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The Dance Among Social Platforms
LinkedIn + Twitter = A Winning Combination

August 2015
Colleen McKenna is a LinkedIn specialist, a speaker with Vistage International, and the principal of Intero Advisory, helping business professionals use technology to grow their business. Contact her at or www.linkedin/in/colleenmckenna.

Colleen McKenna is a LinkedIn specialist, a speaker with Vistage International, and the principal of Intero Advisory, helping business professionals use technology to grow their business. Contact her at or www.linkedin/in/colleenmckenna.

We are inundated with social media. Every conference, networking event, water cooler conversation and even your summer family reunion will include at least one major conversation about social media. It’s a social junkie’s nirvana. But sometimes, enough already. Sometimes too much is simply too much. How do you choose the platforms that make the most sense for you and your business? What will work, where should you invest your dollars … and, how much?

It’s an endless barrage of questions. Do you leverage the largest platforms (Facebook) and fight the noise? Do you jump into an emerging platform like Periscope or Meerkat and be a bigger fish in a little pond?

I’ve come to learn the value of constraints. Choose less, conquer more.

Just recently, a new round of stats popped in to my Inbox from Business Insider:
• Pinterest has tremendous reach among women. Among U.S. female Internet users, 42% reported being on Pinterest in Pew’s late-2014 survey, compared to only 13% of men.
• Instagram has become the most important and most-used social network for U.S. teens. 32% of U.S. teenagers cited it as their most important social network in Piper Jaffray’s twice-annual teen survey, compared to only 14% saying that of Facebook.
• LinkedIn enjoys high adoption among highly educated and high-income users. LinkedIn is used by 44% of Americans with income of $75,000 or more, according to Pew.
• Messaging apps also have become more broadly popular, but still skew young: 7% of all people in the U.S. aged 12 and older use WhatsApp, according to the Edison Research and Triton Digital survey.
• The aging of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest is more apparent than ever. That’s especially true of Facebook: Less than two-fifths of Facebook’s adult user base in the U.S. is aged 18 to 34, according to comScore.

Rather than drown you in statistics, let’s consider two platforms that, while small compared to Facebook, are among the Big Three: LinkedIn and Twitter. In fact, I think they play well together. Let’s consider their positioning independently and in combination.

Weber Shandwick’s most recent CEO study, “Socializing Your CEO: From Marginal to Mainstream” reveals the following:
• As of 2015, CEOs have found their social footing. Our research finds that eight in 10 CEOs (80%) are now engaged online and via social media, a rate which has more than doubled since Weber Shandwick first began tracking the social activities of CEOs in 2010 (36%).
• The research also finds that the visual influence of corporate video is fast-becoming a standard form of communication for top executives
(54%), and social network usage has now hit a record high (28%).
• LinkedIn and Twitter are the preferred platforms for CEOs.

Forbes recently wrote a post, “Twitter Overtakes LinkedIn As No. 1 Social Media Site For Salespeople.” I read it several times before I actually understood the nuance: Twitter ranked slightly more valuable than LinkedIn when it came to sales prospecting.

The keyword is prospecting. Twitter, with approximately 302 million members, is an enormous playground for action and interaction. It is amplification and aggregation, all in one. It’s not as personal as LinkedIn, so it’s a great place to begin your search for new opportunities. Using hashtags to filter your interests around people and topics allows you to hone in and disengage from the platform’s noise. I hone in on the track that interests me and benefit from wicked smart people writing and discussing relevant information. I learn more on Twitter than any other platform. It takes getting used to though. Finding and following people clues a person in on how to begin a relevant conversation. From Twitter, LinkedIn becomes a natural next step.

I recently followed a social sales leader on Twitter. She is well respected, our messaging similar and on the same page philosophically. Once I followed her on Twitter, she sent me a message to connect on LinkedIn, which led to a phone conversation that has subsequently led her to inviting me to join her new online project, What’s interesting about this sequence is that we both understood what to do next. Odd as that may seem, it’s the difference between thinking about the idea of dance and knowing how to dance. It’s being comfortable taking the step.

LinkedIn is my hub, my natural platform. I use LinkedIn to stay in tune with my smaller, more engaged network. What I post on LinkedIn via my updates, posts (long form) or Company Page go to Twitter as well. When these tweets hit Twitter, I see another wave of interest from an entirely different group of people; the larger network of followers. This network is comprised of younger, more tech savvy individuals who are, for the most part, social media professionals or enthusiasts.

Use the platform that makes the most sense to you. If you hear other CEOs talking about LinkedIn, take that as a clue. Then really focus on understanding LinkedIn’s best practices.

Once you feel comfortable with LinkedIn and its capabilities, consider adding Twitter as a way to amplify your individual and company’s messaging and posts to a larger audience. Watch what happens. If nothing happens, you need to learn why. Although Twitter is not the largest platform, it’s value for B2B exists and, combined with LinkedIn, increases your ability to be strategic.

If you engage on social wisely, you will always be reaching new audiences – new audiences who may turn out to need your products or services. You are already social. You just need to decide to be social in a digital world. Be a contrarian no more and use the tools that amplify your business to current and new audiences. I95