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Cloud Talk

Andre Yee

Every Social Media Platform Has a Profile

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Do you use Twitter in a different way from how you might interact on Facebook? Of course you do. In terms of content, do you share different information on Facebook from what you might share on Twitter? More likely than not, you would.

So why does so much talk about social media strategies never seem to account for the differences between each social media platforms? Differences like the social graphs, cadence of information updates, user demographics and the social context for each social media platform actually matter. I think of these varying parameters as a sort of profile for the social media platform. And, matching your business objective to the right social media profile is key to making your social media strategy work.

For instance, Linkedin has a clearly business demographic in its user base, yet when companies talk about launching social media initiatives, Linkedin isn't always considered.

Here's another example - Twitter's social graphs, "opt in" follower model and micro-broadcasting may lend better to business thought leadership or expert advice rather than nuturing a "community" of customers or users.

The social media platform profile may account for why so many charitable and religious organizations are remarkably successful leveraging Facebook, while some Fortune 1000 companies struggle. Facebook has a profile that screams "personal life" - featuring networks of friends and family members. Indeed, I know of more than a few executives who will not accept work related Facebook friends while they readily do so on their Linkedin account. Charitable and faith based organizations find lots of traction on Facebook because these organizations are viewed as part of our personal lives. Recommending your favorite charitable cause to your network of friends is completely non threatening and socially acceptable in the context of Facebook. However, trying to advance a product recommendation isn't viewed in the same light.

So before you launch your social media initiative, think about whether the social media platform profile matches your objectives.

4 Comments

Andre,

I agree. There are specific ways that companies should leverage different social media platforms. You're absolutely right when you say that Facebook screams personal life.

So to answer your question -

"...why does so much talk about social media strategies never seem to account for the differences between each social media platforms?"

I think the result of this is that small companies and large businesses, alike, see social media as one strategy, in itself. They believe that you just put yourself out there, and in turn, that fuels views to their websites.

Businesses should be more conscientious to the difference between these different platforms.

Thanks for such a great article, by the way!

Stephen - thanks for your kind words and for your insights. I wanted to raise the awareness that social media strategies should account for these differences but I think you're right that most companies large and small view social media as a single strategy without accounting for the nuances in each platform

Andre,
Great view point.

I feel that most businesses have not yet figured out how to real make use of the social media. Your point about social media in business versus Personal life is very valid. On the personal front, "I" the individual can make the decision of joining and contributing to a social network. On the business side, someone else or a group has to first decide that. In addition companies are still trying to control what information gets out, what can be shared etc. The key is for a company to figure out a value in a social network? It is hard to quantify how much of business was created, processes improved etc because of a social network within the company. I feel there will be a new generation of business focussed social media applications that will drive the adoption.

ven - you're right. We're just beginning the journey on how to leverage social web technologies like social media. Individual vs business personas on the social web is another hurdle to cross.

Andre Yee blogs about cloud computing, SaaS, Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies that matter to businesses.

Andre Yee

Andre Yee is an entrepreneur and technologist with nearly 20 years of experience in the business of technology.

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