The Creative Director at the interactive agency where I last worked always ended his client interviews with the same question. “If you were a car, what brand would you be?” The question was guaranteed to elicit some interesting answers and insights into the client’s company.
Now, as I talk to my clients about their social media publicity strategies they are often confused. Many times they do not know the differences between the various social media channelss and they do not know how social media will help them build their brand. To get back to the car analogy, just as Detroit has its “The Big Three” automakers, here is my “Big Three” of social media: LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter.
Always sleek and professional this is the business person’s web site. Headhunters abound here and everyone wants to put their best foot forward. Make sure the car is finely tuned with a good waxing before you take it out. Pristine professional photos and resumes only. Conversations are like those heard in the executive lunch room: books, articles that you’re reading, professional groups you’re a part of and business trips you plan to take.
Facebook: VW Bug
The windows are down and you’ve got one too many friends crammed in the back of the Beetle. It’s a sunny day and you’re out having fun. You stop to play some games and swap photos at all the tourist sites. Everyone is chatting away in the car and enjoying the ride. (Note: You can be more serious on FB through business fan pages, etc. but generally FB is about reconnecting with your buddies.)
twitter: Honda Ninja (no cars allowed!)
twitter is all about speed and getting to where you have to go in 140 characters or less. There is no time for playing games, no room for error as you maneuver your bike through curvy business highways. On twitter you can see far out in the distance as you navigate the winding roads. The flexibility and freedom enables you to follow others caravan style and lets others follow you. You can stop and get off wherever you want. If you want something to drink, follow the beverage folks. If you want to drive to San Diego, follow the California crowd. It’s your trip, your bike and you get to pick the route.
Maybe one of these is better for you than the others. Perhaps you’ll need and use all three as I do. Here’s wishing you the best of luck on your journey!
I really like these metaphors for the social media. As you and I discussed, too many people jump straight to the “How will I find the time” question before understanding ‘why’ they should be leveraging these tools. Thanks for being in our heads and helping us with the ‘why!’