Native Marketing

By on May 4, 2015 in Marketing

Native marketing is a term that Gary Vaynerchuk made popular in his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” The term describes how social media marketing must be customized for each platform. As you can imagine, becoming an expert on two or three platforms takes time and money, which are two resources that marketing departments rarely have in abundance. Yet if there is one lesson that you learn from native marketing, it should be that quality social media marketing requires time. There are nonative marketing shortcuts.

I’ve tried useless shortcuts myself. Scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to create one post and splash it across multiple platforms. We save time and reach more people, right? We’re geniuses! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Each platform is unique, which is why it can thrive in competition against the others. As distinct entities, they have their own languages and codes of conduct. You’ll rarely find success by copying and pasting content between your accounts. You’ve got to tailor it at least, and come up with completely different strategies at best.

For example, Twitter and Instagram are havens for hashtags. A similar quantity of hashtags on Facebook or LinkedIn would annoy users. But before you share hashtag-friendly content between Twitter and Instagram, remember that your soft sell on Instagram will be chopped off at 140 characters on Twitter. You can get away with a tweet without an image but an Instagram post with no image—well, that simply doesn’t exist. See the dilemma? And those are just the basics.

We’ve got to take the time to learn the best uses for each platform. Then we’ve got to learn how users speak to one another in their respective communities. We must re-evaluate what good marketing looks like. No $899.99 per mo. price tags should be splashed across your images on any of these platforms. We’re decades away from the tried-and-true techniques of print ads.

By now, you’ve figured out that a part-time social media marketing expert will limit your success. Long-term brands require full-time efforts. It’s worth the investment because this is the future of digital marketing.

Whether you’re dedicating a full-time or part-time effort, we’ve got a cheat sheet to help you decode the audiences and languages of five popular platforms. This is the first step in native marketing where you learn how to speak and to whom you are speaking.



Demographic: 71 percent of all internet users have a Facebook account. This platform successfully appeals to the broadest range and most even distribution of users among gender, race, and age.

Notable Characteristics: If you pick only one social media platform, this should be it! It combines the most favorable characteristics of its competitors into one, user-friendly app.

Link Friendly: Yes

Hashtags? Sparse

Media Types: Text, single images, multiple images, collages, videos of 1024 MB or 20 minutes



Demographic: 23 percent of internet users check in with Twitter each day. It’s a younger crowd ages 18-29 with a fair split between ethnicities.

Notable Characteristics: Brief text restrictions make it possible for users to access tons of info on their news feeds in a short amount of time. This means that you need more content, since a single post can be buried in less than 15 minutes if it doesn’t immediately garner attention.

Link Friendly: Yes

Hashtags? Absolutely

Media Types: 140-character text, single image, video up to 30 seconds



Demographic: More than half of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-29. The platform is very popular among African Americans and Latinos, with minorities comprising nearly 60 percent of users.

Notable Characteristics: This image-dominant platform champions beautiful pictures with a human touch. Unlike Pinterest, this is the place for pictures with a moderately amateur feel. For example, Instagram is where celebrities offer the less-polished version of their personas rather than enhanced or altered images.

Link Friendly? No links are permitted in posts. Only a single link is accommodated in user profiles.

Hashtags? Absolutely

Media Types: A single image with a 1:1 aspect ratio, multiple images within a 1:1 collage, or video of less than 15 seconds in length.



Demographic: LinkedIn is used by professionals of all ages and ethnicities, though it is most popular with adults ages 30-64.

Notable Characteristics: This is the most conservative platform on the market, and perhaps the only one where vectors and stock photos stand a chance of thriving. Many companies use LinkedIn to build their network of existing and potential clients and employees rather than market products and services.

Link Friendly? Yes

Hashtags? Not ideal

Media Types: Text, single image. Video discontinued in 2014



Demographic: 42 percent of women on the internet use Pinterest. 32 percent of users are white and between the ages of 18-29.

Notable Characteristics: This is where the most professional, flawless images reign. Pinterest images are about worshipping ideals; if the image looks amateur, it won’t survive. This is also where users are known to have disposable income to push your way.

Link Friendly? Yes

Hashtags? Rare. Pinterest relies on keywords in Board labels

Media Types: single images, multiple images, text, and video of 10MB or 10 minutes in length