3 Types of Social Media Platforms for Your Social Media Strategies


Social Media Strategies is a highly complex and sophisticated game. I classify social media platforms into 3 major types so I can help make my strategy clear and organized.

My earlier post was inspired by an article from Ian C Rogers of why he unfollows his Instagram accounts. It reminds me of my earlier thoughts on how to pick my social media platforms in my old jobs.

Couple of the major challenges of doing social media are that there are so many of them and your customer (followers) relationships is owned by the social media platform (like Facebook). Social media platforms are evolving everyday with new rules of game. We need to get ourselves update ALL THE TIME and it's very resource consuming task. And yes we can build millions of followers but they are still Twitter's or Facebook's member. So as a business we need to think carefully about converting into your own member. However, given the momentum and trend of how popular social media these days, it's hard to convert people to be your members these days.

I classify social media by 3 major tiers :

  • Public Publishing: Blogger, WordPress, Medium.com or even Your Website and App.
  • Public Curating: Twitter, Pinterest, Instragram and etc
  • Friends Network : Facebook, LinkedIn

The 3 types of networks overlap with each other's function and features so the line between these tiers are rather grey. I classify them for they are used by majority of the people.

Public Publishing Platforms 

Public Publishing Platforms are easy to understand: they are basically blogging platforms or your own website. They are the entity that forms part of the peson or company. I consider them a private asset of a company or a person even if it is hosted on a public blog platform. The advance ones will get people to subscribe as their members and acquire their CRM database on these kinds of platform. People publish their own content and rarely curate other people's contents. Yes we can add "follow" button to these platform but they are the following buttons of other curating platform such as Twitter or Facebook Like button.

Public Curating Platforms

Public Curating Platforms like Twitter are designs with easy buttons to follow and re-tweet other people's content.  For the followers they are like a newspaper or radio broadcasting station where people "subscribe news" with a new terminology called "Follow". For the publishers / curators they post content and re-tweet other contents to gain a mass follower base. The main reasons of building such big follower base is to drive traffic to the Publishing platform we have just mentioned above. For example, my  publishing platform (where you see this article now) is on Blogger. I have a twitter account that "Tweet, Push and Promote" my articles published here on this website.

Private Relationship Platforms

Private Relationship Platform, like Facebook or Linked, requires people to add friend as we all know it. While anyone can open up their Facebook profile to be public, most people don't. This is where people try to control who can see what they are writing and posting. Yes we can establish a public Page or Group to create a public facing profile but most people probably don't need / want / capable to manage this kind of complex structure in Facebook unless they are marketing professional. Majority of the typical consumer connect to friends carefully and say things that are NOT intended for public to see.

Summary

If you like to leverage Social Media to promote your business, you need to think about how you will engage with your customer. The major challenge of Social Media is that there are so many of them and that they are changing their rule of games everyday. If we are not careful we can easily burn all our resources and achieve nothing. It's best to pick just a focused collection of social media platform and make the best out of them. That means that before you

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