What are the Top 5 Social Media Networks?
What are the top 5 social media platforms and how do they work?
With a huge chunk of the world’s population online, sharing their lives, ideas and products, it is a natural and very necessary step for anyone to take if they want online visibility. Be it for businesses or connecting with potential employers or generally staying in touch with long lost friends, the following social media platforms are some of the most popular in the world today.
- Twitter: The popular blue bird tweets away merrily day in, day out. Probably the simplest of all platforms, it is equally fun to use. Having a limit of only 140 characters or each message ensures that you get straight to the point, and viewers don’t have to sift through endless long winded tweets.
How does it work?
It is actually quite simple. A tweet is a message in 140 characters or less, with a photo, video or link attached. To connect with others all over the globe, all you have to do is mention their names in your posts – and those messages will be shown on their feed. If you’ve seen ads with #hashtags, you’d know that this became famous due to Twitter. This directly is shared with people who are ‘following’ that #hashtags event or group. You can follow someone if you find their content interesting, and when you post something, it shows up on their feed. This means that people from all over the globe who share the same passions can be found in the same group making it easier to communicate directly with people of shared interests.
- Facebook: One of the most popular social media platforms in the world today, there are around 1.39 billion users. As you can see that’s 1/7th of the world’s population! Associated with the word ‘social media’, it has grown from a simple website for college students to a huge online portal for sharing a wealth of information. Many businesses and private individuals use Facebook to keep in touch with people all over the world.
How does it work?
You have to be age 13 and above and provide a valid email address. A profile is generated for you after completing all sections of personal information. You can browse and join your favourite networks – regions, colleges, workplace and high school. Once you’ve joined a certain network you can browse and search through the member list to find common acquaintances. You can also sort out people through different criteria like age, sex, political interests etc. To make it easier for you, Facebook can pull contacts from your email address and find them for you to add them as friends on Facebook. You can keep in touch with family and friends by posting on their ‘wall’ and the messages will be seen by them. However, it is to be noted that all content is public and can be viewed by anyone unless if you change privacy settings.
- LinkedIn: A social media platform that is geared towards connecting various individuals and businesses all over the world, LinkedIn is the preferred platforms which businesses use to further their contact base. One of the only mainstream sites that caters to businesses, it has allowed people to find potential workplaces, employers and other work related information much faster.
How does it work?
Having free membership, it is geared towards businesses and therefore has a more business oriented approach. It also has a paid membership which allows for premium upgrades including reaching out to other contacts’ contacts, searching for profiles faster etc. What you would be required to do is to upload your resume on to the website, a basic write up about yourself to introduce your profile to other contacts, some basic information, any links (if you have) to your website/s, and other social media links like Twitter. Once your profile is published, you can start your search for contacts and make a ‘connection’. You could also have contact suggestions that would be taken from your email address contact list. LinkedIn provides opportunities to search for online job postings, to get introductions to potential employers, get recommendations from colleagues about your strengths. LinkedIn has an exclusive job portal which could work to your benefit.
- Instagram: The online platform that generated a lot of interest especially after Facebook acquired it in 2012 for a whopping $1 billion. Almost exclusively a mobile platform, users download the App onto their IPhone or Android devices. This app enables you to add a filter to your photo which gives it a look of being professionally edited.
How does it work?
It is relatively simple. All you have to do is download the app, and register updating your profile picture and personal information and you’re ready to rock n’ roll. Keep in mind that privacy settings are always set to public, unless you change it manually. To keep abreast with what’s happening with your posts and photos, you can enable various notifications. If someone ‘likes’ a photo, or ‘follows’ you, posts your photo on the Popular page, tags you or leaves a comment on your post, you will be notified. You can link your Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to broaden your visibility and share your posts on various platforms at once. As Instagram is primarily about sharing photos, there is a range of editing tools to enhance your picture before posting.
- YouTube: In 2005, a company was born which allowed users from all over the world to post videos and share them globally. In 2006, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion. Apart from sharing videos on humour, it has a wealth of information on various topics ranging from politics, music, fitness, DIY shows and instructional videos.
How does it work?
As it has been bought over by Google, you will require a Google email address to sign in. It is very simple. After signing in, you can click the upload button and select which video you wish to upload. You can choose your privacy settings prior to uploading the video. You must remember that this will accessible to anyone anywhere in the world, and if you don’t want comments to be posted on your video, you can disable that feature. Some people have become millionaires using the power of YouTube. Your main page has various sections like sponsored, promoted and featured videos and tabs like videos, categories, community and channels which you control according to your choices.
As you can see, social media platforms carry a lot of weight in distributing knowledge and awareness of various companies, individuals, groups etc. If you are a business looking to expand your customer base, just by having and managing a page on any of these sites could do wonders for your business. Either upload videos that cater to your products/ services or post links and information on various platforms – these websites are your ticket to generating sales.