Comparing the Big 4s of Social Media
Social Media revolution has enhanced the way we communicate with our acquaintances and also helped improve the efficiency of conducting business. There is not a single day when we don't hear news about Social Media or use them. Overall it enables individuals to receive update from friends, share videos and Photos. For business, it helps them to build and maintain new relationships.
It is our personal choice to join and create profile on any of these Social Networking sites but if an enterprise wants to stay competitive, it is important that they engage on these platforms. There are individuals who have abandoned their personal email address completely and are using Facebook messaging instead while the Enterprises are using twitter heavily to stay in touch with the customers.
There are numerous Social Media platforms available on the Internet now but only four of them can be said to be ahead of the rest. They are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. In this blog I will present their roles, strengths and weaknesses and also perform a comparative analysis of them.
=> Facebook: Everyone seems to be present here!
Facebook was launched in February 2004. It soon became the Social Network platform of choice for a majority of the general population. In a short span of time, it had emerged as a most widely used platform where a common person can create profile and share photos and videos with his /her friends. Generally, to view the photos and videos of someone we need to be part of the user's friend network. If we want to stay current with our friends or find old friends, Facebook is the place where we should be.
-> It has a large user base which enables member to keep in touch with the acquaintances
-> Interface is very user friendly and users can easily express their opinion by clicking a button, posting a comment or liking a page
-> It helps companies in Brand promotion since when users like a company's page, they are indirectly advertising it to all their connections
-> Privacy is an issue as even after several privacy settings also, one can not be sure if his/her posts are completely private
-> The interface is sometimes filled with advertisements and game requests, which can be annoying to some user
-> There is no efficient way to follow a topic. User can join / like / follow for the user/group of interest
=> Twitter: Brevity and Powerful!
Twitter was launched to the public in July 2006. While Facebook is a place to share personal information with a close group of friends, Twitter is used for broadcasting short messages to the rest of the world. A tweet consists of "@mentions" and "hash tags and is a short message which can not be longer than 140 characters in length. Few companies use it for promotion and finding prospective customers.
-> It is a preferred platform to follow celebrities
-> It is great platform to create temporary communities by using hash tags
-> The short form of 140 characters is ideal in this world of small attention spans
-> The limit of 140 characters can be annoying to some people as all the important points can not be covered in this character limit
-> Lots of information gets streamed continuously and it gets difficult to track them
-> It is not the best platform to promote business
=> LinkedIn: Social Media for Professionals!
LinkedIn was launched in May 2003. It is the oldest of the big 4 social networks and it is mostly used for business and professional networking. LinkedIn is useful for meeting new people as we get to know how many degrees apart we are from any professionals or if someone common can introduce us. It has also emerged as a useful platform to find new career opportunities, promote Sales & marketing for a company.
-> It has emerged as the desired platform for the professionals across the globe to connect
-> User can get information about the career opportunities and information about the company
-> By using premium service, user can send in mail to any one, hence it helps in promotion
-> Multiple groups on same topic is present which makes it difficult to find the most active and relevant one
-> There is no chat option to connect with even the first-degree connections
=> Google+: New entry to Social Media!
Google+ is relatively new to the social media game. It was launched in September 2011. Google+ introduces the idea of Circles. There may a scenario where we might want to share some of our personal pictures with the "friends" circle and not with the "professional" circle and vice versa, Google+ provides the platform to do exactly that.
-> It seems to become Facebook for grownups
-> It provides integration with the rest of Google platforms like chat, Email etc.
-> It offers group chat by using Hangouts
-> Feeds from all the distant members can be annoying and difficult to track
-> It is behind Facebook in terms of ease of navigation and interactivity
Social media/networking has become a regular part of our lives - both online and off. If we understand the basic strengths, weakness and roles of each of these Social Media network, we can leverage it efficiently in our personal and business lives.