Social networking is quickly becoming a major element in many companies’ marketing plans. And why not? It’s a great way to reach your customers for free and also get them to advertise you (for FREE). You can reach such a large number of people for free across various networks in various ways. It’s a marketer’s dream come true. The only problem is that in today’s fast-paced world, we don’t always have time. Time is the most precious commodity in this world – especially in online marketing.
Couple the problem of time-poor individuals with the ever increasing number of social media platforms and you’ve got a problem. Most companies are now on at least 3 social networks – (The Big Three – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.) Other companies can be on more – Google+, YouTube, Flickr, FourSquare, Instagram, Pinterest… The list goes on and on. The temptation for marketers is to automatically link all your social networks so that if you update your status in one platform, it automatically updates the rest of your linked networks.
This sounds like a good thing, however it isn’t all that it seems. The ultimate aim is for your customers to engage with your content – clicking, liking, retweeting, sharing etc. This means that your statuses have to be appealing for them to engage. The problem is that your different platforms have different set ups and therefore different limitations.
The classic example is that Facebook will allow you to post a status of up to 63,206 characters. Twitter only allows you 140 characters. A common thing that happens is that on Twitter someone will tweet something. Half way through the tweet you will see a link similar to “…fb.me/1fgfdTXE” This means that they have originally written the post in Facebook and that they have linked it to their Twitter account. The only problem is that they have written more than 140 characters so Twitter therefore has to create a link so that people on Twitter can view the rest of the status.
When Tweeters see a link like this, it turns them off and your click through rates (CTR) drop considerably. They don’t want to have to go to another place to read the rest of the link – they are time-poor too. They are scanning for information that is appealing. They don’t want their time wasted. They want to find info with the least resistance and the least amount of clicks. This scenario therefore means that your messages, links, content aren’t getting picked up by your customer. It may be brilliant info but if it’s not ’packaged’ how your customers want it, then no one will click.
Another example is seeing the Twitter hashtag (#) in other social media sites that don’t use the hashtag. A common place to see this is Facebook. This can annoy people as they don’t want to see hashtags on Facebook.
There are many other examples but the principles are the same. Each social media platform has it’s own culture and way of writing. There is no ‘one way’ you can write things to satisfy all your platforms. If there was, it would be a very generic status and wouldn’t get you the engagement that you’re after.
What’s more important – having all your networks updated automatically? Or, updating the main ones individually and increasing your CTRs and therefore increasing sales?
This means that you will have to assess your social media activity. Which networks are working and which ones can you ditch? You don’t have to be on every social media platform – just the ones that work for you. Prioritise the main ones that seem to work for your business and start to update your posts individually. By tailoring your status updates to each platform, you’ll start to see better CTRs and better engagement from your audience.
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