Social Media Sites: The Most Popular Platforms – Part 1

Social Media Sites: The Most Popular Platforms – Part 1
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are three of the largest social media sites.

Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are three of the largest social media sites.

Last week I shared a general overview of social media and guidelines to follow when using it for business. But are you confused about the differences between social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter? Here’s a quick overview of three of the most popular platforms.


This is a casual social media platform, perfect for showcasing your brand’s personality. Although there aren’t any character limits, shorter updates generally perform better, and remember to use photos and videos frequently. It’s best to mix up the types of updates you share; post helpful articles, funny memes, stunning photos, amusing videos, etc.

Also, Facebook does allow you to use hashtags, although they haven’t been embraced on this platform like they have on other social media sites like Twitter. So feel free to use hashtags from time to time, but be careful not to go overboard.


This social media platform is very similar to Facebook in that you can be somewhat casual. However, there’s an added bonus to using Google+ over other social media sites: Google actually ranks the updates higher in search engine results than other platforms. With this in mind, remember to include keywords related to your business into your updates. Hashtags can be an effective way to make your updates easier to find through searches, too.

Still, like Facebook, remember that shorter updates are usually better (even though there’s no character limit) and users tend to respond well to photos and videos. The best strategy with Google+ is to mix up the types of updates you post, switching between articles, memes, images, videos, etc.


This social media network is known for a few things: hashtags, character limits and trending topics.

Because you only have 140 characters per update, sometimes you need to get a little creative. Still, make sure you use full words and correct grammar. Taking shortcuts like “Ur srsly going 2 luv this!” doesn’t look professional and can be confusing.

Still, it’s perfectly fine to use common Twitter shorthand like “RT” for “retweet” and “DM” for “direct message.” You’ll also want to watch for trending topics you can jump on, like Throwback Thursday (#TBT). Just make sure you know what the trend is referring to – you don’t want to make the mistake DiGiorno’s social media manager made in response to a domestic violence topic!

Also, hashtags are your friend on Twitter. You don’t want to go overboard and #hashtag #every #single #word, but do include 1-3 hashtags as they make sense in the update.

Like the other social media sites, it’s good to include visuals on Twitter, although it’s not nearly as vital to your strategy.

Have you used Facebook, Google+ or Twitter as part of your business’ social media strategy? Head down to the comments to share anything I’ve forgotten or any questions you may have, and stay tuned for next week when I’ll go over three more social media sites – LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram!

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Photo Credits: Anoka County Library, Bruce Clay, Inc and Bernard Goldbach

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