If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of social media networks out there, don’t worry – many people feel the same. It seems like everyday you hear about a new social platform that you should be on. There are only so many status updates you can do, right?
Check out our simple guide to the main social networks to find out which one is best for you.
A bit of everything
With more than one billion users, Facebook is the social media king. Most of your friends and contacts (as well as your plumber and granny) will be on Facebook, and it’s the best way to stay in contact with them and share your videos, photos and snippets of your life.
Why be on it? If you want to keep in touch with a wide network of friends, colleagues and family.
When Google+ launched there was a lot of talk of it taking over from Facebook. That’s yet to happen. Although Google+ is the world’s second largest social network with 500 million registered users, only around 200 million of them are active. What is different about Google+ compared to the other networks is that it’s more like a ‘social layer’ than a network – it enhances many of Google’s online properties and integrates with other Google applications. It has a lot of functionality such as circles, communities and video hangouts.
Why be on it? If you want to promote your blog or website then putting links on Google+ will help with search ranking. Because there aren’t that many people active on the network now, it’s a good time to start building your profile and community so that you’re head if the network ever does take off in a big way.
If you have an iPhone or Android phone, then you can get Instagram, an app and social network that allows you to take photos, apply filters and effects, and share them with other users. You can choose to have a private account (where only people you allow will be able to see your photos) but most people have public accounts where anyone can follow them, like and comment on their photos.
Why be on it? If you want to be visually inspired and enjoy taking and sharing your photos.
Pinterest is allows you to build your own online visual mood boards for collating cool stuff around any theme you choose. Most people tend to use it for weddings, hair, fashion, art, photography, travel, DIY and food related images.
Why be on it? If you want to find cool stuff and keep track of images and links you find.
Flickr is a photo sharing network that allows you to create albums of your photos which you can either set to be copyright or available for anyone to use.
Why be on it? If you take a lot of photos and want to share them with friends (and strangers), or if you want to get involved in photography communities.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that allows users to create short-form blogs with very little effort using multimedia and other content.
Why be on it? If you want a quick, easy way to blog.
Twitter is a massive social network that allows you to share mainly text-based messages of up to 140 characters each (called tweets). Unless you make your account private, then anyone can follow your tweets, and you can follow anyone else’s, including celebrities.
Why be on it? If you feel like you have anything interesting to share you should be on Twitter. You can also be on Twitter if you never tweet, and instead prefer to follow others – you can find breaking news, information, and relevant links in just about any field you’re interested in.
YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing network, with hundreds of millions of videos (72 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute). People post any kind of video here, from tutorials to shots from your holiday.
Why be on it? If you shoot videos you want to share with the world.