Should You Have a Separate Social Media Content Strategy for Each Platform?
October 30, 2017
Your Fans May Follow You on Several Sites
by Maureen McCabe
Maintaining the same social media content strategy across all platforms may seem like a huge timesaver, but it could actually be hurting your efforts. Depending on your industry and target audience* you will likely see better interaction, if you spend a little extra time adapting your social media content strategy to target users’ needs on each site. If you are still not convinced that you need to make these changes, consider the following:
Every Social Media Site Presents Content Differently
Different social media platforms set different limits as to how much information will appear in users’ news updates.
Twitter is about brevity. Initially, it was to fit inside the limits of SMS text messages – a more relevant fact when Twitter was developed in 2007. It is very limiting, at just 140-characters which includes spaces means that you must fit all the important details into just a few sentences. The good news is that the character count does not include images, videos, or polls. On September 26, 2017, Twitter announced that they have been testing out 280-character limit tweets, doubling the standard length. The company saw the shorter limit was “a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English.” Not everyone is pithy! Read the blog posted by the Twitter team for details.
The popularity of Instagram as a picture and video sharing platform limits the hashtags to 50 and the description to 125-characters. Let users know what they’re looking at – avoid using only hashtags.
With sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, on the other hand, you have a greater word count to grab your audience’s attention.
You must also consider how each platform pulls in content that you share from external sites. While you can simply paste a link into a status update in LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook and have the content display automatically without the need to keep a URL, with Twitter, you must keep the URL in your status update to have it appear properly. I recommend using a URL shortener such as Bit.ly or Ow.ly, which shrink long URLs into a more manageable size so they look better and take up less space in your message.
TIP: Maximize your time by scheduling multiple posts months in advance by invest in a user-friendly social network management tool such as Hootsuite or Capterra.
Some Content Is Unsuitable
The reason why a user decides to scroll through a Facebook newsfeed is going to be very different than why another decides to read content on LinkedIn. In the case of the former, the user is probably looking to be entertained, whereas the latter may be looking to read about work- or industry-related topics.
Another good example is images. Although it always a good idea to accompany posts with images to improve visibility, users on some sites may be more willing to read long posts than on others. For instance, users on platforms like Pinterest are far less interested in reading a great deal than looking at inspiring and attractive pictures.
Frequency of Updates
While some social platforms lend themselves to multiple posts per day, you must avoid posting too often on slow-moving streams. Constant updates are annoying and encourage users to unsubscribe from your page. However, where updates are occurring every few minutes, such as on Twitter, depending on your industry you can afford to post often, even reposting the same content a few times throughout one day, provided that you change the wording of your tweets at least a little. This is also a great way to test which types of titles attract the most clicks!
Your Fans May Follow You on Several Sites
If the same people follow you on more than one site, this is great news, as it improves your chances of engagement. However, if the same content is appearing everywhere they go, users may perceive your brand as having little to offer and may stop following you on some platforms, and perhaps even on all of them. This emphasizes the importance of not only posting content relevant to particular sites, but also of adapting how you use your social media strategy to keep engagement high.
McCabe Marketing’s Social Media Tips
* Our target audience is established business owners. For over ten years we have asked our clients and prospective ones which social sites that they use, the frequency, and how much time they spend using each one – business and pleasure.
Hands down our best source of leads and closed sales are from our LinkedIn company and my LinkedIn personal profile pages. We have learned this by:
- leveraging Ow.ly to shorten the URL to track each click
- assessing the dashboard on Hootsuite which provides detailed insight into every post by social media website and
- analyzing our Google Analytics.
Typically, we use identical posts for LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook. When Facebook added the feature to have multiple photos in one post, we experimented with it and saw no significant difference in traffic to our website. Due to the character length limitations of Pinterest and Twitter, we write a unique post for each site. Although we have a profile on Instagram and have made a few posts, we do not actively use it. Why? I’m a loyal Blackberry user and it’s too challenging to use.
TIP: Social Media Insurance
When interviewed for an article about social media in 2014 which was published in The Toronto Star, I said and continue to advise this to business owners today:
It’s essential that you set up an account on every platform in order to stake your name, even if you don’t have the time to actively use the platform or ever plan on using it. I call it social media insurance – brand identity and protection.
Media interviews and writing guest blogs continue to generate great inquiries.
For more advice on how to effectively run a social media content strategy connect with McCabe Marketing today.
For more marketing and website tips check out these posts:
How to Do Social Media in Less Time
What is a Small Business Marketing Check-up?
Tips to Help Your Customer Provide a Video Testimonial
Like what you've read? Please share this article, here:
Well said Maureen! I also find that often times clients, businesses, not for profits are told that they should be “everywhere” in social networks. Of course being everywhere takes time and effort to manage these communications assets. The point here is that the assets need to be managed. They won’t just attract interest because they are out there. Cheers to a great [email protected]