How To Speak The Language of Each Social Media Platform

I would be very confused if I went to Russia by myself.  Not from the sights, because it’s one of the most advanced countries in the world, but because I don’t speak social media languagethe language.  I wouldn’t be able to go to someone and ask for directions to a certain place if I wasn’t sure where it was, I wouldn’t be able to order unless the person that waited on me could actually understand me.

That’s the same idea when you go to each popular social media platform.  Someone that speaks German cannot have dialogue with someone that speaks French.  Communication is key in getting people to understand your point and where you’re coming from, and if you don’t have that when you post your updates in social media, then you’re basically speaking a foreign language.

So if communication is key, and you don’t speak the language, then, like me in a foreign country, you stand among a crowd of people that know something you don’t.

Let’s begin.

Learning the Language

When I say “Language”, I simply mean the concepts, that have been tried and trusted by influential people of these social platforms, that work well for the whole group.

Right before Ryan Hanley and I did our Dominate Google Plus Hangout we talked about where I was from (Southwest VA) and where he was from (New York), and how our accents would be like Yin and Yang to the people watching! Now what I would call a “holler” he would call a “valley”. Same thing, different language. This is what I mean in social media. How you approach things in your updates makes a difference. One small tweak can make a light bulb come on in someone’s head.

What is the language of social media?

While there are many ways to build an update on social media, there is only one language for your niche.

The language is the same. The niche may be different but the concept is still there. Social media is the communication playground where you can build your integrity on the updates you write and/or share in order to help people. My friend John Paul Aguiar spelled it out for us in his recent article called The 5 Fingers To Learning Social Media when he said this:

Social Media at it’s core is very share and get shared and talk to people and you do that on a regular basis.. there you go… you are now a Social Media expert!

What John is telling us is that the roots of social media start with the language process and communication to others.  Whether you are having dialogue with a friend or colleague, or simply trying to help someone, language is helping others and being friendly.

The Soap Box Mentality

social media languageUnfortunately, we all have this at one point in our career.  This is something that I just came up with while writing this post because we have all heard the term “shouting from our soap boxes”, meaning that we want everyone to hear only us.  It’s embarrassing and I understand totally how you’re feeling about those days in the past when all you did was share your content and nothing else.

You took the competition seriously and therefore felt like anything you were sharing for someone else was giving them free advertising on your social stream.  Why should you have to share a person that already has a huge following and is really influential?  They don’t need any  more help.

But the soap box mentality means that all you’re doing is blasting your own content out into social media space.  You’re not communicating with anyone, you’re not interacting with anyone, you’re like a man I know that preaches at colleges.  He screams his own beliefs and theories at the kids without listening to their beliefs and viewpoints.  He has ‘tunnel vision’ and seems to think that only his ideals are the one’s that should be listened to.

Social media is a give, give, and give scenario.  There is only “take” when someone actually gives you something to take away from that situation.  Understanding that your blog, while it’s good to promote, should not be the only thing you promote on different platforms.

The Dialect of Social Media

Each social site has a certain dialect, or way the language is spoken to get the information out to maximize the potential of interaction and helpfulness.  What works on Twitter usually doesn’t work on Google Plus.  What works on G+, definitely doesn’t work on Facebook.  You have to learn the “lingo” before you can get the desired effect out of your updating.

People are more likely to respond when you take the time to fill out your G+ update with a description of what the article is about, what they will learn, and what your opinion about the article is. In doing it this way, you’re not pushing your opinions on the reader, but simply showing them your point of view after the fact that you have stated what the article is about in either a quote or an excerpt form of writing. By keeping this opinion educated and interesting it attracts a form of communication on G+ that you could never get on Facebook.

Understanding which forms of dialect work with each social platform is the key to bringing out the most interaction and therefore the most communication. When communication is formed, understanding and coherence has been made available to that person. When it is not made clear then you leave the people confused and wondering what you are trying to say to them. In social media, this could actually be a bad thing. When you are not communicating correctly and you do it consistently, people will tend to get fed up with what you’re trying to say to them.

Learning the language is one of the hard parts of an effective social media strategy. Once you have figured out the correct way in which to communicate, then you have to understand how to assertively engage with the readers. There is more to just throwing up your update and saying “Check this out” to your followers.

Talking The Talk

I am by no means a professional at any of this. So that’s why I’ve got the advice of some more experienced on Google Plus than I to tell you what they think communication and language in social media adhere’s to on this platform. Please expand the post to see everything and then read their responses.

You have to speak the language of your followers to get their attention. What appeals to them? What draws them to your update and eventually your site? Is it the extension of friendship and building relationships? Is it helping people, above all else, with an answer to a question they have, even if it means re-directing them away from your site?

Making the right social language is what it’s all about in determining your success online. In the end, communication builds relationships, relationships build interaction and responsibility, and relationships usually lead to a more intimate friendship, friendships, in turn, lead to opportunities.

What are you saying on social media? Even if it feels like you’re not getting any attention, then that means you’re saying the wrong thing. People ARE paying attention to you. You’ve just not said anything of importance to grab them yet. Forget what’s important to you, and build on what is important to them. Do that and you have gotten a good start on breaking through the language barrier that is between you and your follower.

My name is Wade Harman. I’m a full time blogger with a degree in Psychology. I show you how to spark an emotional reaction, get people’s attention, and encourage them to take action!

Let me help you drive targeted traffic through social media strategies that I have researched and use myself!

Let me coach you and see how my strategies in social media can help YOU drive targeted traffic!

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Google+ Comments


  1. Great post Wade.. and TY for adding my post too :)

    Social media is not hard, what is hard is learning how to share your message in the right way, and learning the ins and outs of each platform, just like marketing to to a woman is very different than the way you would market to a man.

    Each social platform has it’s own flow, they are not hugely different, but they are different.

    Great stuff Wade.

    • You got that right John! Social media isn’t that hard, but there are little things that we need to remember to get the most out of each update. Thanks for coming!

  2. Hey Wade, this is a great topic for discussion. When I started out Twitter lingo was something that made me struggle. And because of that I opted Facebook and recently Google+ for my marketing strategy. Only very recently I have started peeking into Twitter again!

    Given that social media is all noisy and spammy, sending out selfish updates and hoping it will be heard is stupid. And I totally agree with Mike’s Google+ comment. Finding out voice and making it resonate with your target audience matter a lot :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    • I agree Jane, there are lots of social media platforms that speak different language and we are responsible for learning them in order to be successful.

  3. Being on a particular social site means, understanding every new move that community is making..

    I still remember when I first joined facebook in 2008, the only thing i used to do was just to click on something and figure out what exactly it was, then the communities seemed to be different (as I came from orkut),

    But giving a dedicated amount of time, no doubt you, me and anyone can learn a lot and “Speak the language of social media”

  4. Hey Wade
    So true! Of course with Twitter and its 140 chars, it is very obvious you have to do things differently. But Facebook and G+ are quite similar in the ways things are presented (an image, a headline, a post summary) but the people and they way things work are very different indeed.
    it does take some time to realise this and to stop shouting out out message because one or two are listening!
    thanks for the post

  5. Hi Wade,

    Great tips! Get off the soapbox! Speak messages which are important to your friends to become more popular. Serve, prosper.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. Given that social media is all noisy and spammy, sending out selfish updates and hoping it will be heard is stupid. And I totally agree with Mike’s Google+ comment. Finding out voice and making it resonate with your target audience matter a lot :)