All social media platforms have a certain purpose, audience, and way of communicating with others. In order to take advantage of each for your business, it’s important to understand how to differentiate them and understand each of their unique offerings. 

What is a social media platform?

The term “social media” refers to the way people connect in digital communities and networks by generating, sharing, and/or exchanging information and ideas.

What are the most commonly used social media platforms?

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a business-specific social network. The site aims to connect business professionals with other registered members to form professional networks.
  • Instagram: Instagram is a social networking website owned by Facebook that focuses on displaying photos and short videos.
  • Facebook: Facebook is a social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos, and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Twitter: Twitter is a social networking website that allows people to communicate with short, frequent messages. People post short posts called “tweets” on their profiles and share them with their followers.

Now that we know the “basic” use of the most commonly used social media channels, you are probably wondering which social media platform is best for you. 

Let’s review how to use each social media channel and some features of their functions.

LinkedIn:

  • Hide Your Interactions
  • Save Your Connections
  • Keep Track of Your Skills and Endorsements
  • Establish LinkedIn Showcase Pages
  • When viewing profiles, conceal your identity.
  • Keep Track of Your Searches
  • Include Media Files in Your Profile
  • Merge Your Inactive Accounts 
  • Record the Correct Pronunciation of Your Name 
  • Make the most of the Advanced Search Option

Instagram:

  • Partnership Inbox
  • Story Links
  • Add your sticker
  • Find Creators
  • Story Auto-Captions
  • Social Fundraising
  • Collabs
  • Calendar Tool
  • Subscriptions
  • Visual Replies on Reels
  • Add and manage multiple accounts from the same device
  • Use Instagram as a photo editor

Facebook:

  • Events
  • Timeline
  • Social Plugins
  • Embed-in-Post
  • The Wall
  • Relationship Status
  • Messenger
  • The Like Button
  • News Feed
  • Photos
  • Spy on Competitors
  • Make Video Call With Workplace Rooms

Twitter:

  • Allow grouping of friends and followers.
  • Tweets with autocomplete
  • Tweets with text links
  • Tweets with followers
  • Allow targeted tweets to a specific group of people.
  • Tooltips on hover show metadata.
  • Make better use of the sidebar to display information.
  • Create a page that shows tweets containing their username.
  • In the feed, highlight specific users and de-emphasize others.
  • Include an integrated URL shortener.
  • Include visual content.
  • Twitter has become a news distribution channel.
  • Twitter allows users to subscribe to real-time news feeds and charges advertisers to promote targeted messages.

So, now that we understand the different uses between each platform, it’s essential to understand what differences they have from one another to use them to your advantage.

The main differences between them are the context, purpose, and objectives.

Context is the main difference between social media platforms. The context is the condition that will enable the connection with the audience and promote effective interaction.

Messages and content have to be updated to the context of the usual topics moving in that network. If your company develops a digital strategy that fits the context, you are more likely to generate sales and relevant stakeholders due to effective interaction with your community.

Turning to the point of each platform, let’s look at the usual context on each platform:

LinkedIn: 

LinkedIn is the perfect platform for B2B networking. LinkedIn will not only help you with the business but can also help you establish yourself as a thought leader and build authority for your brand.

LinkedIn’s context is often more “mature” due to its professional origin. Typically, LinkedIn posts are longer than on any other social network, and the content leans more toward educational, professional, experiential, and informative content. Therefore, your shared posts need to be within this content framework. Also, knowing the type of audience and the LinkedIn environment is necessary to make the most of the platform.

Instagram: 

Instagram is much more “social.” People on Instagram tend to be on the platform because of the entertainment content Instagram offers. Unlike LinkedIn, Instagram is probably not somewhere you would go looking for potential stakeholders.

On Instagram, the “context” is more straightforward: it is a social media channel where you post fun, interactive, and colorful content. But, on Instagram, the most important thing to connect with your audience is to be “seen” for that, you need to be consistent and connect appropriately with the “digital environment.” What does this mean? You have to produce practical, authentic, and entertaining content according to the “trends” on Instagram.

Facebook: 

Facebook works primarily for sharing content, so it is essential to be aware that your content is likely to be shared. In addition, to connect with your audience, you should know that Facebook is used to communicate with friends, family, and fan pages. Lately, Facebook has been a great source of information, allowing businesses to produce content of all kinds, but above all, informative and educational content, including, for example, blog articles, important industry information, etc.

On Facebook, it is not necessary to be posting every day, but it is required to be active at least two times a day to interact and be part of the community. In addition, on Facebook, you will find people of all ages from all over the world looking for content that fits their interests. Therefore, your Facebook community has to be people who are interested in your service or product (even though those users may be in another country).

Twitter: 

Twitter is more straightforward. It is often used as a social channel for your community and for posting informative content in a business context. Users tend to follow your content because they are already engaged with your community, know your brand and product, and empathize with your tweets.

On Twitter, most users will interact with your account looking for responses or retweeting what you have posted. That’s the way to generate leads. You should be aware of Twitter trending topics and Twitter trends and use them in content. Moreover, this social media channel is famous for using humor to connect with others. 

Therefore, the recommendation to be part of the community and understand the context is to do a little research on Twitter accounts in your sector. At the same time, creating original, funny, and personal content is essential for your business to be recognized on Twitter. One of the common uses of Twitter by companies is to try to reach journalists who would benefit from Twitter.

“The Mindset or purpose.”

When we say “purpose,” each social media has a specific purpose.

But as a business, you need to set goals and a strategy to achieve them.

Each platform has its purpose and businesses need to adapt to them. You can’t post the same content on every channel because of the context and meaning of each site. Here is an example:

If you want to post about the launch of a new service/product on LinkedIn, you will have to use a more mature business-oriented vocabulary and a short explanation of the product/service. Make sure you share the correct information, as the content will reach people in your industry, most likely your competitors.

But, if you want to share the same information on Instagram, you will have to change the format to interactive and fun content, like a launch video with music and maybe with the team working on this new product. It has to be as human and dynamic as possible.

Now, to post it on Twitter, as the characters to post are much smaller, you will have to write a super short sentence to connect with the audience and create expectations, but it must be clear enough to communicate your message.

On Facebook, the best you can do is post visual content (such as a product image) with just enough information to be understood and shareable.

With these examples, it is clear that each social media has its context and purpose because its audiences are different, and so is the way users interact and connect.

Finally, once you have settled the goals and purposes of your company, you must transfer those goals to the social media content, adapting each content to what each platform requires and publishing it to be successful on each social media. That will achieve that if you take those differences and make a strategy taking advantage of the advantages of each platform.

All social media channels share the secret purpose: Every post has to be an INDIRECT way to sell. Think user interest first – what do users want to see? If you were a user, what would you want to see? 

 

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