Avoid the Social Media Flavor of the Moment
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Avoid the Social Media Flavor of the Moment

 Staying on top of marketing tools is exhausting in the digital age and I guess I’m a sucker for punishment since I’ve been trying to do it for twelve years. Although it’s important to stay on top of the latest social media trends I’ve found that many marketers are too eager to jump into using the newest tools before fully understanding what they’ll best deliver or if they’re even applicable to their audience. Many marketers are guilty of eating their own ice-cream before asking the question “Do I even know what’s in this ice cream?”  But, by then it’s too late and somebody’s got brain freeze.

You see, if you’re always chasing the flavor of the moment then you miss savoring things that will actually last. This is of particular importance when evaluating social media tools. Focus on platforms where your audience is that align with your goals and are a good match for your capabilities. Below is my assessment of what the best social media flavors are, what to use them for, and when to avoid them:

Facebook – This tool is best for people you already know or customers you already have. It’s the most popular flavor of social media and I’d say of any tool its the most akin to being the chocolate of social media. It’s savory, can be used in a variety of ways, and is generally considered a fun flavor. It’s no surprise that Facebook is most effective for consumer marketing, especially if integrated with good multimedia content that focusses on people, experiences, and stories. It’s the flavor of the people. It’s not so good for business-to-business marketing, however. For that you need something that tastes more like vanilla.

LinkedIn – It’s been around longer than most other social media platforms and been a reliable performer without the need for much pizzaz. Yes, LinkedIn is the vanilla of the social media world. It’s great to use if you’re a professional looking to connect with other professionals who share similar professional interests. It’s professional, plain and simple. If you’re in the business-to-business industry then being on LinkedIn is a must and if you’re looking to find a new job then you better have a nice profile. Do not use LinkedIn if you’re hoping to engage with people using witty marketing language or to encourage informal conversations since this requires a more neapolitan approach.

Twitter – This flavor of social media  has a a little something of everything for everybody, but it’s also one of the most misused.  Twitter is the neapolitan of social media since it has some chocolate for the consumers, vanilla for the professionals, and some strawberry for the entertainers. Unfortunately, if left unattended these flavors can get mixed together to form an ugly mess that appeals to nobody. Twitter allows you to mix business with pleasure but if you go too far with either one then you risk losing both. It’s best used for news and real-time information; Be informative and/or entertaining. One of the most important things to note about Twitter is that it’s easy to use but not used by everybody. It’s best for reaching young adults that are affluent, tech savvy and/or involved in marketing or communications.

Pinterest –  Sugar and spice and everything nice, this social media platform is primarily the domain of females (~ 85% of users). It’s full of tasty recipes, delicious dresses, and sumptuous shoes. It’s the stuff dreams are made of and if it was an ice cream flavor it would be cookies ‘n cream. Pinterst is excellent for any organization that can utilize visuals to sell it’s wares. For this reason, it does better with products than services.

What’s your favorite social media flavor? Do you have any flavors that you think deserve an honorable mention? Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have a need for social media strategy, campaigns, or training. I can be reached at 306 229 9437 or emailed.


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Comments (4)

  1. Greg, September 25, 2012
    Harley This is a great way to look at the mix we currently have in social media. We find a lot of our clients do employ social media and surprisingly they all enjoy the same flavor, " .....Neapolitan" . Well that is what we will call it here. Let me explain further a bit. These same clients are using a mixture of the big three Google+, Facebook and Twitter. more than one has said LinkedIn is for recruiting. To a person all use tools to manage and pre-program there message. As a company we also use all three . With the wealth of tools available to pre-program and send schedule messages any one can manage a campaign today quite easily. One caution though You must insure to always have a quality message to engage the viewer or your simple not doing your self a service. Adding a consultation with a professional such as yourself may well be the sprinkling on top of the desert many business need to perfect their message... Greg www.threadhost.com Reply
    • Harley Rivet, September 25, 2012
      Thanks for taking the time to respond with a thoughtful response, Greg. I think many companies choose the big three due to popularity but sometimes just choosing one or two might be more appropriate. I often advocate it's better to go deep with one network then spread yourself thin by doing a weak job of many. Social management tools can help in this regard, assuming that the audience is being reached. Reply
  2. Tim Kydd, September 26, 2012
    Great article Harley. Useful content written in a creative way. You're bang on about the pros/cons to each of these, especially Twitter. It is fantastic for breaking news, industry/interest specific content, and meshing together all interests in life. The challenge I'm finding is by following too many, there are too many tweets. If an hour goes by without checking Twitter, too many tweets are missed, possibly the most interesting and useful ones both for work and personal. It becomes a recency tool where only the most current ones get attention. So far my solution is cut down who I follow. Other suggestions? Reply
    • Harley Rivet, September 26, 2012
      Hi Tim, thanks for the comment and relaying your Twitter experience. I can empathize with the struggle to keep up with the overwhelming volume of tweets. Like you, I limit the amount of people I follow so that I eliminate as much "noise" as possible. Another way to keep things organized is to create "lists" in twitter, which is pretty much like creating specific groups of people of whom you follow. You can create lists within your profile and then use them as a filters - E.g. Marketing, Personal, Celebrity, Sask Peeps, Etc. Another tool I use is Twilert which sends me a daily email with all the tweets from around the web that contain certain keywords. By using Twilert I don't have to follow thousands of people in order to get tweets related to topics of interest so it keeps my twitter stream lean. Hope this helps. Reply

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