Many think of social media as a channel but every marketer should remember that each platform is very different and requires different requirements.

We need to understand why they are different and how they work.

Let’s look at the most popular social media channels and what should be considered.

1. Facebook
The majority of businesses are on Facebook and some just use it for brand awareness and others are driving conversions from it. Whichever you’re doing you should consider these points:

Marketing V Engagement: Remember that posts that ask questions and encourage responses will generate more likes and comments then general posts with links and pictures.

Likes and Comments: The more likes and comments, increases its relevance score by Facebook. The more a page is seen as relevant by Facebook.

Remember where your posts will be viewed: Most fans will view your posts on their walls rather than your brand page.

Keep it Short: The best Facebook posts that get the highest engagements are short and concise. Just think that when you view your wall you scan rather then read.

Timing Is Everything: Sending messages are the right time is crucial for high engagement. Test different times and analysis the analytics for the best results.

Measure and Measure Again: Just like any marketing channel you need to measure results and understand how much budget should be allocated to future campaigns.

2. Twitter
Twitter is used more for by business involved in B2B sales, but it can be very useful for customer service, branding and engagement. You can leverage the power of twitter with its 140 characters by:

Having a Strategy: You need to think about strategy on every social network. But, with Twitter, it seems more important. It’s OK to have more than one Twitter account (one for service, marketing, education, etc.), and that will help make sure messages are relevant for each account, respectively.

Engaging in the Channel: It’s tempting to think of Twitter as a blast of content, but it’s really a one-to-one channel. Be prepared for individuals to challenge or respond to a Twitter post as they contribute to the conversation.

Be Ready to Respond: Not responding to a direct message on Twitter is different from not responding on Facebook, in that messages sent through Twitter were probably directed to the accountholder to begin with. On Facebook, it’s all about community. But, on Twitter, it’s likely the customer is looking for an accountholder (the brand) to respond.

Keep it Short: It’s best to keep messages even shorter than 140 characters. Allow followers to “retweet” content by giving them room. Try to keep tweets to 110 characters.

Hashtags Rule: Hashtags are a way of organizing content because users choose how to see their Twitter content by looking at hashtags. This works for brands in two ways—it allows content to appear to new people who are tracking or searching on the topic, and it can lead to new followers on an account as a result. Hashtags are single words, but you can run several words together, like “#DigitalMarketing.” See what is trending on Twitter or look at sites like to help choose appropriate hashtags.

Create a Voice: A brand can have fun with Twitter. Consider creating some personalities who can leverage the channel. Like all social media, be transparent, but also keep it real.

3. Google+
Much of what has already been said can apply to Google+, and brands are still finding their way in the channel. One additional element that can be leveraged on Google+ is natural search. Google intends to leverage social media even more in search results, so it stands to reason that what a brand says on Google+ might end up in Google’s natural search results.

4. LinkedIn
LinkedIn is used by most companies today in a variety of ways—for recruitment, company pages, groups and advertising. Marketers should think of their LinkedIn profiles as introductions to them—for prospective clients, customers and employees, in both consumer and B-to-B markets.

Company Pages: Make sure to include keywords for natural search in corporate profiles to ensure that the page appears in search listings. Include links to your primary site and other social properties of the brand.

Relevant Groups: If you choose to create a group, think about your communication strategy. LinkedIn groups can be very busy and interesting places, provided the host takes care of the community. Make sure group members aren’t advertising inappropriately. Post interesting and thought-provoking content. Find the sweet spot for conversation through testing and measurement—and, when interest generates conversation threads, do more of the same.

Marketing campaign content can be leveraged in different ways across social platforms. Try to keep things consistent, but do leverage the interesting ways each network can publish a message. It doesn’t matter where a customer is a brand’s message will come across in the way it is best received.