You’ve been diagnosed with social network overlap, what are the symptoms and how do you treat it?
How many social networks are you on? There are hundreds to choose from but let us just focus on a few of the most popular. We know that you’re on Facebook, that one is a given, and many of you are on Twitter and Linkedin. Lets just discuss your symptoms of social network overlap for a moment.
Three networks with three distinctly different audience types, lets break those down quickly.
1) Facebook – Your close personal friends are here, relatives, loved ones, co-workers and generally people that you were once close with or acquainted with at some point in your life. If you are “friends” with people that you have never met or know of then your missing the point of what Facebook is all about. See Myspace.
- Example Messaging – “We have a new member of the family! Isn’t our new puppy cute? Who is coming over to play with her?”
2) Twitter – Great for 140 character quips about your life, interests, random and sometime senseless thoughts and a general sharing of things with unknown people that you may of may not have a common interest with.
- Example messaging – “Lunch was great at the South City Kitchen in Atlanta, try the shrimp and grits!” or senseless tweets like “I think I am going to go take a bath”
3) Linkedin – Business networking. Sharing your professional insight, articles and commentary with like minded people in your given industry of work.
- Example messaging – “Thought you all might like to check out this article on digital marketing for brands” Share link.
With three different networks, why not update them all at once?
Technology makes it very simple these days for us to update multiple networks all at once with the same message. Type your message, check off which network you want it delivered to and bam you have just updated your three networks with the same message. Now if I follow you on all three networks, I get to see your update three separate times, thanks for that. Insert sarcasm here. With some technology publishing solutions you do not even have to select which network your updates go to, it will automatically post to those networks for you. Bad idea.
Now there is not to say that there wouldn’t be appropriate situations where the same message wouldn’t be appropriate across multiple networks. Certainly your Twitter followers would be interested in seeing a puppy but your business networking people, maybe, but probably not because that is not what they are on Linkedin for. Linkedin is meant for business and while your puppy is adorable, there is a time and a place for that.
Ever pass a funny photo or joke along to your Facebook friends because you know that they will appreciate the humor? Of course we all have at some point but do you know will not appreciate the humor, your business connections on Linkedin. Those are your potential future employers and business connections. They will find your lowbrow humor unflattering and unprofessional. Your funny jokes and photos do not belong on Linkedin. Period.
A similar line of thinking goes for your Facebook and Twitter updates, you can link your Twitter account to your Facebook page but I can assure you if you do this your Facebook friends will not appreciate your high volume of senseless tweets coming across their news feed. Keep your tweets on Twitter since followers on Twitter understand what they are getting into by following you and that just might be tweets about what you are going to eat for lunch.
Keep your Facebook updates, shares and “likes” to what you think your friends will appreciate. Even my best friends could care less if I am spamming them on the status of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The Cure: With hundreds of social networks and many of them are for meant to cater to specific things and groups of people. One network that I recently started to use is called Daily Mile; it’s a network for avid runners to share there running experiences and workouts with other runners. So the question I ask to you all is why would I ever update my Daily Mile status with anything other then what it is intended for? Do not auto post the same message across multiple networks.
Understand the networks you are using, understand who your audience is and take the time to specifically message the appropriate network with the things that friends, followers or connections will find value in. If you take the time to do this and you will be a much more engaging and appreciated individual amongst your social networking friends, followers and connections.