Why Your Brand Sounds Like a Parrot on Social Media

Tracy Sestili
Tracy Sestili Author | Strategist | CEO, Social Strand Media

Posted on November 5th 2013

Why Your Brand Sounds Like a Parrot on Social Media

Your brand is a ParrotAs a social media company it’s our job to know about trends in social media and marketing. We need to stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not, what’s working for specific industries vs. other industries, and how to make the best impact for our customers. We have a few social media channels for our brand and we make it a point to try and differentiate the content so that you’ll get a variety of information and so that we won’t sound like parrots. But many brands do sound like parrots, repeating the same things on every social network they are on and it gets redundant, boring, and starts to sound like white noise to their customers.

Like it or not, we [brands] have become publishers, and when you think about it, in order to survive, we need to share unique content across different channels or at least learn how to repackage it so that it doesn’t sound like the same thing we just said on another network.

Nowadays we can reach your customers on multiple platforms from email to social networks. Part of our job as a publisher is to choose interesting content for those customers that is not only relevant and easy to consume on those networks, but easy to share as well. Customers need to be given a reason to follow all of our social media profiles. If we’re saying the same thing on every channel, why should they follow us on every channel?

At Social Strand, we have specific guidelines for how we handle certain channels. For example, on LinkedIn, which is where most of our customers are, we gear our corporate updates to the following: Corporate Social Strand Media news, webinars, social media for business articles, and SlideShare presentations (and not just our own) and some niche blog articles. We post a couple of times a week. On SlideShare we post: Case studies, Market research, How-To’s, Marketing Theory/Best Practices. We post on an as needed basis.  We don’t have a Facebook corporate page, nor a Pinterest account because we don’t feel like that’s a good use of our time. But in both cases, we’re not saying the same thing on those channels.

Are there exceptions to the guidelines? Sure, there’s always exceptions. But it’s shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. There will always be some content that gets duplicated on the different platforms, but it should be repackaged to sound different or should be dissected to only include parts of it; and it shouldn’t be on every platform everyday. For example, back in August we created a SlideShare deck about social media statistics for the different social networks. We then took a portion of that deck and created a blog around the data points. We shared the SlideShare deck on LinkedIn (Social Media By the Numbers), but the blog post we shared on Twitter had to do with how to find your customers on social networks.

Steps to differentiate your content:

  1. Update your bio. In your bio on each platform say what you post/tweet about and then if there’s enough room, point out the other social networks where you talk about other stuff.
  2. Segment your content. Strategize how you are going to deliver your content by separating out your content categories for each social network.
  3. Assign networks to individuals to manage. If your resources allow you, try splitting up the responsibilities of the social networks and assigning owners to each network.
  4. Stick to it. It will be hard to make this change, but try doing it for a week and see what happens.

Agree?

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili

Author | Strategist | CEO, Social Strand Media

Social Media Author, Speaker & Consultant helping small businesses, entrepreneurs & nonprofits with their social media strategy and implementation. I'm familiar with all things social media but my sweetspots are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Google Plus, and Social Analytics. My new book, Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field, is a great resource for small businesses and has built-in worksheets to help you build the brand you want with social media. I use this book when I teach in the classroom at San Francisco State University, AcademyX Computer Training, U.C. Berkeley, and Hult International Business School.

See Full Profile >

Comments

I really like the idea of having different resources manage a certain social network for a company. The idea of repackaging content to fit the purpose of the social network and your demographic audience is great. I like how you mentioned using slideshare and other professional content on your LinkedIn network. I actually love Facebook business page and love the idea of advertising to promote your post to your consumers. Great job.

Thanks Ricky! I do think that SlideShare and some of the other smaller social networks are overlooked. And if you have the resources, then you should definitely have different people managing them. But I also think that not everyone is a good content creator or content repackager, so maybe having someone in charge of the whole content strategy would also be good. (just thought of that one). :-) Thanks for your comment!

Linkedin and Google plays a crucial role in  strategising the plan to deliver the content.

Something you mentioned here, which is often overlooked, is that your followers on different social media are different audiences - simple concept but easy to forget.

As with all traditional elements of the marketing mix, your messages need to be targeted. Sure you'll have some of the same people following you in multiple channels, but their expectations from each are still different.

Equally importantly, it's important not to dilute your brand by plastering it across social media which are not appropriate or those you don't have time to manage.  

Let's stop thinking about what we can do, and focus on what we should do. Good post, thanks :)

Thanks Patric. Something you said is poignant also, "Sure you'll have some of the same people following you in multiple channels, but their expectations from each are still different." - That's just it. We each go to different social networks for different reasons. I go to Twitter & LinkedIn for my news, but I go to Facebook to catch up with people I know. Thanks for the comment!

Great advice and reminder. I have been guilty of the copy/paste method and need to get back to basics!

Don't worry Mario, we all need little reminders sometimes -- even me! 

Hi Tracy. I totally agree about repurposing old posts by using SlideShare. Another great way of repurposing content is to compile multiple blog posts into ebooks. Ebooks are especially great because you can email-gate them to collect email and contact details from readers in exchange.