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Psychological Characteristics Behind Different Social Platforms



There are an unending number of factors to consider when creating a social media strategy. Once you start establishing content and audience strategies, determining goals, auditing your brand, and a number of other factors required to develop a complete strategy, you have to take into consideration that the same strategy won’t translate to it’s maximum effectiveness across platforms. There are different mindsets of users depending on whether you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever. Even the same individual will have different expectations from how they are being spoken to as they move from platform to platform. It is important to have an understanding of these expectations to best perform on your social media.


Freddy Facebook

 Freddy is there because that’s where his friends are. Whether they are actual friends or not is less important than the fact that the interactions that take place tend to resemble interactions between friends. It is a place to share interesting stories and stay in the know of what is going on with the people you want to know about. Content should be as relevant to the individual as it is entertaining and educational. Your content could easily be sitting above Freddy’s roommate from college getting engaged and this factor needs to be taken into consideration. Throughout Freddy’s feed, the news, announcements, and updates that appear will all be relevant to his personal interests because that is how Facebook has developed over time.


Isabelle Instagram

 Everyone knows that Instagram is visually focused. That’s table stakes at this point. The best Instagram accounts will chase higher level concepts to really succeed on the platform. Firstly, Isabelle is looking for inspiring, positive content. Negativity in any form would come off as jarring and intensified in this context. Authenticity is a coinciding and equally important characteristic your account needs to embody. Pushing products and sales will be out of place and likely result in a follower exodus. Isabelle starts and ends her day with this platform because between the account that posts inspirational quotes, the one with cute baby animals, and the one of her favorite movie star, Instagram gives her a particular feeling that she has carefully cultivated through who she follows. She doesn’t have the huge number of “friends” that she does on Facebook but rather has a stream of what she likes to see. It is important to keep in mind that Isabelle’s Instagram feed gives her a particular feeling and fitting into that is no simple task.


Tyler Twitter

 The biggest factor that differentiates the Twitter mindset is interaction. Tyler will often jump into conversations with people he doesn’t have a personal relationship with such as celebrities and large brands. Not only will he speak to them, he expects a reply. Tyler will use Twitter to voice his opinions about brands and expects to use it as a customer service channel. Additionally, Twitter is seen as a breaking news source. Whether it’s live tweeting an event or getting information as soon as it drops, Twitter is Tyler’s source for up to the minute info.


Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all present different obstacles to forming a cohesive strategy but at the same time, creates a unique opportunity to connect with your audience in different ways. Since mindsets differ from platform to platform, tailoring your voice is necessary and if done well, can give you an advantage over all the noise that you have to compete with.


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Gary Thompson

Atlanta native and director of brand strategy at SociallyIn. Check out some of my work at

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