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By Adam Vincenzini, Social Media
While on holidays in Australia recently, I spent a lot of time telling my mates about Social Media (for the record, they were genuinely interested…well, they appeared to be anyway…).
However, their faces did go blank when I mentioned certain platforms that I, and my clients use, on a daily basis i.e. tumblr (my Dad was convinced I was trying to sell him a washer / dryer…anyway, I digress…).
So, one of the ways I got around this knowledge barrier was using the good old ‘personality types’ analogy for each platform i.e. if Twitter was a person, it would says lots of little things, very regularly, and be incredibly distracting.
It turns out that this struck a chord with most people and helped them understand the role of each element within the Social Media Mix, so I’ve reproduced this guide for you as I thought it might come in handy one day.
If you were a Social Media platform, which one would you be?
Definition: A Blog is (predominantly) a personal online journal that is updated frequently and intended for general public consumption, which is often used by the author(s) as an opportunity to develop ‘thought-leadership’ in relation to a particular subject.
If it was a person: A deep thinker. It wouldn’t talk very often, but when it did, people would generally listen closely as it was saying something well researched, detailed, and lengthy. It would often instigate discussions based on the points he / she raised.
Tumblr / Posterous
Definition: If a Blog is a journal, then Tumblr (or Posterous) is a scrapbook. A fast way to share links, photos and videos without the bells and whistles of a full-blown Blog.
If it was a person: Less instigator, more agitator / contributor. This person might latch onto a hot topic instigated by someone else, and add a bit more fuel / different perspective to that original view. Alternatively, this person might be a ‘hoarder’ (in the a positive way), keeping a handy public log of information relevant to them / their friends.
(Note: This is / was my favourite one to ‘translate’…you’ll see why…)
Definition: Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets. Twitter members can broadcast tweets and follow other users’ tweets by using multiple platforms and devices. Tweets and replies to tweets can be sent by cell phone text message, desktop client or by posting at the Twitter.com website.
(I’ve deliberately used this very formal definition from whatis.com to give you an idea of how ‘unfriendly’ some official definitions can be…especially to the uninitiated)
If it was a person: It’d be a ‘chatterbox’ – an extremely talkative person who is quite often informal and can, on occasion, be trivial. However, he or she can use this approach to his / her advantage by initially communicating in ‘bite size’ chunks, before leading to more in-depth discussions and longer-term engagement.
Facebook, YouTube, foursquare, LinkedIn and more?
So, what do you think? Does ‘personifying’ each platform help explain its role / use?
I always think it’s much more fun when everyone plays along, so I’ve provided the very ‘formal’ definitions for four more platforms below – why don’t you have a shot at ‘personifying’ them in the comment box…or re-characterizing the ones I’ve used as examples…
As always, a palatable definition makes the next two phases of any communications plan (developing and delivering) a whole lot easier.