In a recent Marketing News article, Michael Krauss urges marketers to recognize and tap into the nature and unique character of individual social media channels and their audiences. His advice echoes what communications expert Marshall McLuhan concluded back in the last century…that “the medium is the message.” True then and still true in today’s social media marketplace.

Krauss cautions us that treating social media as one undifferentiated channel by assuming that the same message can be equally effective in Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook is being myopic.

It fails to recognize that there are unique differences in why customers are accessing a particular social media venue. To quote Michael Krauss, understanding “why is a female on Pinterest at 8 p.m. at night” compared to why “she is going through Facebook on her mobile phone” say, at 10 a.m. can open the pathway to more channel-specific customer stories that target the differentiated sales opportunities.

RTi agrees. Much like usage occasion research, research on visitors to different social media channels can yield new, customer relevant insights and opportunities.