While having dinner a few nights ago with family friends, I took the golden opportunity to chat up their 15 year old son on his preference for social networking sites. Sure, he has a MySpace and Facebook page. “Do you tweet?” I asked. He stopped a moment, “do I what?” I was puzzled and tried to explain the recent phenomenon. “Do you, you know, ‘tweet’? It’s a micro blog on this site called Twitter…” I could see he had no clue as to what I was talking about. His preference was, in fact, Facebook.
Moving up into the next target market, personal friends of mine roughly ages 24-29 who have otherwise abandoned their MySpace sites in favor of communicating on Facebook. Is it for the cleaner interface? Or the ability to network amongst a foundation of college-based individuals? Whatever the reason, it seems the grass is looking greener on the other side.
As for me, I maintain a presence amongst these popular sites, but have recently tailored my postings. For example, I wiped out all profile information on my MySpace page in favor of creating a profile full of photos highlighting the places I’ve traveled and exciting things I’ve done. I communicate with many of my real friends through Facebook where my profile page reflects a slightly more intimate “me” yet still simplified with pictures, info and posts on my wall. As for LinkedIn, I’m all about it. I recently added my blog to my page and included a handful of great books I’ve read.
For anyone reading this from a branding perspective and wondering, “where should I be?” or “what social networking site is best for my brand?” Think about your target market first. Think about why they would be on a particular social networking site (consider the values, activities and benefits offered) and then find a creative, constructive and intuitive way for consumers to interact with your brand. But don’t think you have to “tweet” just because everyone else is doing it. Because news flash: your target market may not even be participating in that space.