Social Media Platforms as Television Networks – A Guide to Entertaining Your Audience

Whether you work in marketing for an established company or are running between different roles to get your startup off the ground, you understand the value of getting the word out.

Make Your Voice Heard in the Conversation

Social media is one of the most popular and efficient ways to promote your brand because that is where your customers are. If you name any company-big, small, corporate, non-profit, I can guarantee you that it has taken advantage of that space to communicate with customers in real time, which is why it is in your business’ best interests to do the same.

However, not all social media platforms are created equal and people go to each one for different purposes. What helps me in my marketing endeavors is to think of these platforms as television networks: the entertainment you provide depends on who your audience is.

Though there are so many platforms out there to keep track of, I will focus on four of the most popular ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Facebook – ABC Family

You may think that Facebook is dying and losing its edge. Heck, your grandmother probably has an account! But nothing could be further from the truth. According to a recent report, there are 1.94 Facebook billion users with an 18 percent yearly increase. And one out of every five daily page views on the internet is a Facebook page. This not only means that Facebook is still relevant but it also has the widest and most diverse audience. In this way, it is a network like ABC Family or Nick at Nite with entertainment that is fun for the whole family.

As such, post positive, feel-good content that is relevant to all ages. Fun memes that you adjust to your brand are crowd pleasers, and so are pictures of people enjoying your company’s events and motivational quotes. If you’re a small, local business and have a loyal following in the community, posting about your company’s news and milestones can be a great way to get a lot of support behind you.

Twitter – The News

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is an open platform that allows you to engage with new audiences. It is a platform in which you do not merely relay information, but also engage in conversations with and reach out to other users in order to be seen, which you can do through using trending hashtags (the five top hashtags you find at the right of the twitter homepage at any given hour,) or tagging other thought leaders that people follow in your tweets. Because you are engaging with a wide audience in real time, the best television equivalent to Twitter is the news.

Much like a news show, Twitter focuses on what is happening in the here and now. This is a great platform to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Since Twitter has such a strict character limit, you want to stick to relevant industry news as well as your company’s major headlines. Think about the headlines streaming across the bottom of the screen on CNN. You want your tweets to be pithy and attention grabbing.

LinkedIn – The Dow Jones Channel

Like Twitter, LinkedIn is a good platform for establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. The main difference, however, is that the tone of the content should be more formal because LinkedIn users are there for strictly professional purposes. In addition, people use LinkedIn to network or find resources that will ultimately help them advance professionally, so it is always good to include how your content will help them do that.

Much like the Dow Jones channel targets its content towards industry professionals, it is also important to target LinkedIn content to relevant professionals in your industry who can actively do something with the information you provide. Tricks such as targeting people by their seniority rather than their age (the way you might on other platforms,) and using the “click demographics” feature to filter your audience can help you target the audiences you are trying to reach such as CEOs in your industry.

Instagram – Netflix Original Series

Ever since Netflix started releasing scripted original television shows in 2013, it has revolutionized the way we watch television. In addition to the instant gratification the format offers, the compelling storylines and deep characters in these shows also provides viewers with a fresh content.

Similarly, Instagram, a primarily visual medium that provides users the opportunity to use different filters and show the world around them in a saturated and unique way. This would be a great platform to tell the story that you don’t get to tell with words, or show a more exciting and playful side to your brand.

For example, you may not think much about UPS if you’re not sending or receiving a package because they are not that interesting or innovative a brand from the offset, but if you look at their instagram, you can see beautiful sunset pictures of UPS planes flying around the world or beautiful pictures of far off destinations, and in this setting we can associate them with travel, excitement, and adventure in a way we never could before.

Oldies but Goodies

Though you need to use social media to appeal to different audiences, you don’t necessarily have to create new content from scratch every time you want to post on a different platform. In fact, sometimes sharing the same information with different packaging for each platform can be a super effective way to get your message at the forefront of your audience’s minds (and hopefully their wallets.)

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