We constantly hear about how overwhelmed people are by social media and it usually stems from people failing to treat each social media channel differently. Typically, this anxiety happens when organizations don't do one or all of the following:
- Have an editorial calendar
- Use a scheduling tool, like Hootsuite or Buffer
- Allocate enough time, money, and/or people to producing content, monitoring, and managing the various accounts
- Get proper training or do enough self-education to fully grasp the purpose and possibilities of social
- Understand the nuances of each channel.
The graphic above will likely cause you to either panic or be intrigued. Don't panic. This screenshot from digital marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk's website shows how he uses each of these four main social media channels differently.
He uses Facebook as a communication tool for his entire community, dubbed VaynerNation, and asks lots of questions, teases content from his website and other platforms, and occasionally promotes his books, web show, etc.
YouTube houses his latest videos.
With Twitter, Vaynerchuk promises one-to-one interactions.
And if you follow him on Instagram, you know you're going to get a glimpse of his day-to-day life, travels, and a dose of inspiration.
Why is this cool?
Well, many businesses (which Vaynerchuk essentially is as the face of his digital marketing firm, VaynerMedia, and his family's Wine Library business) post the same content to all their channels without differentiating or truly understanding the nuances of the platforms. Sure, Vaynerchuk shares on all his channels when a new #AskGaryVee web show goes live, but he tailors that information to each audience with the proper image size, hashtag usage (or not), and slightly different language--although with him, you're pretty much going to get the in-your-face intensity that is one of his trademarks no matter which channel you decide to interact with him on.
That last phrase is key: "which channel you decide to interact with him on."
That statement is exactly WHY Vaynerchuk goes out of his way to set expectations about each platform so that people can decide which platform they want to interact with him on. Some people will only want to subscribe to his YouTube channel to watch his videos. Others will want to scroll through his photos on Instagram. Diehard fans and people who do digital marketing for a living may follow him on all four since he does a pretty great job across the board.
The point is, he's cultivating a different community for each channel. Sure, there will be overlap, but each ecosystem is unique because he treats each as such and therefore can better serve each of these separate audiences. People who opt to follow him on multiple platforms know that they are going to see some of the same content all four places, but that's a choice they've made. Others will completely immerse themselves in the Facebook page because they like leaving comments and responding to comments kind of like a forum.
As an exercise, why not sit down and write descriptions inspired by Vaynerchuk's to better define the goals, purpose and audience for each of your active social channels? Most businesses should add LinkedIn and possibly Pinterest to this mix as well. Then, create a graphic just like this one and put it on your website so people know exactly which platforms will best suit their needs and then follow you accordingly. The goal isn't to have all your fans follow you on every platform; the goal is to set the right expectations of how your business treats each channel to raise awareness of how people should follow you based on what kind of content and interaction they're seeking.