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Aug 17

Social media platforms – the magnificent seven.

What are the platforms you can’t ignore? We here that some networks are losing popularity, the truth is that there are new platforms springing up like weeds. Of course people are attracted to these shiny new toys and stop playing with their old favourites for a while. Trends change. But in all this mass of choices, there are some that we just can’t ignore.

1. Facebook

Now one of the grand old ladies of social media. Sure there has been a lot of bad press recently and some new kids on the block are flexing their muscles – but Facebook has a huge power base. Add to that a fat wallet and you would be foolish to write it off.

It may struggle to keep up with the race into mobile but should still be a cornerstone of any strategy.

2. Twitter

What may have been seen as limitations have turned into Twitter’s strengths. The quirky short messages are so in tune with the SM age. It hit a chord with a huge cross-section of society, from businessmen to kids, politicians to musicians.

With so many other services and apps developing around the platform it is perhaps the lingua franca of the social world.

Tweeting is magnificent.

3. YouTube

Good old YouTube has hidden strengths that have kept pace with trends and have pushed it to the forefront. It seemed to fall from favour for a while, but the move to increasingly visual media has breathed new life into it.

Don’t forget, YouTube is one of the biggest search tools. It’s strengths in aiding SEO should not be overlooked. If you want to get around in social media don’t forget to use the Tube.

4. MySpace

No longer the force it once was, but you can’t ignore the stats. Still getting¬†70,500,000¬†– Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors according to Ebizmba. Look very closely at the demographics and psychographics and if they match your target, the numbers speak for themselves.

5. Linkedin

For business, you can’t ignore LinkedIn. I meet many serious businesspeople on workshops who profess to have no time for social media – when ask: ‘Are you on LinkedIn?’ They answer, yes, but don’t class that with other networking. Major businesses and national and international organisations have presences here. It is huge, far-reaching and effective.

Not for telling folks you are sitting in Starbucks enjoying a latte, but if you are earnest about your business, you have to be there.

 

6. Google+

A relative newcomer and there is a lot of discussion about Google+ – not all good by any means. For most, the jury is still out.

I justify including it here for a few pressing reasons: firstly, it is ‘Google’. That means there is big resource behind it and whatever happens here will be inextricably linked with search and the rest of that platform’s offer. Also, it moves Google towards a more mobile approach. Finally its growth has been very impressive – it reached that target of 50 million users in three months compared with three years for competitive platforms.

Okay, it has a lot of work to do, but it is a giant that can’t be ignored.

7. Pinterest

Another new kid on the block: I thought long and hard about this one. My view is that the two key drivers for the near future are mobile and visual platforms. Pinterest seems to have got the visual aspect bang on target. Sure there are others – but this medium suddenly won the high ground and the hearts of many. I get the feeling its success surprised even its founders and there seemed to be a little hiatus around what to do with this achievement.

It’s not difficult to see how Pinterest can appeal to individuals and businesses alike. It should not be hard to build a sound commercial offer on this platform – something other social media has notably struggled with.