“Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunity to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launchpad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It’s a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship.” – Matt Dickman

How do you quantify what Online Media to use where? LinkedIn is a handshake, Twitter is a hug and Facebook is a kiss. Want to know why? Read on for more...

As I teach Social Media more and more for B2B, I’ve noticed a growing trend of trying to define exactly what each platform is.  In 2009, I came up with the analogy, “LinkedIn is the Office, Twitter is the Watercooler and Facebook is the Bar.“ When defining what to use where, this saying helped my audience understand the difference of each and how to best leverage the connections.  However, there is one truth: What you bring to the table, determines your success.

In the last two years, the differences have become less and less now that professionalism has adapted to Facebook and LinkedIn has become more conversational.  The worlds are colliding at an alarming rate, and my old analogy-though once it was true, seems to be old thinking. Cultures are shifting, where we used to be entirely professional, people now take off their ties or suit coats. Where we used to be personal, I’ve seen an influx of professional.  In little amounts, we are all becoming more well-rounded and less scared of online platforms.

Which platform for which?  A great tip for knowing how to adapt to your audience is to look at how your audience is actually using the platform in which you are engaging their voice.  If you’re in B2B sales, you might favor LinkedIn over Facebook.  If you’re a small business owner that offers tangible items- cash and carry, you’ll recognize the benefits of building advocates on Facebook.  Knowing your marketing medium is JUST as important as knowing how to broadcast your message in the most effective way.

  • LinkedIn is a handshake. It’s no longer being treated as a one-way conversation.  More individuals have recognized the benefits of answering questions and engaging others in their professional beliefs. Where a profile was only left up to be found, now the true value has been fully recognized. I now think of LinkedIn as business casual, professional in nature, but down-to-earth in speech. The handshake is reaching out and asking for you to know me and my business value better.  I consider LinkedIn to be a business lunch, my professionalism is at it’s best, but I’m not afraid to crack a joke or to order a sundae.

 

  • Twitter is a hug. I listen to those I believe in, or that I want to gain knowledge from. Twitter has become less obligatory in merely following and more about taking those I enjoy following to coffee, or actually picking up the phone.  It’s not quite a handshake because it’s often more intimate.  Inspiration and wisdom are my top takeaways daily and I know that to be viewed as authentic, I have to bring my entire self- quirks and all.

 

  • Facebook is a kiss on the cheek. I’m the person who tells my friends and family that I love them, often.  Facebook is my way to communicate my beliefs, love and desire to stay connected. I try and keep it as intimate as I can and I’ve taken out anyone that I wouldn’t fully endorse in person or in writing. When I surround myself with positive people, I find I’m more positive. Facebook offers me comfort from a hard day, or photos of my nieces. It’s almost like a home cooked meal.

I often trade, Social Media, for Online Media, now.  We all understand that it’s social and also, that it’s evolving. The main three platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are sedimentary. I’ve often been asked, “Do you think a competitor will come out and actually thrive in the market?” I always answer, “Absolutely, I hope so.” Without competition, we don’t evolve.  Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have always been online- they just looked a little different.  Once they were an AOL chat room or a forum. In fact, we’ve seen glimpses of all three since the dawn of time. I tend to think of today’s online media as staples. We’ll always converse online, but how we get there is what is evolving most.

Everything is now integrating where traditionally there was competition, vehicles to the main three are now a PART of the main three. Since Twitter has bought Tweetdeck, we’ll see even more vehicles to the platform are now being integrated WITH the platform.  In truth: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are realizing their worth is not just in their site, they need to find the best DRIVERS to get the audience talking. Our social footprints will last longer than we realize and what we have forgotten is we truly are able to choose where we step. The online media doesn’t own us, we own our online media.

We now even have metrics that validate our online existence with Empire Avenue, Klout (and many more.) I believe my online relationships are merely another vehicle to meet those I value in person. For success we need a healthy combination of each platform.  The biggest success factor to any medium is simple: Be Yourself. Being authentic isn’t a buzzword, it’s now almost mandatory to having people advocate with you for what you believe. I’m online to help change the world, and I try to make my reason transparent.

It’s also important to note: That we are all individuals and although this is how I treat my online presence, it may not work for you. I think the importance lies in each of us bringing our signature DISH to the table and allowing others to taste who we are in the evolution of online media.  Find your recipe to success with a few tips in my article, “Humanize Your Voice Online.”

Free Download Click Here: {Humanize Your Voice Online: The Recipe of WHO You Are Is What Matters Most.}