(Creative commons licensed from Flickr user Mallix./Your brand can play different roles on different social media platforms.)

On Small Business is introducing a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.

Q: What kind of updates go on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others?

Eric Bahn, founder of Beat the GMAT:

My team does lots of cross-posting among LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook — however, the way we present the exact same content changes depending on the social media platform:

We consider LinkedIn to be more of a serious, professional social network.  Thus, we tend to have a more formal style of writing updates on this service.  Generally, we don’t think that LinkedIn members come to the site for social purposes — they want to receive updates that are meaningful for their careers and/or education.  So keeping this in mind, we try to frame our updates in ways that are relevant to careers and education.

On the opposite extreme of LinkedIn you’ll find Twitter.  Our team views Twitter to be an extremely casual social media platform—140 character updates naturally promotes updates to be pithy and fun.  On Twitter, our team tries to be very experimental with our updates.  Some of our updates are serious, but for most updates we try to be slightly irreverent and have fun.  For Twitter, the ultimate goal for us is to write a pithy update that compels the reader to click on a link we include on a tweet.

Finally, our team considers Facebook to be a hybrid community of LinkedIn and Twitter.  Our company has a very large Facebook group following that attracts serious-minded business people, but we do understand that people usually come to Facebook for social purposes first and foremost.  Thus, the style of our updates here are much more conversational.  We try to speak to our group members as if we were college acquaintances — not too formal, but not too edgy either.

Stephanie Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of HerCampus:

At Her Campus, we are careful to differentiate the content we post to each of our social media platforms.  Our goal is for our audience to follow us on all platforms — our main Web site, Facebook, Twitter, our e-mail newsletter and more — so it’s important that they have incentive to commit to us on each platform because they know we’re delivering up something unique there that can’t be found anywhere else. 

While all platforms are used to promote our main site, another main priority of our social media is to cultivate our ties with our readers, build our brand image and foster a supportive community among our “collegiettes.”  Twitter is great for posting short (of course) nuggets that scream to be retweeted, thereby connecting with our followers and using them to further spread our brand. 

Facebook is fantastic for interacting with our fans and conducting mini “market research” projects, often by posing a question and asking for comments, and for creating a community that feels connected to one another via “Like this if...” type statuses.  We then use our “HC Study Break” e-mail newsletter to deliver fresh, unique content like flash giveaways, exclusive deals, content that can’t be found on our Web site and shopping recommendations that give our readers an incentive to let us into their inbox and not just onto their computer screen.


Jake Kloberdanz, founder and CEO of ONEHOPEWine:

At ONEHOPE, we really only use Twitter and Facebook for communicating to our supporters.  We cross post between the two sites once in a while, but tend to put a lot more energy into Facebook. Our posts on Twitter are more announcements and direct messages, where the Facebook posts tend to open up dynamic conversations with our community.