by Paula on November 28, 2011

Last week I had the pleasure of running a clinic on Social Media at the Business Inspired annual conference. Whenever I am asked to talk to a group of people I know immediately that the audience will include people who are new to Social Media and wanting to know what it’s all about, and those who are already using it but wanting to learn a more focused and rewarding approach.

I’m always careful therefore to make the subject matter relevant and understandable to the new starters, while still being useful and thought-provoking to the more experienced.

One element of my clinic last Friday was about putting yourself in the shoes of those reading your posts and taking a different perspective on what you post and where you post it.

Asking yourself: “Who is reading this and what would they like to hear?”

Rather than: “What would I like to say?”

I used cartoons, sketched for me by my friend Helen, to demonstrate the different mind-sets of people on the different networks and how your message needs to be appropriate for the frame of mind of the person reading it. I thought these would be useful to share via my blog.

LinkedIn IconLinkedIn – When I log into LinkedIn, it is during my “working hours”. I am in a professional and business frame of mind and thinking about who I can connect with, what I can learn, who I can educate, where I can influence. Your audience on this network is a business-minded audience.

This is a representation of the LinkedIn me:

LinkedIn Viewing

Facebook IconFacebook – People tend to log in to Facebook in a far more informal frame of mind. Many businesses only allow access during lunch breaks, before or after work, or not at all, and so people tend to be in a more fun and frivolous frame of mind when they log in. It is appropriate for businesses that relate to that mindset: pubs, hotels, cake-decorators, fitness, photography. Businesses that interest us in our informal time and businesses that can demonstrate their messages with photos, videos and humour all work best on Facebook.

This is a representation of the Facebook me:

Facebook Viewing

Twitter IconTwitter – Twitter transcends between the two and frequent users tend to use it in a more business-like frame of mind during the day and revert to TV chat, catching up with friends, or sharing events and news stories at weekends and evenings. One thing that is noticeable though is that it’s more of an “on the run” network. Short messages on a fast-moving timeline and your audience want to get clarity, personality and meaning from you in 140 characters. Twitter tends to belong to smart phones – people on the run, checking between meetings, waiting for a lift, having a coffee between meetings. Make sure your message is appropriate to this fast-moving consumer.

This is a representation of the Twitter me:

Twitter ViewingWhile it’s clear that these are designed to provide humour, I hope make you stop and think a moment about the person on the other end of the message, before you post it.

  • Who are they?
  • What are they likely to be doing?
  • How would they be feeling?

Giving thought to the different audiences on the different networks means you can ensure your message is appropriate and relevant. I hope also it will make those of you who post the same message to all networks, stop and think whether this is really the right way forward….

I no more want to read: “Did you see the XFactor, didn’t XYZ look great in those tight trousers!” on Linkedin, than I want to see a long post on the ins and outs of my tax return while I’m enjoying my glass of wine and browsing Facebook!

Just stop every once in a while and before you post, put yourself in their shoes. Make sure that your time and effort being put into Social Media is bring received as you intended and not selling you short.


Peri Taylor November 29, 2011 at 11:11 am

Really useful post. Thanks Paula

Dee Woodward November 29, 2011 at 8:31 am

Excellent post, sorry to have missed your workshop last week, looks like some great points being raised. What you are discussing is a great example of the 1st rule of marketing – know your MARKET! Posting the same message everywhere rarely ever works, your illustrations of the ‘big 3’ social platforms and their users are a great way of explaining this. – Love the illustrations, your friend Helen is very talented.

paula November 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

Thanks Dee. Really appreciate the feedback. There’s definitely a lot of fear out there that if you aren’t posting on all networks you’re missing out, and then people go for the time-saving short-cut of one message to all. Taking time upfront to be sure WHO you want your message to reach, HOW you’re going to reach them and WHAT message are they receptive to is a vital exercise. I’ll pass on your comments to Helen too – she’ll be delighted. Thanks again.

Previous post:

Next post: