The differences between social media platforms and how to best leverage each network is important to understand when creating a marketing plan and go-to-market strategy. Two incredibly crucial platforms among the many out there are of course Twitter and LinkedIn. While the two networks are central to any marketing plan, they are very different in many ways and should not be confused.

Here are some primary differences between Twitter and LinkedIn and what you need to know as far as building your strategy:

Know where self promotion feels appropriate.

This might very well be my own take on the two platforms. but while using LinkedIn to update your network about your work, your company growth, and your team's accomplishments is acceptable, doing the same on Twitter is frowned upon.

Twitter has very low tolerance for self promotion and companies that use the platform to sell are quickly labeled as spammers and abusers. Of course, I am not implying that you should use LinkedIn for shameless self promotion either but on LinkedIn, people look for more professional updates and the tolerance for semi promotional material is significantly higher.

Understand what people are searching for on each platform.

What most people misunderstand about Twitter, LinkedIn, and social media in general is the power of search. While yes, the main call to action across all networks is to post, share, tweet, and update, the real power of these platforms is to search and engage.

The difference between Twitter and LinkedIn when it comes to searching and engaging is what you are searching for. With Twitter, the focus is on content, tweets, and topics while on LinkedIn, it is more powerful to search for companies and people with whom to connect.

Of course you can use both platforms to search for content and people but Twitter shines when searching for keywords and engaging with tweets and LinkedIn excels at finding relevant people in your industry with whom to connect.

See the difference between relationships on each website.

This is a crucial point that is often overlooked. Twitter is built from the ground up for unilateral relationships; a follower and a person being followed. LinkedIn, like Facebook, is more bilateral; a mutual connection.

Of course you can also follow people on LinkedIn, but that was an afterthought of the platform and is secondary to the way LinkedIn was designed from the get-go.

From a psychological perspective, a mutual connection is more meaningful and significant than just following someone and them not following you back. This is an important distinction and not one that should be ignored when tailoring the type of content you share on the two platforms.

LinkedIn communication is very different than casual tweeting.

This point is debatable, but the casual everyday content like pictures of your food or selfies are better suited for Twitter than LinkedIn. I am not saying you have to only post pictures of your food on Twitter, nor am I saying that the occasional selfie on LinkedIn is a crime, but remember that LinkedIn is a more professional network and Twitter is more short form casual communication.

Video is where it's at, but not all platforms have understood that yet.

At this point, there is no debating that video will become a main content format over the next year or two. It probably won't even take that long. Having said that, video should be used very differently based on the platform on which you are sharing it.

I might be oversimplifying when I say that LinkedIn, under the ownership of Microsoft, has clearly prioritized long form high quality video, while Twitter not only limits you in time, it also compresses the quality of video, making it less engaging and impressive than on other platforms.

Maybe Twitter will change its video capabilities in the near future as the format grows in popularity, but for now, high quality long videos belong more on Facebook and LinkedIn, and less on Twitter.

Twitter and LinkedIn should both be an integral part of any marketing plan in 2020 but the two platforms are fundamentally different, and understanding that when setting out to best leverage them will make all the difference between winning and losing.