There are so many Social Media platforms to choose from – how do you know which one will be right for you?
The most popular, according to a report by eBizMBA Rank in September 2016, is Facebook, which is hardly surprising as it is very user friendly. The report gives the top 15 platforms, so let’s take a look…
Facebook – The top of the pile with an estimated 1.1 billion unique monthly visitors. Facebook is a social networking site that enables people to connect with friends and family, sharing photos, videos and status updates/messages. It can be used for fun or for business. It is estimated that over 1 million small businesses use Facebook and is very popular with small business owners in France.
YouTube – After Google, YouTube is the largest search engine with an estimated 1 billion unique monthly visitors. It’s where most people go to watch or share video content. It covers every single subject you can think of from popular music videos and films to Joe Bloggs down the street falling off his skateboard! Anyone can post personal videos or share content.
Twitter – With 310 million unique monthly visitors, Twitter is a real-time public network, where you often see breaking news first! Twitter limits its users to 140 characters per post, but businesses still use it to interact with clients and pass on information.
LinkedIn – This is a social networking site for professionals. With 255 million unique monthly visitors, LinkedIn members post a profile of themselves, very much like an extended CV. Users can promote themselves and their businesses, connect with other businesses and even apply for jobs or ask for work.
Pinterest – This is a fairly new concept, but with 250 million unique monthly visitors, it is fast becoming popular. It’s an image-based visual platform that allows its visitors to create digital bulletin boards where businesses can pin their content. As more than half of its members are women, it’s a great place for businesses whose target audience is largely female should think about being a part of.
Google Plus + – Google Plus or Google+ is an interest based social media platform with 120 million unique monthly visitors. You can post photos and status updates on your profile or you can post to specific communities or groups. Specific communities are set up for different subjects so you can post blogs to specific themes. There’s multi-person messaging, text and video chat called Hangouts and you can run events. It’s a very versatile platform.
Tumblr – Tumblr is reported to be one of the most difficult platforms to use, but also one of the most interesting. With 110 million unique monthly visitors, it must be doing something right! It is a cross between a social networking site and a blog – often known as a microblog site. You can post photos, audio, video, quote posts, chat posts and blog posts and you can re-post in the same way you can re-tweet.
Instagram – This is a visual platform, much the same as Pinterest, with an estimated 1 million unique visitors. Posts are mostly connected to travel, food, fashion and art and it has video and photo editing features.
Reddit – This is a little different to the other sites – it is still popular, with an estimated 85 million unique monthly visitors, but the content is voted on by the visitors to the site. It is still a social media site, more of a community where posts are identified by topics, such as technology, music, etc. Users submit links and posts that are of value are ‘upvoted’ and those that aren’t are ‘downvoted’. The voting determines where the post sits on the site – however if your post/link hits the front page, it is seen by hundreds of thousands of people – sending a huge percentage of them to the linked website!
VK – I have to admit to not having heard of this one! VK is short for VKontakte – a social media networking site where members can add friends, gain followers and post photos. However it is a largely aimed at Eastern European visitors, particularly Russian. In fact it is the most popular site in Russia.
Flickr – This is an imaging and video hosting platform. It is very popular for those wanting to share and embed photographs. With an estimated 65 million users, it is still up there with the best!
Vine – This is fairly new but with an estimated 42 million unique monthly users, it is worth a look. It’s a video sharing app, only compatible with iOS and Android devices. You film short instances in 1-2 second bursts. The app will talk you through your ‘vine’. The app will ask you to your finger down on the screen for 1-2 seconds. After that, it will ask you to film two more times. Vine then puts all three of those 2-second shots together to make your first vine. It’s a good way to show a fast timelapse video using lots of short film bursts. I don’t know this one either, but guess it needs to be seen to be understood – I am going to investigate!
Meetup – The Meetup site says that it is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. With 40 million monthly unique users, it’s obviously working well.
Ask.fm – This is a question and answering service. You set up a profile and pose a question, either on text or on video. You can ask one particular person or you can ask the whole group. Typical questions are things like ‘What would you do if you won the lottery’, or ‘What kind of car would you buy if money were not an issue?’ It could be useful for the small business – there are always questions we’d like to know the answers to or to ask peoples’ opinions on things. There does seem to be an issue with the site in that people ask questions anonymously, so you don’t know who’s asking what and some of the content can be sexually orientated and abusive…and there is a worry about children using the site. However, with 37 million unique monthly users, it is in the top 15 social media sites.
Classmates – With an estimated 15 million unique monthly users, this is the last on our list of 15 top Social Media sites. Classmates sought to help users find classmates and colleagues from kindergarten, primary school, high school, college, workplaces and the US Military. You can sign up for free and send emails to those you want to get in touch with, but you are not able to get the reply unless you pay a joining fee. Once you join, Classmates automatically renew your membership annually and getting out of your ‘contract’ has been found to be difficult.
Well, that’s the full 15 top Social Media sites as at September 2016. As you can see, they are a varied bunch, but all are designed to help people interact with others and share information, photos, videos and messages. If you have a small business, they are a great way to get your brand name, products and services out there. I would probably choose to stick with the more popular sites, but of course it’s up to the individual which site you’d like to choose – just be aware that some may not be as good as others. I will be looking at Vine though as it sounds like it could be a lot of fun – not necessarily for business, but just for a giggle!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about and learning about the different sites and I’d love to know which is your favourite? Put a comment in the box below to let me know which one you like best and why…and if you’ve been inspired to try something new!