The title of this post comes from something that @krochmal, a Columbia University professor said: “Social media is not about you,” he shared with the group at large during a feedback plenary session. “It is about connecting with people and sharing information.” This was the best phrasing of a sentiment that had been expressed in a few ways during Social Media Weekend – May 13-15 at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. It was expressed most pointedly by NPR’s @acarvin, who reminded us in his keynote speech that we are not an audience. In fact, as far as social media marketers are concerned, there is no audience at all. The whole point of social media, as many of the weekend’s panelists iterated, is to connect. If you don’t make an effort to connect with your clients, consumers, or fans on social media platforms, you’re doomed to fail.
When connecting across platforms, we were reminded, it is important to remember that not all of your consumers will be engaged with you on Facebook AND Twitter AND via mobile apps. Your brand must therefore spread all of its messages and campaigns to all of these platforms. What’s most important is consistency and comprehensive reach.
When posting to multiple platforms, you should also adjust your message so that it works for that platform in terms of length and content. It is often obvious when someone is using a super-convenient cross-posting service that has automatically aggregated a Facebook post to Twitter, because the whole message will not fit in the restricted 140-character Twitter space. You never want your consumer to assume that you don’t put as much effort into engaging on the platform they prefer.
In targeting the content of your message to Facebook, Twitter and mobile, consider these general tips:
- Twitter is particularly good for give-and-take conversation, the sharing of information and customer service
- Facebook posts and campaigns are more successful if they elicit emotion and tell a story
- Mobile is also a more emotional platform, but its users crave a tangible experience. They want rewards for their engagement with your app, i.e., coupons or deals.
I am only scratching the surface of what was learned at Social Media Weekend in this post, of course. The conferences’ attendees ranged from folks who didn’t yet have Twitter of Facebook accounts to industry pros, and everyone walked away having learned something new. In a separate post, I will discuss new tools to which I was introduced, but for now, here is a trove of thoughts and info from the conference, put together by some of its attendees:
Presentations, notes and tips
And here are details about the panels and speakers: