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Quick rundown on Social Media Platforms

I often get asked by my clients which of the social media platforms they should use in their business. This is not always easy to answer and won’t try and do it here. One of the reasons that I get asked this question so often though is because they don’t really have an understanding of what each of the services are. Hence this post.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but here’s a quick run down:

Twitter

For the older generation, twitter is a bit little public texting. You type it and twitter spews it out for all to see. Anyone following you (choosing to watch your particular messages) will see all that you say and hopefully be better off for it. Whilst twitter can handle video and images, it’s primarily used for sharing short, pointed references or messages. Twitter can be really useful as a support tool for products or online services.

facebook

Facebook is all about friends and likes. You join facebook, create a page, people like your page and you post comments, photos and videos to your page’s status. Depending on settings, people can comment on the status updates or even post messages on your page’s timeline. When people like your page, people in their friendship network see it and perhaps they’ll like it enough to visit your site and purchase something.

LinkedIn

This is a professional networking site that allows professionals to link with other professions in the same company or profession. It’s widely used by recruiters and talent scouts to search for new candidates. Professionals can recommend each other and display a work history and examples of their work (if desired). It’s a great professional and interest area networking tool.

Path

I’m a little bit undecided about whether or not I like Path. It hasn’t had a huge take-up in either my professional or personal network of friends and colleagues. Path seems to me to be a boutique facebook aimed squarely at personal interactions. I don’t see it having a huge impact at the moment and the very nature of putting commercial content on Path seems to go against the design. If you had a specific product or service that enhanced either personal relations or experiences then investigating path further might be worth considering. At the end of the day though, it comes down to whether or not the platform has any real traction and my experience is that in Australia, traction is somewhat limited.

YouTube

Videos, videos and more videos. It’s really self evident. You film it, you post it to YouTube and if people like it your an overnight success (at least for a week or so until you become a nobody again). Arguably, YouTube is the one platform that has rocketed people to instant stardom. You need to be extremely careful with YouTube because a deliberate attempt at fame, could instead, make you infamously unpopular.Having said that, if you have a lot of how-to videos, having your own YouTube channel could be a real advantage in simplifying your content management and distribution.

Google+

Google’s attempt to lure people away from facebook has some very promising features but I’m reasonably certain that Goofle (that’s not a typo) left their run here a little too late. Facebook has so many users and continues to hold ground. Unless they can find a way to openly exchange status updates and seamlessly tie facebook to Google+, I can’t see Google+ going anywhere but to the “nice attempt, but…” bucket.

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