Unless you truly live under a rock, everyone knows that Twitter is smoking, Facebook (damn, I graduated 15 years earlier from Harvard) is on fire, and LinkedIn is a great tool for professional networking. No argument here: social media sites are becoming a major strategy for brands and businesses.
So as we go beyond the basics of social media and everyone rushes to set up their online presences, the issues of how to manage these sites and how to stay focused on the end objective (yes, in the end, everyone needs an objective to social media) are starting to creep up. Our clients constantly ask us: How do we take these amazing tools and prioritize them? How do we capitalize on these tools to get a return on our social media efforts?
Well, when they ask, we always bring up the Social Media Trifecta. In short, use all three: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But, and here is the most important thing, use the tools for different purposes and audiences.
1. Twitter is the World’s Largest Bar
Remember Norm from Cheers?
When you are on Twitter, you are Norm. You are entering the world’s largest bar. Simple as that. At that world’s largest bar, you will have some friends, like Cliff and Sam. You will meet some strangers and make friends. You will see some drunken idiots who annoy you (like spammers and people who just talk garbage), and you will meet people who need your help. At this bar, you talk about anything, some personal, some business, some humor, something in common, anything, whether trivial or not. At the World’s Largest Bar, you can be yourself. In fact, you SHOULD be yourself. Feel free to relax, chat with Woody, have a beer with friends, or whatever.
2. Facebook is Your Home
We ask clients all the time: Who do you invite into your home? Do you invite EVERYONE from the bar (i.e., Twitter)? Now, we all know what would happen if EVERYONE from the bar showed up at your home. Not something you would actually be psyched about. So, when you are on Facebook and forming your Fan Pages, keep the image of your home in mind. On Facebook, you can be more transparent and more comfortable, just like when you are in your home. This is a place where you can truly connect with your guests (your customers). Invite the people you want to invite to your home, and protect yourself. Facebook is not Twitter, it adds more value that is richer for your brand. Don’t ever forget that.
3. LinkedIn is Your Office, Resume, Business Card
Keep Facebook and Twitter away from your LinkedIn, keep it very far away. Why? Because no matter how much you feel about transparency and social media (and believe me, we believe that the more transparent you are, the better, but that is what, like less than 5% of all online brands?), traditional business and traditional business practice are still the mainstream. Use the tools that LinkedIn provides you to keep your resume current, your recent business accomplishments available, and make the best business case for yourself. We always show clients our LinkedIn Profile as a good example.
So, in short, when you dive into Social Media and use The Big Three, try to keep the image of Twitter as the Bar, Facebook as Your Home, and LinkedIn as Your Office. Hopefully, that will help you when it comes to targeting the objectives of each tool.