But should you be posting the same EXACT content across social networks?
A good content strategy involves cascading your content through your channels – repeating a theme or campaign through email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, etc. Repetition is necessary and good for campaigns and marketing.
Your supporters/customers/donors choose to engage with you where and how they like, and that pattern or mix of engagement may change over time. You need to cover your bases and reinforce your message.
I love this graphic called Understanding Your Social Media EcoSystem from Social Media Examiner, and often use it in my presentations about social media marketing. Imagine content cascading through these channels. Some of it simply goes no further (a retweet or news of the day for example), and other content (your best blog post perhaps) makes it all the way to email.
Trouble comes when you post the EXACT thing in each channel on a consistent basis, with no differentiation. Like when a Twitter feed is synched with a Facebook profile. Besides being annoying, it encourages people to tune you out on one of the channels.
As a consultant I’ve come to refine my personal social media mix so that it plays to the strengths of each of my main channels – Facebook (page and profile), Twitter, blog and LinkedIn.
How? With questions such as:
- Why am I on this channel – what is my purpose? (HINT: “Because everyone else is” is not the answer.)
- Who do I want to engage with? (Friends, peers, professionals?)
- What kind of content works best in this channel? (opinion, vidoes, articles)
- How often should I post content? (MUST READ: Dan Zarella’s the Science of Timing: When to Do Everything)
Here’s how I break it down:
PURPOSE: I’m here to socialize, voice my political opinions, and network with professionals I find interesting and worthy of following. I want to stay informed, keep in touch, have fun and learn how to deal with the woodchucks that terrorize my neighborhood.
PEOPLE: Friends, people I’ve actually met, family, professionals with whom I’ve had some kind of engagement.
CONTENT: Articles, petitions, videos, political cartoons, questions, kid photos, family musings, local stuff.
FREQUENCY: Several times a day, almost every day. I often take a weekend day off.
PURPOSE: The purpose of my Facebook page is to generate leads for my consulting business.
PEOPLE: Seeded with friends and supporters, it has grown to include others interested in nonprofit and small business tips.
CONTENT: I share tips and stories that help nonprofits and small businesses communicate online.
FREQUENCY: About 3-6 times per week.
PURPOSE: Twitter is 80 percent professional networking for me. I listen and learn a lot.
PEOPLE: It’s where I connect with my industry peers. About 10 percent (my guesstimate) of my posts are local (Hudson Valley) and another 10 percent are my passions – cooking, food, gardening, sustainable agriculture (see my Twitter lists).
CONTENT: Mostly retweets, some original content, a little back and forth, lots of public thanking. Almost no personal stuff, occasional political posts.
FREQUENCY: 1-15x per day.
PURPOSE: Professional networking
PEOPLE: Industry peers, colleagues, friends and relatives
CONTENT: Select small business and nonprofit marketing stories. It’s a GREAT place to ask questions. I once found an obscure educational statistic by putting a request out through LinkedIn. Got an answer in 10 minutes. Its’ REALLY good to know librarians.
FREQUENCY: 3-6 times per week.
PURPOSE: Leads, authority
PEOPLE: Folks who need answers (lots arrive at my HOW TO posts via a Google search)
CONTENT: My tips and practical advice for the do-it-yourself nonprofit and small business marketers
FREQUENCY: Twice a week
To boil this down, Facebook is a social network and Twitter is an information network. So, find your balance. Know your purpose for being on that social network, and curate AWESOME content.