Mix Up Your Social Media Posts
Have your ever stopped to think about the different ways that you interact with people? For instance, most people speak and act differently around friends than they do around family, or in social settings as opposed to at work. Why is that?
It’s not because we’re leading double lives or anything so sinister. In fact, with many people the changes are so subtle that they aren’t noticed much if at all. The reason we do this is because we are adapting to our environment for the sake of clear communication. The phrasing we use in a strict business setting doesn’t come across the same way when we’re watching sports with friends.
Different people and different environments call for different communications styles, so why do some businesses think that they can replicate their social media posts exactly across various networks and expect the same response from each?
Running in Different Circles
Thank goodness for data. It makes understanding so many things so much easier. One site that does a great job of collecting and quantifying social media data is the blog at NewsWhip. Over the last couple of months they’ve had several posts that form a common bond in my mind: the idea of relating to the people you’re trying to speak to by adjusting your communication appropriately.
For instance, in the first half of February they posted data showing the crossover that exists between networks when it comes to sharing stories. The upshot was that there is very little crossover at all. The most shared stories on Facebook got little play elsewhere, and the same was true of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. When we’re presented with this fact, it seems kind of obvious. Pinterest is mostly women in their 30’s. LinkedIn is mostly professionals. Twitter is mostly journalists, news people, and tech geeks. And Facebook is where mom and grandma share recipes and gossip about distant cousins.
But when we’re marketing on these sites, the blinders fall into place and we completely forget that these are separate and different groups of people. So we post the same exact post to all of them, then wonder why it got attention on one site but not the others.
Beyond just analysing the same stories across different networks, they’ve also looked at companies that adjust their headlines between their site and different networks, as well as which types of Facebook posts tend to get shares, likes, or comments. If you research these kinds of things and apply the findings to your campaigns, you should see a significant uptick in engagement.
You should play with different posts titles/headlines and run some A/B tests to see which is more popular where. This is really just basic marketing, but for some reason many of us tend to lump ‘social media’ as one big, indistinct group. And that’s one reason that many don’t see results from social. They’re not doing it right.
If you have been running your cross-network posts on autopilot, I challenge you to try something new for a month or two and see what happens. Create a different headline or posts title for each network that you share something on, crafting that title to match the demographic of the site. Also, share different stories on the different sites. If you need to create more content to do this, so be it.
This only works if you measure the engagement of each post from each site. If you don’t have the software to do this, you might consider hiring a social media manager to handle this for you. You might find you like the lighter load quite a bit. If at the end of your trial – one or two months, no less – see what your engagement is like compared to before you began. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.