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Social Media Platforms: The Difference

September 20, 2012

Today’s post is courtesy of Suzan Czajkowski, M.A., founder and owner of the online marketing and communication firm MyCommCoach. You can reach Suzan at SuzanCz@MyCommCoach.com or follow her on Twitter at @MyCommCoach.

From a distance, the primary social media platforms in use today – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – appear to offer the exact same services. However, they are very different in character, the environment they offer and in the way they can each be leveraged.

Here is a quick tutorial on the difference between these three primary social media platforms:

FACEBOOK

Communicating through Facebook is a lot like walking up to a group of people and chatting with everyone all at once. Depending on the size of the group, some people can hear you easily while others need to tune in to you specifically in order to catch what you said. There is a lot of chatter going on all at once in Facebook, and the environment is relatively social and fun.

LINKEDIN

Envision LinkedIn as your online rolodex with a dial tone. It’s a useful way to visualize your professional network, and you can use it to connect to each contact directly. There is a lot less interaction here than on Facebook, but that means it is perfectly appropriate to connect with one of your contacts out of the blue. In fact, it’s expected.

TWITTER

If you are interested in blogging, Twitter is an excellent choice for you because it is basically a micro-blog: You put your statement out to the world (in 140 characters or less) and anyone following you who is online at that moment will see your statement scroll by in their news feed. Because you are limited to only 140 characters, Twitter is a great place to learn how to be succinct. At the same time, you can expand upon your message with links to articles, pictures, or a more extensive blog post where you explain your point more fully.

Stay tuned for Part 2, to be published next week, which will help answer the question: Which social media works best for your firm?

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