Treat All Your Social Networks the Same? Reasons why you shoudn’t!

7 Jan

This is a pet peeve – so treat it as a bit of a rant.

Don’t get me wrong – I completely “get” integration, convergence, all of that! I also, from an enterprise’s perspective, am a BIG proponent of sCRM (Social Customer relationship management). That this means an integrated, holistic look at your customer (or stakeholder) – and that this therefore allows you to mine many pieces of information about them, I completely understand, and root for.

My problem is with the “customer”, or in this case, the USER of the multiple social networks – I do not see why, a post on twitter has to be fed to your facebook profile, or your Linkedin ID (on this topic, though it drew many protests, power to Linkedin for “delinking” from twitter)
Is your friend list on Facebook the same as your contacts on Linkedin is the same as your “followers” and “following” on Twitter? No, right? And there’s a reason for this. The fact is – that all social networks have a raison d’être (as they should) and therefore, a very real and distinct audience and culture.
As an example, as we all know, facebook being originally founded for university students, has now become the premier “getting/ staying in touch with friends and family” platform – note – fnf! (sure, so its now being touted as a great brand marketing tool, and sure, the biggest revenue generating mechanism is now advertising, but the fact still remains that you in general KNOW most people on facebook). Linkedin on the other hand – is your “professional” self – you don’t post family pix on linkedin! This is essentially a job (or employee, depending on which side you are) hunting site – and the behavior is thus appropriate. Twitter again, is very very different – it’s still a self expression platform as are all the others, but to a “wannabe” circle of folks – it therefore acts more like a news medium, albeit abbreviated! Add to this instagram/ Pinterest/ Foursquare – u have a complex structure – reflecting the many facets of your personality.
Given the people therefore that an individual is connected to, it makes sense to modify behavior to suit the audience. (Marketing 101 – segmentation/ targeting/ positioning, right?).
So, on facebook, I have my “mommy” self primarily – mostly I upload pix of my kids, and ofcourse secondarily, comment on fnf’s content. On Twitter, it is my Social Media and Technology interests, my tennis interests and my general politics interests that play out – my “following” list and so my newstream reflects that, and so does the content I share. On Linkedin, it is my professional self that shows up, which, in the last few years as an entrepreneur made avid use of this network for business development ☺. And on Pinterest, it’s a combination of all these, but the more visual forms – including that which tickles my funny bone ! You take all of this together, and you maybe (just maybe) get a sense of “me” – social media enthusiast, soccer/ tiger mom, armchair tennis player, ex entrepreneur, appreciator of satire and humour!
The only exception to this is if you are a BRAND, where the reverse of the above advice applies!
So, friends, drop the “publish to all channels” function when you write/ share content, and treat each of your social networks with the individual/ customized respect they deserve. ☺
After all, why oh why should we as individuals/ customers/ prospects – make it easy for enterprises to “slot” us – let them deploy some more technology, and then understand us to play to our multifaceted personalities! Agree?

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6 Responses to “Treat All Your Social Networks the Same? Reasons why you shoudn’t!”

  1. Avinash January 7, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Nicely articulated!

    The only argument I can make for sharing Twitter updates on FB/Linked is that these are generally of interest to you personally or professionally and hence you may want to share then with your FB/Linkedin network. The other way around is rare – Maybe FB to Twitter but very rarely FB to Linkedin. And hence tools to update Tweets to FB exist, Linkedin existed. I am not sure tools to update from FB to Twitter/Linkedin exist.

    • joshsang January 8, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      yep, good point. there is, after all, an intersection set that contains friends/ followers/ fans common to all networks. and similarly, there WILL ofcourse be content that is relevant to all networks – so the point is, choose those comments/ posts/ articles/ tweets that are relevant to all and share them across. what i dont like and advise u against – is an automated tool that mindlessly shares all yr content on all yr channels!

  2. Sanjib January 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    People always share their common updates in facebook, when it’s in the friend circle but when it comes to linkedin, they didn’t follow the same practice. Here they play very safe. Why?

    • joshsang January 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Sanjib, thats what i’m recommending actually — the point is that Facebook is for people you know/ your informal self, while linkedin is definitely a professional networking medium. thats why you should NOT have common content – its a different matter that with advancements in technology, it is possible to determine all handles of a person – tools like rapleaf do so. and we have all known cases of how indiscretions on facebook have resulted in harsh measures on the professional/ corporate side! so, its OK to have separate content – but we MUST remember that ALL content on the net is public – and behave with the appropriate caution

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