knowledge, then why is it acceptable to tweet the first 140 characters of your blog post with a “…” or to use hashtags and @’s in your Facebook status update? This isn’t to say you that you shouldn’t push an important update out to your audiences on every channel; it just means to cater the messaging (length, messaging, syntax, etc.) to the particular channel.
Know Your Audience- This goes hand in hand with the above bullet. The way you use your social media channels says a lot about your brand. You can draw comparisons like this ad infinitum, but here are some pointers about how the nature of channels affect the way you post:
- You can tweet a lot more frequently than you can post updates to Facebook without alienating your audience.
- Facebook allows you to write a lot more and provide much richer content (videos, photo albums).
- Your updates on LinkedIn should be reserved for professional audiences and can contain more sophisticated language.
- Blog posts (Tumblr, WordPress) can be much longer and more detailed than any of your other updates.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Be Everywhere- Small business owners often feel pressured to maintain a presence on every single channel. I’ve read Social Media for Beginners manuals that say, “The first thing you should do is create Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts for yourself. Different people use different channels and you have to reach them all.” While there is some truth to this, I would add, “It’s better to not be on a network, than to be there and ignore or misuse it.” If you don’t have the time or the energy to post to your accounts regularly (see my post on post frequency), then confine yourself to the one or two that you can handle and work from there.
You can tell a lot about a business by the way they use their various social media channels , so before you set your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, and Google+ like a WUPHF, just ask yourself this: Would I run the same exact ad on a TV, magazine, billboard, and radio commercial?