Here’s a very simple model for thinking about three main social media channels: your blog, Facebook and Twitter. I should say that this model applies in particular to solopreneurs and small businesses who are still developing their following and trying to use social media to do so. In this model the starting point is simply looking at who the audience is, since that helps determine tone, content and strategy.
The simplest version:
Your blog is for attracting a new audience, and providing value to your existing audience.
Facebook is for communicating with people you know, or at least have ‘weak ties’ with, i.e people that are already in your network.
Twitter is for actively finding and connecting with people outside of your current network.
The longer version:
1) Your blog is your platform to pull in brand new eyeballs as well as provide help and value to your regular readers.
2) Your blog is your opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge of your business and industry, create resources for your customers/readers and create a homebase for your online visibility.
3) If people like what they find they are likely to use Twitter or Facebook to connect with you further.
4) There can be some 2-way interaction via commenting, but even if not, the 1-way output of information is the norm for a blog, more than any other social media outlet.
1) Most likely, people who join your Facebook Page have come from your personal Facebook network (it benefits you to build up your personal profile before launching a Facebook Page) or have found you via your blog. So the key is to foster the feeling of familiarity and get to know people a little better.
2) A more casual tone than your blog works well; question-asking and discussion-starting are also great on a Facebook Page. 2-way communication is key – community, trust and credibility-building rather than soapboxing.
3) Some self-promotion is appropriate, particularly if you can offer discounts and incentives, or news that lends to your credibility. But focus on providing engaging content and don’t just duplicate what’s on your blog.
4) Since someone has to be a friend of your personal profile before you can actively send them an invite to your page, it’s a laborious process to reach brand new people (without purchasing Ads). So I recommend Facebook for fostering the connections you already have – increased engagement on your Page can lead to organic growth through exposure in your Fans’ newsfeeds.
1) Twitter is the place to initiate and develop brand new relationships. Strangers are just friends you haven’t Tweeted with yet!
2) Unlike Facebook, you can easily find and interact with people you have no connection to, through use of the @ function. You don’t have to wait for people to passively find you, you can see what people are talking about and join in when you have something of value to add. It’s also great for staying in touch with new acquaintances you have made elsewhere.
3) A good content strategy would be a mix of content curation (sharing links, valuable resources etc), conversation, opinions, insights and personality.
4) Talk more about others than you do about yourself. Share your blog posts and news but keep blatant self-promotion to a minimum. Twitter should be the least self-focused of all social media.
5) Twitter is great for paying it forward and sharing the love – sharing links to others’ blog content, Re-Tweeting people and contributing to the social proof of others.
Is this model useful? How do you make sense of these social media channels?
Header image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelgraphix/2504474533/