A much-discussed topic of late is the need for social media users to be mindful of what content they are sharing across which platform. In recent posts, I have discussed personal branding and things to consider when it comes to working on your personal brand through social media outlets:
- What is personal branding and how to does it work in social media?
- Should your online presence be all in one account or should you split your professional and personal social media accounts up?
- Should you follow all the personal branding “rules” or find what works for you?
Now that you’re feeling a bit more comfortable with what personal branding is and how you want to use it, there are some things to which you should pay attention. There are things you can do in social media that either help or hurt your personal brand. What you want to do is be a savvy user of social media, demonstrating that you “get” how each platform is a little different and requires different content.
Know Your Social Media
Since Twitter and LinkedIn recently got divorced, it becomes apparent that the various forms of social media have their own plans and feel that “sharing” only goes so far.
I’m not all that opposed to this change. I think it’s important for users to recognize that social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter are distinctive. Yes, there are commonalities across the platforms but it’s important to note
- Who is using which site
- What is the purpose of the site
- What type of content works best on the site
Twitter may have made the choice to break from LinkedIn simply because it finds itself going in a different direction with its plans for its company or “for the money”. I can’t say, and I don’t know. What I do know is that I think users will benefit from the separation of content. Here’s why.
Why Posting Content to Match the Site Makes Sense
Have you ever logged into your LinkedIn account, scanned your Updates and noticed that they’re full of your Connections’ latest tweets? Nevermind that the content might be interesting, it’s rather jarring to see hashtags and Twitter-specific abbreviations (ex. “RT”) outside of Twitter. When you’re used to seeing LinkedIn messages that contain pictures and are >140 characters, the style and format of a tweet post looks out of place.
What’s to be done?
First, as a user of various social media platforms, it’s worth it to consider tailoring your content to the site you’re posting it. Perhaps you really did appreciate the link in the tweet you read, and you want to share it with your LinkedIn, Facebook and blog followers. That’s a great idea! But why not take a second and craft your post to get the best result in that form of social media?
For example, say you read a really interesting article and wanted to share it with your networks. First, you tweet about it, including all the relevant hashtags and mentions. That’s great! Now, before you go and copy that tweet to all your other social networks, stop! Consider the value of sharing the post in a way that is relevant on the other platforms.
- Facebook, LinkedIn – Add a picture. If the article has a picture, so much the better – make sure it shows up when you post the link to those sites.
- LinkedIn – Elaborate on the link with your own thoughts about its relevance to your LinkedIn connections, particularly if it has professional significance.
- Your blog/your Tumblr – If you’re sharing a link on your blog, where better to take a few moments and expound on what you found to be interesting in the article? Your blog is the one place that’s all you. No character limits, no posting limits…you could say as much as you want to say, and people can find out even more about what that article meant to you.
This list only things to think about when posting text to some of the most popular text-related social media sites. It doesn’t even consider how you could diversify your posts by taking article pictures and pinning content to Pinterest or sharing a video of your thoughts on YouTube. But that’s up to you. Some of us are solidly text-related personal brand builders. Others love adding sights and sounds to their brand. It’s all about what you want to put out there, but in the end isn’t purposeful posting worth thinking about?
By the way, this post isn’t to condemn folks who post their Twitter content verbatim across other platforms (or, in reverse, those who post content clearly over 140 characters automatically to Twitter without considering that half the message will be cut off). It is just offering an opinion on the value of paying attention to what you put where. You might find that, by modifying your content to match a particular social media platform’s purpose, you might get better responses and greater communion with your followers.
What About You?
Do you cross-post?
If so, with or without editing content to match social media site?
Do you think it makes sense to have content match the social media site it is posted to?
Why or why not?
Please share your comments below! I’m really interested in everyone’s take on this issue!