Brands may find that their money audience spends time on different networks, but they have to create distinct content to resonate with qualified leads.

The term “social media marketing” refers to a broad range of activities, none more important to marketers than building relationships between customers and brands. Something brands need to remember when embarking on social campaigns is that no two networks forge connections the same way, and that’s particularly true of media-savvy Millennial. According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, it’s possible to quantify the types of behaviors consumers exhibit on different channels.

The research looked at the reasons young customers engage with brands on social. It turns out the number one motivation when it comes to Facebook is to show support for a brand (84 percent). Customers also looked for regular updates from companies they follow (83 percent), but slightly fewer were driven by a desire for coupons and discounts (66 percent).

Compare this to Twitter:

 78 percent engage to support brands
 47 percent want to receive regular updates  
 85 percent of Twitter users engage with brands for coupons and discounts.

 Pinterest also had an interesting breakdown:

 70 percent follow brands to show support
 76 percent connect with brands simply to share interests and lifestyles with others (compared with 40 percent for Facebook and 35 percent for Twitter).

That’s a network of a different color

Publishing content and encouraging engagement is different on separate social networks. While business updates might be well-received on Facebook, Twitter users might not be as interested. In contrast, a Twitter follower might love straight-up promotional posts, while Facebook users may not be as intrigued. And Pinterest is clearly about followers’ connections as the customers themselves, so brands need to take this into account when creating a strategy.

Here’s an example for yet another network: Google+. Our client in the finance industry was already sharing content on social media, but it wasn’t sure how to tailor the strategy to individual channels, such as Google+, where it was getting high-quality leads already.

We suggested customizing the content for the G+ audience. How? By searching for relevant Groups. These are where people go to talk and share resources. We used social listening to hone the subject matter of blog posts and subsequently found highly specific groups where we could share these pieces. Google+ page visits shot up 1,200 percent, and referral traffic to the homepage from this network spiked.

 Our understanding of how customer behavior and intent changes from channel to channel paid big dividends, and this same careful approach needs to be carried over to other social media marketing networks if brands are going to successfully engage with their most valuable leads online.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.