The social media space is booming, and at times, it can feel challenging to understand the purpose of each channel and what kind of content is best suited for it. Social networks that exist today come in many varieties, but they share a common goal: they are all built to empower relationship building. Some exist to help you discover people and content, some are strictly focused on communication, and some are focused on showcasing creativity – each of which convey different aspects of your personality. In a tactical sense, these social networks can help you nurture current relationships and help you build new ones through the content you share. This is why it’s helpful to fully understand the purpose of each social network, its suggested audience, and how to create content that resonates with each network.
Use these simple guidelines to understand each type of social network, how they can serve you, and what kind of content we recommend you post.
This is the oldest type of network in the digital game, and is easily identified because of its inherently social nature. This social network exists to help you stay connected (and sometimes even reconnect) with existing relationships by sharing important moments with friends.
What to post: As suggested by the name, these networks thrive on personal content. Whether sharing a milestone, an interesting article, or a location based check-in with a friend — this is the place to do it.
• Positivity pays off. We’ve seen that positivity boosts engagement and sharing. Try to keep your content positive.
• Keep it short. The most appealing updates are ones that offer something, but don’t give it all away.
• Get visual. Posts with images tend to get very high engagement. When possible, include photos with your posts.
• Tag your friends. When appropriate, including your friends in your posts can help boost the exposure of your content.
• Be personal and most importantly, be you.
Content Sharing Networks
A content sharing network is often used to have larger scale conversations (often in real-time). Although these networks help nurture both new and existing relationships, they tend to be the best place to start to build new relationships and grow your audience organically.
What to post: Use a combination of personal and professional content to show more dimensions of your personality and different aspects of your life. It can be intimidating to enter the blurry (yet sometimes sweet) territory that sits between personal and professional – but a lack of social media presence can harm you more than help you. We recommend using content sharing networks as tool to further your relationships with professional connections.
• Numbers. Include interesting statistics and facts to pull in your readers.
• Include other people. Use tagging functionalities to include relevant people in your posts and start discussions.
• Take advantage of hashtags. Including topically relevant hashtags in your post can help its reach. Don’t overdo it, though!
• Include a clear CTA. Having a clear call to action helps your audience know what you want them to do.
• Be identifiable. Allow others to see who you are and find your profile. It can help to have a high quality profile picture that is used consistent across your online profiles.
Shared Interest Communities
Shared interest networks are very community-oriented, informative by nature, and driven by both professional and personal interests. People often use these communities to learn about a skill, showcase things they’ve learned, or stay connected with professional contacts.
What to post: These networks tend to have a healthy combination of personal and professional content. Here are some ways to participate:
• Ask questions. Shared interest communities are all about learning. Asking questions is a great way to show your commitment to learning about a skill as well as a great conversation starter.
• Share your experiences. On the same token, you may know certain things that other community members may not. Use your community to share how to capture the best photograph of a sunset, how to get the best ROI for a marketing campaign, or how to get more clients for your freelancing business.
• Be identifiable. This one is worth mentioning again. Allow others to see who you are and find your profile. It can help to have a high quality profile picture that is used consistently across your online profiles.
• Take it offline. Social media is a great way to discover interesting people, but the real magic happens when you meet someone in person. If you find someone especially inspiring or interesting, when the time is right, try to meet them in person.
Which of these social networks do you enjoy participating in? Comment below and let us know.