There’s more than one social network? What’s the difference?

It seems to be the common refrain now – “everyone who wants to make their mark in business needs social media”. But the question is, which network? Here is a look at the different types of social media platforms and how your content can differ on each one.

On Twitter, every word you post is important as you only have 140 characters per Tweet. Now, that might sound like a lot, as you can write a few sentences with that criteria, but you’ve got to add in commas and full stops into the equation; then life gets harder. A suggestion is that you write out what you want to say in a Word document and then transfer it over to Twitter to judge the length. You might find that your characters far exceed the limits given, in which case you’ll have to par down what you want to say.

Twitter makes people who wish to drift ‘off-subject’ into concise writers. Some business people overcome this handicap by Tweeting what they want to say in short bursts. A word of warning though, if this is your approach. By the time you have clicked to post your valuable and informative Tweet, hundreds or even thousands of Tweets will have appeared in your targeted audience’s Twitter feed. It is better to decide what you want to say about a given matter and then cut it right down to the bone. Make it as short as it can possibly go, without losing its meaning. Then you have to think about the all important hashtag’s and @’s – this is where you are able to link your subject to the same topics being talked about on Twitter; it makes it so much easier for people in the know to find your Tweet.

Twitter is seen as a business mixed with social portal. It’s a place to interact with colleagues / clients and people whom you’d like to be colleagues and clients.

Facebook is the place to be for social interaction with friends, family members, peers and colleagues that you already interact with socially in the ‘real world’.

It is a haven for images that one can share with others who also might be interested in the same topics.

If you are using Facebook for business, then you’ll still have an opportunity to make the use of hashtags. For example, see what is hot and trending in the Facebook Feeds and then write a business related post about that (no limit on words or characters on Facebook) and then use the same hashtag that everyone else is using.

You can build up a good following on Facebook quite quickly and if you stick to the same subject with each post that you make and people interact with those post regularly, you’ll become a regular feature at the top of their newsfeeds.

It is best to have a Facebook name that chimes with your online identity and also draws on your key subject. Such as: DavidTransportMinded or SheliaPInteriorDesigns, in this way you’ll be found more easily within the Facebook community.

Good sites to find images or links to post on Facebook are:  https://www.pinterest.com/,http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Business_g158.html andhttps://www.facebook.com/InterestingTopics

If Twitter is the business mixed with personal portal and Facebook gets to the heart of the matter by using images and key points, then LinkedIn is the business-suited platform that no serious business person should be without.

One must have a LinkedIn profile, no matter how short, so that others can see you literally ‘mean business’.

Not only can you look on LinkedIn and see if you share former places of work with the person you are just about to have a business meeting with, but you can also check out their interests, charitable concerns and so on – the possibilities for research are endless.

You should work on getting LinkedIn contacts with people across the range of areas you are interested and involved with, or wish to be interested and involved with.

The best type of content will always be business orientated. Look at what the leaders in your respective area are saying on LinkedIn and comment on what they have said or spark new conversations and discussions.

Some of my favourites in terms of how they share content to look at are:https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbransonhttp://bit.ly/1Nr68eU (Bill Gates) and http://bit.ly/1PqwfQQ (Arianna Huffington).

When you post your own thoughts, you can add images, but keep them all on brand and show the world what your ideas and business is all about.

Above all, it is always best to use all three of the above platforms but… make sure your content is different on each one, or you might find that you disconnect with your relevant audiences and are delivering no value.

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