I believe one of the most important features of a fully designed social media strategy is how to make the platforms we're active in both connected to one another and unique in themselves.
This, of course, is no easy task, because too often one tends to blend the available and adapt to other channels, which can happen because of many constraints, such as time, resources (including money) or... plain lack of strategic vision.
That being said, there's a fine job for brands and agencies to finally embrace and make their like, follow, circle or whatever worth clicking. But what about people? Yes, you may call me crazy, but I believe people also need a social media strategy, which depends on the channels you feel like using on a regular basis.
Alas, that's not what we often see. We see tweets automatically posted from Facebook with sentences broken by a gorgeous "blabla... http://on.fb.me/ngkaYU", Facebook posts imported from Twitter with absolutely no criteria and therefore no relevance, pins about your Tumblr images and Tumblr posts about the articles you shared on Twitter just 2 minutes ago, which end up showing duplicated to your followers. What a mess.
I've been thinking about the way these social channels relate to one another on a personal level and making and documenting some experiments, because if there's something I hate seeing is incompleteness or incoherence — yes, I have a (non-diagnosed) OCD. Here's the result of those experiments reflected in all the channels I'm currently active in:
- Facebook, where you'll see my personal side. Observations about daily events, fun images, memes, personal posts about things I talk about with friends, and of course my own blog posts... that's mostly what you'll find there.
- Twitter, where you'll see mostly my professional side. I like to share articles, quotes, my own observations about social media or the human condition, and to chat with interesting people from my industry. It's an active networking tool.
- LinkedIn, where you'll only see my professional side. It's where I update my career information and connect with work colleagues and industry references. It's mostly a reactive channel — if I meet someone new in a work context, I'll check their profile and add them; if I have new career info to share, I'll update my profile. All posts are directly imported from Twitter, because that's the professional side I want my LinkedIn contacts to see. That's it.
- Pinterest, my hub for all things visual inspiration, from art to cool products to wonderful places to quotes to graphic design. I don't use it daily, but when I want to relax and fill my brain with beautiful imagery, this is where I like to go.
- Delicious (yes, I still use it), where I bookmark links I know I'll want to have indexed later, such as agency websites, social media tools, awards, conferences and all resources I'll eventually need for my professional or personal use.
- Tumblr, which I just relaunched with a new concept. Previously, it was a personal blog where I shared inspiring things, but I had a problem with distinguishing what to share there and what to share on Pinterest, so I instead created Douchebag Strategist, a persona which shares worst practices in strategic thinking based on some of the things I hear and see. Basically, it's a track of all the things I hope I'll never say while discussing strategy from the moment I post them.
Different platforms, different content, one personality — my own. This exercise was (and is) important because it helps me develop criteria to create such social channel architectures for brands, while creating something that gives me pleasure to use knowing it's (I hope) clutter free. You may want to share everything everywhere; that doesn't mean your followers want the same thing.
How do you create a unique experience on your own social channels?