The Big Difference Between Platforms

tortoise not a turtleI came across this screenshot of a text conversation several weeks ago.

As you can tell, it’s a really well meaning kid who was just trying to help. Unfortunately he didn’t know that tortoises generally can’t swim. They don’t have webbed feet like aquatic turtles and if they fall into a body of water, they will sink to the bottom and drown. Even though turtles and tortoises do look similar, this kid didn’t know enough to see the difference between the two. And in this situation, the tortoise’s lack of webbed feet was a significant difference.

Some churches and organizations approach their social media platforms in the same way as this well meaning kid. They lump them all into one category, create content under the assumption that it will all work the same, and are a bit surprised when they send it out and it doesn’t “swim”.

The big difference is in the language of each platform. 

Think of it like this…

Your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are separate communities of people. Each community has it’s own way of communicating—it’s own language. So if you want your content to be clearly understood on a platform, you have to translate it to the native language.

Gay Vaynerchuck talks about it as understanding the psychology behind social media. It’s knowing that Instagram users have a native language that includes adventurous images and capturing spontaneous points of view. Pinterest users have a native language that includes DIY content. Twitter users have a short-hand language while Facebook users speak natively through a mixture of images, video, and text.

It takes time and a lot of hard work to become a native speaker on any social media platform. But when you get it and your content is finally being translated correctly, you’ll start to see what a big difference it makes to really understand the language between platforms.

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