The Good and Bad of Popular Social Media Platforms

There are hundreds of social media sites world wide with billions of people using them daily. No two of these sites are exactly the same, some are strictly photo based while others have limits on how much text you can include in each post. With this many platforms out there it can become difficult to decide which ones are best for your brand. Check out these pros and cons of five popular social media sites and see what you think is the best fit!

Facebook

THE GOOD

Facebook has been around for over a decade and in that time it has gained over 1 billion users becoming the leading social media platform worldwide. Facebook allows users to post text, photo and videos in their updates without a character or word limit. The format of Facebook also makes it very easy to interact with other users through comments, private and group messages and posts. Facebook business pages include basic analytics on when followers are viewing your page and engaging, the reach of posts and even where your followers are from. Facebook also offers several advertising options (for an additional cost).

THE BAD

In recent years, Facebook has experienced a shift in it’s audience. Younger generations are moving over towards microblogging outlets such as Twitter and Instagram for fast, easy updating. Facebook also requires constant attention to post regularly, interact with followers and responding to users’ comments- both positive and negative.

Twitter

THE GOOD

Twitter also has a huge network of active users. Tweets are a very quick, fast and easy way to get a message out. Twitter is also very interactive, users can ‘like’, ‘retweet’ and ‘reply’ to other users’ tweets. A well crafted tweet can generate a lot of buzz. Twitter also embraces the hashtag trend which groups together similar posts and allows companies to get even more creative with marketing their brand. Twitter also offers advertising options for businesses for an additional cost.

THE BAD

Twitter is a text-based platform. Though tweets can involve photos or videos, adding them takes up characters and with a 140 character limit, you want as much space as possible. Twitter is also constantly updating. Twitter estimates that there an average of 500 million tweets are posted a day. Therefore, it is easy for a tweet to get lost on a busy timeline. This also means you should post multiple times a day to generate interaction with other users.

Instagram

THE GOOD

Instagram is a newer social media platform. It is visual based, posts include a picture or video with a brief caption which appeals to millennials. The platform is specific to smartphones and has over 200 million active users. Instagram is very user friendly and allows companies to get creative with their social media posts.

THE BAD

One big disadvantage of Instagram is that embedded links do not work in posts. Therefore you cannot link a product or article in your post. Instagram only offers advertising to very large corporations so small businesses do not have an opportunity to advertise, even if they pay an additional fee.

Pinterest

THE GOOD

Pinterest is a great platform to drive traffic to external sites. Each pin hyperlinks to an outside source so it can be great to drive traffic to your brand’s website. Pinterest is also very organized and customizable. You can group similar posts into a specific board and followers can follow the boards that are more relevant to their interests. On Pinterest, content is also shared very quickly through pinning to one anothers’ boards

THE BAD

Pinterest is not as interactive as other social media platforms. While users can pin and like each other’s pins, there is very rare for users to comment back and forth on a pin or send pins to other users. Pinterest also attracts a very specific audience. Pinterest also has a very specific audience where the vast majority are young adult females. Pinterest does not have advertising options for businesses.

Google+

THE GOOD

Google+ is an up-and-coming social media site. One of the biggest advantage of adding Google+ to your social media platforms is that it causes a rise in your search results, the higher you are in search results the more attention is brought to your business. Google+ is also a great way to organize your followers. You can group them in circles such as buyers, vendors, like businesses, etc. Doing so ensures that your message is getting to the most targeted audience possible. One great feature of Google+ is their hangouts. Users in your circles can join live video chats. These are great for interacting with consumers.

THE BAD

Google+ does not have a very large amount of active users even after 4 years as a social network. The main demographic of Google+ users is tech-savvy consumers and larger corporations. It is also not the most user friendly social network due to the complexity of some features. Google+ also does not allow you to set administrators for your page which can become a problem if you  have a social media team rather than just one person running the social media accounts. Google+ does not have advertising options.