Twentyfive years ago the question was: “Have you got a website?”. If the answer was no, the disappointed expression on the other person’s face with an “Oh…” filled with reproof: “What, you still haven’t got a website? Everyone goes in the internet now, you have to be there!”
In that pioneering phase, without asking too many questions, we tried to count the number of visits to our home page with meters that seemed speedometers in a car (because I have to show that my site is visited), with animated images of envelopes throwing out sheets of paper (let’s be clear: we have email!), with constantly revolving worlds and flashing messages that put even holiday season shop windows to shame.
Apart from our context that is now much more mature, and softening of the bright colours used to describe the internet pioneering phase, we cannot avoid certain parallelisms with the social media approach.
While it is true that today “everyone’s in the social networks and they have to be there”, but it is likewise true that, based on our past experience, we should reflect for a moment and think about our goals, and obtain advice in order to avoid wasting time and resources in inadequate activities.
There are numerous social networks and all have different rules, and whoever uses them expects different interactions and relations depending on their environment.
Let’s try and represent these differences using a parallelism between virtual and real environments, mentioning the most representative and widespread social networks.
Facebook = pub
The people come from all walks of life and mainly go there in their free time, with peaks late in the evening at weekends. The main aim is to have fun, wearing casual clothes, talking about everything, sometimes even shouting, because there is often loud music playing or even a live gig.
Twitter = library
The majority of people are students, teachers or journalists, who mainly go there in the morning, with peaks prior to exams or when their interest is caught by a particular subject that they want to investigate further. The aim is to study and find information, wearing casually smart clothes, talking quietly about topics we are interested in, and preferably not in the reading room.
LinkedIn = bridge club
People belong to an exclusive group, to a uniform social category, and they mainly go there late in the afternoon, with peaks when there is a tournament. The aim is to take part in elite activities, wearing smart refined clothes, and interacting only with our peers who are similar to us and do the same activities.
Apart from simplifications and certain forced ideas, we want to give consistency to the choices why, in terms of business communications, we want to be in the social networks, for example:
- What categories do I want to address?
- Is it better to publish on weekdays or at the weekend to reach as wide a public as possible? What time? What frequency? How should I present myself, carefree and casual or formally?
- Should I “talk” quietly or try to overcome the background noise to get my message heard?
- What interaction methods must I face and handle? Comments, mentions, shares, links? How should I respond to criticism?
So, we believe we have clarified the general terms of the question.
For details, contact us, we’re here to help!