This week, we investigated a few social media sites for language teaching and learning. In this post, I will quickly share one of the most important things I learned while doing this investigation: Give the user valuable content where they are now—directly on the social platform. Don’t make users click unnecessarily to find the content you’re trying to deliver.

This played out in the two accounts we investigated on Twitter. One (@slowgerman) did a fine job of providing useful content on Twitter, while the other (@radiolingua) did not. Admittedly, providing useful content on Twitter can be a challenge because the number of characters per post (tweet) is so limited. The strategy of @radiolingua seems to be to provide content and products for sale on a website while using its Twitter account to just link to that content. This is OK, but it’s not nearly as effective, in my opinion, as finding a way to share useful teaching and learning content directly with users on the platform they find themselves.

The Twitter account for @slowgerman seemed to get around this problem nicely. This organization uses its Twitter account mostly for providing information that helps users learn German. Occasionally, they’ll tweet a link to some resource or information on their main website, but their followers are primarily getting useful information that helps users learn German vocabulary.

So that’s the main takeaway: Do everything you can to provide useful content directly on the social media site your audience is already using. Don’t force them to navigate away from it to find the content they want.