MY SOCIAL MEDIA RULE OF THUMB: AVOID THE CROSS POST(STATUS/TWEET, ETC.)
I am of the belief that when using various social media platforms (sites) one should have clear and distinct purposes for the audiences on each site. Overall, your social media message, images and “digital footprint” should be consistent across all sites, but not all social media sites serve a “social” purpose and or audience.
Some prime examples of cross posting are:
1. That person who has linked their Twitter account to Facebook AND LinkedIn
We all know people whose tweets appear on Facebook and vice verse. Occasionally, this is understandable, especially if there is an important message or announcement to communicate to your audience/followers/customers, etc. However, if you use Twitter (or Facebook) as a personal site where you are trash talking, voicing your opinion and talking to friends while you are watching TV-perhaps those tweets and status updates should not be accessible to potential employers and recruiters on LinkedIn.
2. The Self Promoter or the Over Sharer
Everyone also knows a person who posts on ALL their social media sites only things that are happening in their latest endeavors! Those who’ve started selling jewelry, or want you to attend their latest event or buy their new music and post those requests on ALL social media platforms without any creativity to draw you in. There is also the person who shares all their thoughts and feelings on life and their day to day interactions on Facebook and carries on a conversation (or even argument) via Twitter! Do they not realize you can send Direct Messages to people in ALL social media sites?
The Rationale for My Rule of Thumb:
OK, considering that each social media site has a different description, mission and/or purpose, why would you use them all identically? Also answer this, would you speak to all your friends, relatives, colleagues, associates, co-workers, etc. in exactly the same ways? I should hope not. In order to use social media most effectively, you should be keenly aware of your audience across each social media platform. When using these sites, you should have clear goals, even if those are goals are as simple as staying in touch with friends. What’s even more important is understanding the use and functionality of each site you are on and how most others are using these sites. Why be one of the only people on Linkedin who is mindlessly sharing what you are listening to on your Ipod?
While some of my younger readers might not be ready to use social media professionally, its never too early (or late) to learn how to communicate professionally in person or online. It is also never too late to begin cleaning up or clarifying your social media presence. To help you jump-start your social media clarification process, learn more about the who, what when and why of social media sites and their users.
Below is a link to an article from leading technology and new media company Mashable.com. The article, posted in early March, has a great Infographic of a demographic breakdown of all the most popular social media sites.