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Why The Dolly Parton Challenge Matters

Why the Dolly Parton Challenge matters

It spread like wildfire! Dolly Parton uploaded a post to Instagram depicting a profile image of herself across four different popular social media channels and within hours, people started to copy her. It was an easy challenge: choosing four photos of yourself, each reflecting how you might present yourself on the various apps; namely LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder. And the memes flooded our timelines.

Insight:

What’s fascinating is that instinctively, people “got it”. They understood that on each of the platforms, we do present ourselves quite differently. On LinkedIn, we’re professional followed mostly by work colleagues and networks, on Facebook we’re surrounded by our family & friends, on Instagram, we’re carefully staged behind glossy filters and then on Tinder, well, first impressions last and showing just enough skin to get that swipe left? Or is it right? 

It does beg the question that if users know the difference, why do so many brands post the same message on each of the different platforms. Often, it’s a copied & paste attempt. Or even worse, using a scheduling tool where hashtags from Instagram are pulled through to Facebook, adding no value. The same message is shared across each platform with the same tone and image. It’s lazy. It makes no sense and it’s missing the opportunity to maximise each platform’s unique attributes to its advantage.

If users hopscotch from one app to the next and present themselves differently on each, then it’s up to brands to understand their content needs on each platform and respond accordingly.

Recommendation:

Treat each platform differently. Understand the pros and cons. Create conversations on each one as if you were talking face-to-face with that person and not broadcasting.

Know that users are expecting a different experience from each one. Ask yourself: what experience am I giving them in this environment? If you know your customer’s pain points and speak to them in a language they understand, you’re almost there.

Likewise, when it comes to personal branding, it’s important to know that how you present yourself on any social media platform will either build or destroy your reputation. It doesn’t matter how different Dolly Parton looks in each of these four photos because of her reputation as being an award-winning much-loved Country & Western singer is what she is known for. And with branding, this is what matters.

Did you play along and create your own Dolly Parton Challenge meme? Tag me in your post so that I can see it!

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