Of all the social platforms, it’s hard to avoid your favorite brand on Twitter or Facebook. There’s a page for every living, breathing moment you have: shampoo, face wash, makeup, breakfast, work, lunch, exercise, dinner, entertainment, and sleep.
I can’t be alone in thinking there’s not only a glut of information, but also brand redundancy that still exists across Twitter and Facebook. Like when your favorite mouthwash auto-tweets that five new photos of the logo were added to a Facebook album. Or when you get just the beginning of a tweeted Facebook post and then the message tapers off into that over-140-character void. (Cue disapproving community-manager grimace.)
If Twitter remains your bite-sized Facebook RSS feed, you’ve only built a crutch for readership rather than a community. By understanding the nuances of each platform’s digital culture, you can create unique and relevant content, speak the right language, and effectively grow both communities – redundancy-free.
Consider these three areas of differentiation when managing your brand’s presence in both environments:
Customer interactions. While Facebook has been taking steps to encourage more transparency among brand admins, Twitter remains the preferred platform for personable interaction – a human face greeting you in the avatar, closed one-on-one conversations, and more discreet @replies and hashtags rather than shouts among a crowded comment thread. The success of most early brand Twitter pages like @comcastcares and @jetblue have taken off due to a heavy – if not sole – emphasis on customer service, while on Facebook an app is necessary to better address customer inquiries.
Content. Twitter is an optimal reactionary environment – supplying quick answers, words of appreciation, and shortened links and updates. But Facebook is where full, dynamic content lives, often better when it comes to incentivizing behavior. As a user, your wasteland of Zynga wall spam is easily overlooked by dear friends and family, but you sacrifice many a follower for any self-serving promotional tweets. When developing shareable content and promotions for these communities, remember the forgiving nature of Facebook and less-forgiving nature of Twitter.
Capacity. Interestingly, Twitter’s brevity has encouraged a tolerance for volume. A brand tweeting five times a day? Shrug. But a brand posting on Facebook five times a day? Gird your virtual loins. In Facebook, brands are intruders among a news feed of family and friends’ baby pictures and wedding updates – the less intrusion, the better. Understanding each community’s tolerance level and context (personal vs. impersonal) will help you appropriately calendar content and develop an authentic rapport with your audience.
Playing to each platform’s cultural norms and technical strengths will not only help you stay relevant, but also help you stay sane. Avoid trying to be everything to everyone on every platform; if you’re exhausted, so is your customer. A narrowed strategy can help establish a stronger identity with your audience – e.g., the place for customer service, the place for sale alerts, and the place to interact with other fans of the brand. Match your customer’s needs with the right platforms and you’ll never have double-post doubts again.
So what makes content go viral? And what makes people participate in these phenomena?
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