It’s quite amazing how a delicious, glazed pastry can put social media into perspective. More than 1 billion people in the world are active users on social media sites, according to the International Telecommunication Union. Facebook users make up 90 percent of this population with more than 900 million active users. The remaining 10 percent of the market is dominated by Twitter, with 200 million users, and LinkedIn, with 150 million users.
Needless to say, social media usage is growing every single day. With new sites emerging, it is easy to get lost in the never-ending web of social networking. The overall intent of social media is for users to communicate and interact with other people on a global level. Reconnecting with old friends, creating new relationships, promoting a business and receiving store coupons are among the many perks of this new-age technology.
The problem with the rapid growth is that it can be difficult to decipher the differences between the sites. You wouldn’t want to go to YouTube if you were looking to connect with old friends from high school, would you? No, you would use Facebook or LinkedIn. This confusion, and frustration to some, is where the donut steps in.
Social media explained:
- Twitter: In 140 characters, update your status by saying what you are doing. Hashtags can be used when discussing a popular topic to connect you with others discussing the same idea.
- Facebook: Use your profile to share your likes, interests and background information.
- Foursquare: Smart phone application that allows you to share and save places that you visit.
- Instagram: Smart phone application that turns you into a photographer with your own personal photo blog, complete with the ability to edit photos and use different lens filters.
- YouTube: Video-sharing website where you can view and share videos.
- LinkedIn: Connects people in professional occupations by sharing skills, previous work experience and education. Capability to upload resume and receive recommendations.
- Pinterest: A social photo-sharing website where you can create and manage themed image collections.
- Last FM: Music recommendation service where you can share your favorite tunes and the music you are currently listening to.
- Google+(G+): An extension to the search engine function of Google.com, includes messaging, video chat, photo editing and forums. Atmosphere is more formal than other sites.
And so here we are, social media in a nutshell (or should I say, do-nutshell?). There are many similarities between these sites. Nevertheless, if you have a specific target in mind, make sure to choose the correct outlet in order to maximize the benefits social media. Good luck!