The explosion of the social media concept has created a bit of a disconnect for those seeking to reach a vast populace.
Unfortunately, many people lump all social media outlets into one category failing to recognize the distinct differences therein.
It is imperative that those of you seeking to craft the perfect posts for these different social networks know whom you’re writing for.
In truth, social media is a fabulous way to get attention for your brand or business. But, it is not as easy as just posting a link and waiting for the influx of people to your site.
You have to understand that each network offers users a variety of interactive experiences. Knowing whom you are writing for will enable you to lure in your target audience while employing the assistance of the various social media platforms.
People gravitate towards specific networks because they have preferences as to which ways they receive information. They favor one voice, style, platform over another because it is what appeals to, and reaches, them best.
Treating them all the same will deter your progress and impede your success. Take note of the differences here and tailor your posts to fit your specific audiences wherever they are.
Social media platforms are not the same; they are not all created equal. However, when you consider their stereotypical audiences you will be able to determine which ones work best for your goals.
Perhaps you’ll discover that you only need to write for one, or perchance it will become apparent that you can utilize a large number of them so long as you follow their specific formats. First, though, you have to know the differences.
Let’s start with some demographic information. If we compare Facebook and Twitter:
While that might be a little shocking, the most recent research shows that Facebook user age has increased by two years whereas Twitter user age has decreased by two years. This age rift is significant when choosing how and what to write to best reach people on these networks.
Basically, we need to realize that Facebook pieces should have a more mature attitude. While the Twitter posts you create can be more hip and thereby appeal to a younger segment of the populace.
Don’t think that one or the other is without value for your business. They just need to be handled differently as you craft engaging materials for each venue.
Certainly demographics are key, but there are also some significant relational disparities between these two social media outlets:
This makes the posts vastly dissimilar.
It might help to see Facebook as a gathering of family and friends reminiscing about past events and recent vacations. They are rarely there for anything serious.
On the flip side, Twitter is like a raucous soiree in which everyone is talking over everyone else. Therefore, the relationships are pretty superficial and all about the fun they are having at that moment in time.
People engage on Facebook to share personal commentary and thought-provoking content via photos and videos. Their influence over one another is significantly more impactful because they have stronger bonds.
Twitter posts, on the other hand, are less personal. They are more about:
Twitter’s ability to search, use hashtags, and interact with trending information creates a larger sphere of influence for its users.
It’s Time to Write for Twitter & Facebook!
Too many people think they can write one post and share it across all their media platforms in one fell swoop.
While the piece might have caught a reader attention’s on his/her Facebook account, seeing the exact same thing, worded the same way, on every other outlet will just annoy.
Learning to write for each social media venue, as separate entities, will vastly increase your reach and potential.
People who latched on to Twitter did so because they prefer straight to the point, short and sweet messages. Therefore, Twitter posts should be no more than 70-110 characters.
The title you choose is essential to success because actionable phrases are the backbone of Twitter’s platform. If you’ve got a title that does not instigate action or grab attention, try pulling a line from the actual article. Let that become your tweet’s foundation.
Questions, facts and other useful information are always great ways to get someone to stop at your post. And, don’t forget that Twitter restricts the number of characters you can use. Include keywords and hashtags that appeal to your target audience to garner more followers.
Twitter allows for posts with images and it makes great use of the hashtag phenomenon.
You can and should post frequently. Consider creating a post for each image in the article to which you are linking. These photo-included posts get twice as much engagement as those without.
Hashtags also bring in more follower interactions. They allow people to search for the pieces of information they are most interested in. They open up the ability to create, or engage in, conversations.
But don’t overdo them; stick to no more than two a post. And make sure they are directly related to what you are sharing.
Employ calls to action and do not cram your tweet with links. Obviously, Twitter’s character constraints scream, “keep it short,” and remember that pictures will take up about 20 of those.
Facebook audiences are far more touchy feely. They want to know you are a real, living, breathing human. Some people subscribe to Facebook because they are lonely or have a need to feel like they belong.
Facebook actually employs three types of posts:
In the first, Facebook will find the image and a brief description as soon as you enter the URL. Both of these are editable.
You can upload a different picture if you don’t like the one that shows up or if you have a more influential one in mind. You can also edit the included description to craft a custom one that will better reach the audience you are targeting. Make sure you create a killer title to snatch viewer attention.
The image post option is getting less and less popular. However, when these posts are done properly they can often garner more interaction than a simple link.
They offer you immense creativity as long as you pair them with the right verbiage. You will still need a captivating title. And, use your description as a teaser to draw them into the actual piece to which you have manually linked.
Finally, Facebook video posts can really be useful if your audience needs assistance getting to that “click here” point. You don’t have to link to a YouTube video anymore, as you can now insert videos directly into your posts. This enables people to watch the video without exiting their Facebook experience.
Amazingly, this will increase the possibility of people exiting for the sake of viewing your site. Highlight your video posts and remember to include a link to your content.
Planning the Post
Time is money and therefore it is important to understand how best to manage Facebook and Twitter posts. Here are some suggestions:
Finally, since Facebook’s algorithm is designed to highlight those posts that are most liked and commented upon, your job is to guarantee that you have written relevant, useful and interaction-stimulating posts. These will be things that will truly spur your target audience to react in a meaningful, statistically verifiable, manner.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to write without ceasing, just be smart about what you write and post it at optimal times.
Then there’s Google+ & Pinterest
People who are using these social media outlets are there to share their passion about something. This enables connections to like-minded individuals and leaders in similar industries.
Some people see Google+ as the epitome of the best of all social media worlds. To those who prefer Google+ it serves as an all-in-one platform. Be careful not to establish yourself in one specific niche though because it has been proven to be very difficult to branch out from.
Google+ definitely embraces some of the other social media platform’s methodologies. Here are a few similarities:
The biggest difference lies within the concept of “the circle.” It is imperative that you embrace this idealism and create several varying circles for each of your target audiences.
You will find content sharing far simpler this way.
You can craft your headlines to fit those in each of the groups. You can also utilize hashtags to make your posts more accessible to those seeking out similar content.
This may take you a little more time than the other social media platforms but it will pay off in the reception of your message.
Google+ is known for its communities and participating in them will be key to your success on this platform. They enable you to socialize with people in your specific niche.
Being social is the basis for their design so you can’t just show up, share and scram. You’ve got to invest some time with the people in the community.
If you want to entice your community members effectively, make sure you:
And, don’t abuse the privilege of direct access to the audience you have chosen to target. Always answer their comments and questions and do not post the same thing repeatedly.
Remember, if you are hoping to get people actively involved with your Google+ posts, you are going to have to comment on theirs.
Pinterest subscribers are an intriguing group. They get on there for the sake of stress reduction and a sort of mind-numbing entertainment. It is the simple, yet elegant, design of Pinterest that draws them in.
There is nothing hard about investigating and discovering new boards, recipes, crafts, ideas, etc. It is easy to interact with people who repin your pins. This creates a sense of fellowship even though it is generally at surface level.
Writing for Pinterest is vastly different than other venues as pictures are the main mode of communication. These images must be the cream of the crop otherwise viewers will ignore their existence.
The take away here, is to:
Know Your Audience before You Write
Each social media platform is designed to reach specific clientele.
Whether you are attempting to connect with a group of young people, a majority of women, those who are more inclined to limited verbiage, or lonely individuals in search of community, these venues will open doors for your products and brands. However, knowing each audience and the posting methods preferred is essential to your success.
Knowledge in this arena is certainly power as it allows you to craft the perfect posts for your targeted audience. Make those posts uniquely written for the specific participants located on each social media platform.
The bottom line is that writing for social media outlets, when it is done effectively, will understand the nuances and intricacies of each. This knowledge will enable you to provide one basic message to a vast array of consumers on multiple networks.
It will only take a few tweaks here and there to disseminate the information everywhere. Take the time to invest a wee bit more effort and watch your posts shine!
Mike Hanski is a writer and content curator for various online projects. When not writing about social media marketing and elearning, he enjoys Classic American literature and trekking.