Social is the hot topic these days, especially in the B2B space. I love social media, and really think it can be a great value add to your organization –If you do it right!  I have been working closely with our Director of Customer Success & Marketo Team Lead, Emily Salus, over the past few weeks to build out our social packages. As we were trying to document how to do it “right” I realized that one of my biggest pet peeves is that people often just “do” social instead of doing social “right.”

Here is the thing; social takes time and planning, and so many organizations just don’t see that.

One of the biggest issues I see is the violation of B2B Social Media’s greatest commandment: DO NOT link ALL of your social networks! Social platforms are NOT created equal!

Some people love using these managing platforms, linking everything so that, with the click of a button, they can spread the exact same message across all those linked platforms. It sounds like a great idea, a wonderful time saver, but people don’t subscribe to you via social networks so they can be spammed with the exact same content. And that is what you end up doing…spamming!

I think it is a great idea to share the same overall MESSAGE, just not exactly the same text. For example: you want to promote your new blog post on all of your social platforms, but remember, they need to be treated differently. Twitter lets you have 140 characters, LinkedIn allows for 700, Facebook allows 63,206 and Google+ allows for 100,000. So why would you not try to take advantage of the extra characters? I don’t expect you to maximize all the characters in each post and make a post into a novel, but do try to add more than the 140 limit on platforms that allow it.

Give your audience a reason to follow you on multiple platforms by figuring out the best kinds of content to post to each of the designated platforms. Every social media platform has something very unique about it. Google+ has hangouts. Twitter has 140 character messages. Facebook has apps and landing page builders. Figure out how to use these unique attributes to generate unique content.

Share your content and messages at different times. If you are promoting the same piece of content (blog post) across multiple platforms (even with different messages) do it at different times. This way, you are helping to ensure that you’re not overloading your audience with the same piece of content at the exact same time and you’re reaching different demographics throughout the day.

Different Platform Tips:

  • Facebook is great for active user engagement, Infographics and memes, a community feel, building brand awareness and loyalty, special offers, sweepstakes, polls and promotions and creating ads – but be careful, because Facebook is not so great for an active product push.
  • Keep Facebook status updates off of Twitter. I find it irritating to see a Facebook status message being cut off because it’s too long to be automatically posted on Twitter. Keep that post for Facebook and create a new one, with shortened text, to be a better fit with Twitter.
  • Hashtags don’t work on Facebook. Keep Twitter off of the Facebook business page. There are a lot of things that are said on Twitter that do not translate well to Facebook. Such as Hashtags. Also, you are likely to tweet (3-5 times a day) more than you would update a Facebook post (1-2 times a day), so by linking the two you may end up spamming your Facebook wall with your Twitter links. Also, twitter responses to twitter messages will not populate correctly and your audience will be lost.
  • Twitter is great for trending topics and quick responses. With the 140 character limit, it is a great place to promote new content and special offers, and find opinion leaders by hashtags and Klout. Twitter forces you to keep it short, so make sure your message is succinct. This is not the place for lengthy content.
  • LinkedIn is great for networking and contacts and recruiting. This is a place where you can actively promote your products using the business page. Again, hashtags are not widely accepted here. Nor are silly updates like “I am going to the gym.” It’s a more formal and professional atmosphere. LinkedIn should be used for thought leadership, and should be a place to promote articles, eBooks, whitepapers, etc.
  • Google+ is unique because it increases your search engine rankings. You can create YouTube videos directly from a google hangout (great way to generate new content with video) and the hangout feature is great for events.

So, remember to think before you do, and make sure you do social media “Right”.