From the Biz Corner: Why People Share on Certain Social Networks
We would be remiss if we did not point out that via the proliferation of social media, people have been forced to develop different versions of themselves. Maybe not fully baked out versions, but let’s say slight variations of their actual self based on the need of the social platform at hand.
And with this increasing fragmentation of the social stratosphere, there have been advanced anthropological changes amongst consumers and how they apply different behaviors within each of the mediums, depending upon the actual utility of the social platform they are engaging. Wow, that was a mouthful.
So why do consumers choose to interact differently across social platforms? Let’s take a look at the biggest players and try to understand why they have not only been successful for the people interacting with the platforms, but also for the marketers who are looking to speak to different audiences in an authentic way.
Twitter: Twitter has become synonymous with abbreviated news headlines, and frankly, it answers exactly what we need to know about what we want to know about. Since March 2006 Twitter has taken the news headline that we all have become accustomed to, and made it much faster. The user gets to include the right information in their feed that is appropriate to their personal needs. The other fantastic benefit to Twitter is that it is easily measurable and many of our partners use it to see exactly who is talking about what and at what amplification level. A variety of metrics can be used to measure this noise, but primarily we see metrics like retweets and hashtags being the gold standard of the Twitter conversation.
Instagram: Instagram is emblematic of what we all want our lives to be. With over 300 million users, it is visual, beautiful and allows the user to tell stories and share them across their audience of followers. Why do we think Instagram has staying power? There is no better visual fabric that allows people to give a glimpse into their lives without revealing too much. The reason we love the shareability of Instagram is because the user gets to decide how much or how little they share with others and moreover, it is completely curated. So any story can be told. And the power of creative freedom is a palpable proposition.
Facebook: The ultimate authority and the platform that has cemented the idea of sharing in society is Facebook. If it were not for the development of Facebook and other early platform adopters of shareability, the proliferation of social media would likely never have reached the critical mass that it has. Myspace, Friendster and Facebook all started with a simple idea. What if people could share their lives with one another in a digital way? It would take the idea of phone and mail communication and add a third dimension to, a qualitative and quantitative glimpse into the human experience.
In my own experience and social platform interaction, it is the things that we all want. I like to click on things that make me laugh and things that make me cry. I want to learn about new products and experiences and celebrate the successes and failures of the people around me. I want to be a part of our experience and continue to enhance it. And what better and quicker way than to do it through all of the social conversations that are taking place around me?
If I had one takeaway around the concept of sharing it is that everyone and every voice wants to be heard. It is the single most important facet of the human condition. It is our job as social marketers to fit organically into what that fabric is and come up with new and innovative ways to keep our voices new and different and also impact others by causes that are important to us. What is it that people want to hear about? What is it that they want to be told?