The Importance of Varying Content Across Social Media Channels
Imagine yourself at a party with a mix of family members, friends, and friends of friends. You start by mingling with your aunt and her husband – they ask you about your job, and you politely give them updates on all the new and exciting things happening in your life. Then, you go chat with your best friend – a casual conversation about the latest gossip in your friends circle or the latest football trade. Then, you have a quick conversation with someone you’ve never met about the hot new restaurant in your neighborhood before going to meet your friend’s new boyfriend for the first time.
Engaging across channels on social media is no different than mingling at a party – it’s all about the audience and the stories you’ll want to tell to each. You’d likely rarely have the same conversation with your aunt that you would with your best friend. And texting with your mom is probably a lot different than what you Snapchat to your bestie.
So when it comes to social media, first consider what audience is sitting in front of you on each platform before setting the stage with your content. Some social media channels make it almost too easy to automate content by connecting two channels into one. A good example of that is Instagram and Twitter – content can automatically get shared through the easy “share” button once posted on Instagram. For brands, however, this can make your audience disconnect for a number of reasons:
1. We heard you the first time.
Nobody likes the sound of a broken record. If you share an update on Facebook, and word-for-word say the exact same thing on Twitter, the news is about to get old to your audience very quickly, assuming they follow you on multiple channels. Create variety for your followers – even if it’s sharing something on different days with a different visual or phrase. You wouldn’t walk around to each party guest and tell the same joke over and over and over again (unless you’re “that guy”). It’s the same for engaging online. Variety is one of the keys to keeping your fans and followers engaged with your brand.
2. You look like a robot.
The most important word in “social media” is “social.” There is never a moment in which you’ll gain a follower or get someone to engage if you look like a mindless bot. Automation is social media’s arch nemesis. Stay away from it. Even if you’re not automating content, if your channels match exactly, you may look like you are not considering your audience. If your followers catch on to this, it could be the kiss of death for your brand online.
3. You don’t know me!
Your followers on Twitter can be a completely different audience than your fans on Facebook. Research shows increasingly varying demographics for every social media channel, and you need to customize your content to make sure that you’re appealing to each audience and engaging with them in the way that’s appropriate for that particular channel. Create rich, visual content across the board, but customized for each of your social audiences to increase engagement among your fans. Perhaps your followers on Pinterest want to collect craft tutorials, while your followers on Instagram want to see a picture of what you created over the weekend. While these follow the same topic line, they are two completely different posts – and will reach your audience on each platform in the appropriate way.
Here is one of the most important tips of them all – remember to be you when it comes to branding yourself on social media. At your party, guests will get turned off quickly if you switch your personality every time you talk to someone (and they’ll catch on quicker than you may imagine). While you should always vary content on social media to match the audience you’re trying to reach, it is of the utmost importance to have a core voice and tone for your brand online. This is where your brand will be tested and where it is made – never compromise the core of your brand.