Working 9 to 5
We might only be just over halfway through the year but we already have a strong contender for the top meme of 2020, created by none other than Dolly Parton. She posted a four panel graphic meme consisting of pictures of her matched to four social media platforms. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder were the channels of choice, and each picture reflected the way people represent themselves on each of these channels. Professional for LinkedIn, family friendly for Facebook, cool for Instagram and sexy for Tinder.
The meme sparked thousands of tributes and really resonated with internet users who related to her depiction of the way we all express ourselves differently depending on who we're talking to and why. It sparked an interesting conversation in the office about whether using a different persona on each social media channel was a good idea, or whether this could lead to accusations of being fake or disingenuous.
For the average person it's completely normal to present a different version of yourself according which channel you are using, because actually the differences are very real; you're using LinkedIn to get a job, to make connections and to keep track on ex-colleagues and their new successes. No-one is using Tinder for that (at least, they shouldn't be!), so it's understandable that the persona you present will be very different, nor would you try and get a date using your LinkedIn profile (though some people try).
For a business the question is more complicated.We can take Tinder out of the equation here because, with the exception of some very niche businesses, it's not a marketing channel per se. LinkedIn can be a great way of marketing yourself and your business and for some industries; LinkedIn is the go-to channel for networking, promotion and even getting business through the door. Consultants, B2B companies and those selling professional services can get great leads and work through LinkedIn and of course, the way you present yourself on the platform plays a huge role in whether this works.
For all business a Facebook page is a minimum requirement nowadays, and with a demographically diverse user base it's vital to present as neutrally as possible (unless you're deliberately trying to start a debate). That's why Dolly Parton used a family friendly, inoffensive picture to represent this platform. An Instagram account is also suitable for businesses with physical items for sale (it's a little harder to take photos of consultancy in action) and is seen as a cooler version of Facebook which appeals to a younger demographic. That's why Parton used a picture of her looking young and cool to represent the channel.
Businesses that use both platforms would do well to stay consistent across both channels because this is a proven strategy for reinforcing brand perception and presenting a united, cohesive front to customers. A business that uses only one of the channels may decide to steer towards the expected presentation for that platform in order for it to make sense – using a cool, influencer style approach on Facebook won't be as well received as it would on Instagram and vice versa.
What it boils down to is the core message. As long as this is consistent across all channels we think it's a great idea to slightly tailor posts for each channel without losing the core message and values. In a way, it's like global marketing where you may be sending the same message but in different languages – when you translate there will always be slight nuances to the message that make it work in that language, or on that social channel, but the core message is the same.
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