In the world of magazines, designers view readers as members of a tribe. Consider your social networking the same way.
It has to do with knowing your audience. There’s a big difference between the audiences of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You wouldn’t write a press release when you want a billboard. And you wouldn’t produce a short video if you want the local newspaper at your press conference.
Share the book that you’re reading on goodreads and the news you’re reading on Digg. It’s the basics: Pick the right medium to send your message to the target audience – so identify your target audience.
That means that your profile – or your profiles on different networks – each talk to a different tribe. You might meet people on Twitter but reconnect with old friends on Facebook while networking on LinkedIn. Build a separate audience on each profile or at least understand what your connections want when they connect with you on different networks. Don’t send direct mail when a phone call will do. And don’t treat each network as a chamber for your same words to echo around in. Find a way to make each profile useful and unique or save your time and just use one spot.
One of my friends posted advice handed out on The Today Show during the weekend: “Build something meaningful and choose friends wisely.” It’s a good thing to keep in mind – focus on your audience. Do it online and offline. That way you’ll encourage your tribe to listen to its chief – you.