With the plethora of platforms out there for you to be on, some people often become overwhelmed with the social landscape and opt not to participate at all. I’m here to quell some of you fears and let you know that while there are lots of platforms to post your content, you don’t need to be on all of them, but you should be somewhat familiar with all of them.

Let’s run down some of the top platforms that you should know about, but don’t have to participate in.

The Obvious

The king of all social platforms. Everyone is on Facebook, but like the adage says, “If everyone was jumping off a bridge would you?” Well in the case of Facebook, the answer is yes. You should be on Facebook, while your content may not get any eyes on it without a few ad dollars, Facebook has a low barrier to entry and it’s a good place for people to congregate and form a community, so yes, you should be on Facebook.

Twitter is a close second in the social media game, most brands have at least some sort of presence here. So should you be on it? That depends, if you’re a service company, Twitter is a great way to connect with your customers and deal with customer service questions, and it’s a great place to have one-to-one conversations with your customers/clients. If you’re looking to build a dialogue with your customers/clients, then consider adding Twitter to your social network arsenal.

The professionals social network. Should you be on it? Yes, well yes only if you are sharing industry news and positioning yourself as a thought leader in your space. There are a lot of uses to this platform besides gathering professional connections and recommendations. You can share out company information on your company page, and you can also start a group where you can generate conversations around trends in your field and provide your insight, and start to become a thought leader in your industry. With the rollout of targeted ads, this is also a great platform to be on if you’re in the B2B social space.

Google’s social platform designed to skim more information on their users. Most brands are only using this platform for SEO and less so for building and engaging communities. I have mixed feelings about Google+ as a platform, while yes you should be here, how valuable is it really? There have been a few studies as to the value of being on the platform, but with a confusing interface, it seems that this platform is just one of those things that you should be on so your brand and organization will show up higher in search results.

The Up and Comers

This visual platform, now owned by Facebook, has been in use by brands for a while, but is not as widely used as it could be. So should you me on it? Well if you are into visual storytelling and have access to a lot of photography, then this could be the app for you. There is also a lot of potential for jumping on trends like Throwback Thursdays and selfies (brands, I’m looking at you to get creative here). There is also potential to do user generated content campaigns. Plus with the younger folk shying away from Facebook, you may be able to start developing a unique community here.

Another visual platform, this platform has a high female population and high user engagement. So should you be on it? That all depends on who you’re looking to target. Are you a brand or organization that is geared more towards young millennial males? Then you should probably look elsewhere. But if you’re targeting women, then go ahead and get on board (get it?). With new tools constantly rolling out for brands to take advantage of, now is the perfect time to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon and start developing your community.

A microblogging platform designed to showcase short blog posts and imagery. The demographic on Tumblr tends to skew younger. The content that performs best on this platform is animated images called GIFs. There are communities built around fandoms here (think specific celebrities and sports teams), and hashtags. This platform is ideal if you’re looking to target a younger hipper audience. There are also services like Giphy, where you can get free GIFs to post on your brand’s page.

The New Kids 

This video platform, owned by Twitter, is great for making short quirky videos. So should your brand or organization be on it? Eh, unless you have something to say here in a fun and interesting way or if you’re an expert animator, you should probably stay away. The content that performs best here are short comedic videos, instructional videos, and clever looping animations. There are brands who are killing it on Vine like Lowes, so if you’re in possession of some creative thinkers, go ahead and give it a go.

This visual messaging platform has messages that can only be viewed once before they basically self-destruct. In a world that is now being more privacy conscious, this app has been utilized by teens and tweens to send pictures to each other that won’t be seen again (unless someone takes a screenshot of it). A couple brands have utilized this platform successfully like Taco Bell and 16 Handles. Think of using this platform to send out exclusive content and coupons to superfans and influencers.

What are some of your favorite new platforms or some tried and true platforms?

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