If you’ve ever had a message you want to communicate, then you know that you want your message to be easily understood. If a message can’t be understood, then it’s just a clanging gong, and will be ignored.
But did you know that how you express your information affects how people understand it? That’s what media Philosopher Marshall Mcluhan believed when he wrote his famous line “The medium is the message”.
One of the most important things a communicator can do is use his medium according to how it works. When a person releases information, the method of how this information is expressed can affect how people read it. For example, a short video may attract more viewers than an article that covers the same information. It’s also true that mediums change as people do. They find a different purpose for a new tool. That’s why marketing experts like Seth Godin emphasizes on you knowing your content’s form and function.
It is especially true for those in the field of Social Media. As this field grows and grows, businesses must master the necessary technologies in order to reach their audience where they were. However, not all social media outlets are the same. Each presents a different way of expressing content. We read one website differently than we read the other.
So, how do these markets work out differently? That’s a hard question. Here is a look at three of the biggest networks out there, and how they express their social relations.
Twitter is designed to share a short “tweet” of information to a large group of “followers”. These short tweets encourage readers to just scan over their feed and find what they like. The longer the tweet, the less likely a person is to read it. However, a catchy name may attract readers to click on your link, or to retweet their information. Also, Twitter is more impersonal, which is my some people can follow companies and their updates easier than on Facebook.
Twitter also produces more info-per-minute than the other media. This overload of info shortens the value of how long a tweet is valid for marketing. There are reports on line that illustrate how short a Tweet is influential (some estimate 25 minutes, others have said 2 minutes). Most people don’t dig through all their tweets to find every nugget. They just see the most recent. This is a serious problem. It’s why you’re more likely to find websites like Bufferapp.com attracting a larger market. They determine when people normally read their Twitter feed. If you can get your tweet up front, then they are more likely to click it.
Facebook is a more conversational website. People express their events and opinions quickly instead of just quick postings. Facebook also has a tendency to encourage human conversations instead of just a quick statement. The comment bar and Like button make it more likely that someone will interact with your item. However, fan pages do gain a large amount of traffic. Facebook does encourage readers to also engage their audience and more focused on relatonship that you build. A person is far more likely to take another person’s experience, and use it to fuel their choice. The nice thing about Facebook is that people spend more time there on a single occurrence than on Twitter. That gives advertisers a greater chance of relating to them.
Linkedin is the most professional and also the smallest of the Big Three. Businesses are more likely to use this for networking and connections. So, what does that mean? It means that even though it isn’t the greatest tool for marketing, it can be a helpful tool for learning about your market. Many Linkedin guides recommend using it for offering polls, for asking and answering questions, and even for networking.
With the number of differences between networks, is it actually good to use a single tool (like Hootsuite) to publish all of the same content to different networks? This is debatable. But from a “medium makes the message” perspective, it isn’t the best choice. You see, A tweet doesn’t always translate well to a Facebook post. The same can be said of a Linkedin update. Because of these vast differences, it can make creating social updates limited. But if a user wishes to investigate further, there are ways to cross over it. But as you move forward with your marketing, you’ll need to make sure that your message is getting through clearly.
Christopher Hutton is an “Idea Geek”. He loves discovering new insights into the “hidden side of everything” and applying them to how we live, and how we run businesses. He currently blogs on these new ideas at Liter8 Ideas and you may also follow him on Twitter.