social networks

Are There Too Many Social Networking Sites? We Don’t Think So!

Just when you think you’re on all the social networks that matter, new ones appear seemingly overnight. In fact, over the past couple of years, while I was happily socializing on Facebook and Instagram, plenty of brand new networks were brewing.

Now that I’m well acquainted with my favorites of the latest social media phenoms, I have to wonder how I could possibly squeeze even one more social network into my daily routine. Pan out to consider the entire social media universe, and it becomes even more mind-boggling – how is there room for any more social networks in a seemingly saturated social media market?

Or asked another way, are there too many social networking sites?

I don’t think so, for two reasons. One, people use these networks to fulfill different communication needs, and two, the newer networks are incredibly content-focused, fueling our desire to learn.

Social Networks for Every Need

The first reason the social media space is so roomy is pretty straightforward. Different networks serve different communication purposes. Here is a quick rundown of what to post where:

Use Twitter to start, join, and lead conversations, as well as to interact directly with your customers (some businesses use it for customer service).

Use Instagram to share visual content, including short videos and images. Luxury and visually-driven brands do well on this platform.

Use LinkedIn to post thought leadership articles and job openings, network with industry peers, and recruit new talent.

Use Facebook to share blog posts, eye-grabbing visuals, and entertaining content you curate (videos and memes). You can also run contests – a huge draw if the prize is great.

Use Google+ to share company news, blog posts, and, like Facebook, curated content that your audience will value.

Use YouTube to post short videos that share your expertise.

Use Pinterest to share creative, visual content related to your business – or what inspires you.


Our Desire to Learn

Social networks provide a fertile breeding ground for new content to spring up on any topic you care to explore. People are posting and reposting about everything from breaking global news to the latest marketing trends to finance tips for small businesses.

Curating comes into play here as well, because we each have the ability to shape the content we consume by choosing who to allow into our social networks.

How do you keep track of the content that matters to you? There’s a variety of tools out there, but I like Feedly, which allows you to follow your favorite websites, categorized by interest, from one beautiful interface. It’s an easier way to keep up with industry trends, competitors, and news, and it integrates with Pocket, Evernote and HootSuite.

What do you think? Are there too many social networking sites – or is the social media cup half empty?

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