Social Media? Everyone knows what that is now. However, two decades ago, someone might give you a confused look if you used the term “social media.” How quickly things change and become part of our everyday life! In this article, I’ll cover all the popular social media platforms and explain what they do and who they’re for.
Almost everyone uses social media – whether it’s for personal or business, or both. It’s a communication tool for individuals, businesses, schools, non-profits, and government entities. Most organized groups have some social media presence.
What’s the Difference Between All the Platforms?
Social media has been around since the early 2000s. MySpace was the first social media site to reach 1 million users. However, social media platforms rise and fall. Two original social networking platforms – MySpace and Friendster – no longer exist. They were gobbled up by the giants that have survived – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.
As a business owner, there are many benefits to using social media. Social media can help drive traffic to your website, help you build your brand, and grow your audience.
With all the options, it can be difficult to figure out the differences between each platform. Today, I’d like to explain 17 top social media platforms and who primarily uses each.
Description: Facebook is one of the world’s most recognized social networking services. This platform lets you post comments, share photographs and links, create groups, and more. It is user-friendly and makes it easy to find and stay connected with others. It’s also attractive to businesses who want to run ads and reach specific demographics using Facebook’s sophisticated tools.
Who uses it: Everybody, but it doesn’t seem to be popular among the younger generation
You can find me on Facebook here: https://business.facebook.com/christinahillsbiz
X (formerly called Twitter):
Description: While many people didn’t ‘get’ it when it first came out with its original name “Twitter,” X has become a popular place to share short messages, find real-time information, and get support. It allows you to post messages (“tweets”) with up to 280 characters, images, links, and short videos. (Twitter changed its name to X in July 2023.)
Who uses it: Some business customer service centers, news media, celebrities, and other individuals with a large audience
You can find me on X here: https://twitter.com/christinahills
Description: Considered a professional social networking site, LinkedIn is especially popular among those in the corporate world. When strategically used, LinkedIn can help you advance your career, expand your professional network, connect with the right people in a company, and get in front of corporate recruiters.
Who uses it: Corporate networkers, recruiters, B2B businesses
You can find me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinahills/
Description: Instagram has traditionally focused on images. It allows you to share your family or lifestyle images with close friends (“followers’). It also gives celebrities with millions of followers a platform to communicate with their fans. Furthermore, it creates a specific explore page for every user that provides content related to their interests, keeping them updated on the latest news and innovations.
Who uses it: visually-oriented people, business owners, celebrities, young people
You can find me on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/christinahills/
Description: Threads is an Instagram companion app that enhances the social media experience by enabling users to maintain private and exclusive communication with their close friends and followers. It allows individuals to create and share a “Close Friends” list within Instagram, facilitating more personalized conversations, while also offering enhanced privacy settings. Threads also provides seamless photo and video sharing, status updates, and quick access to your Instagram camera, making it a streamlined and user-friendly tool for connecting with your inner circle on the Instagram platform.
Who uses it: Instagram users, especially among younger demographics.
You can find me on Threads here: https://www.threads.net/@christinahills
Description: YouTube is a free video-sharing website. It’s useful for creators and consumers. For creators, YouTube makes it easy to share content and possibly monetize it. YouTube is also a valuable learning tool since you can find videos on almost every topic imaginable. Plus, it’s entertaining!
Who uses it: the entertainment industry, “how-to” businesses, YouTubers, people with family-friendly content to share, educators, etc.
You can find me on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/websitecreationworkshop
Description: While mostly known as a video hosting service, Vimeo also offers social media features like YouTube. You can use Vimeo to grow your followers by letting them like, share, and comment on your videos. Their video editing and control tools are very robust, allowing you to showcase your videos with a professional look easily.
Who uses it: marketers, video content creators, “how-to” businesses, educators, etc.
Although I don’t have any videos there yet, you can find me on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/christinahills
Description: Pinterest is a social media service whose uniqueness lies in its focus on visuals. People can post images/videos (called “Pins”) to different “boards.” It is an organizational tool to help you group ideas in one place. You can also view other people’s “boards” to get inspiration on a particular topic.
Who uses it: Visually-oriented people, people interested in crafts, photographs, food, fashion, fitness, and beauty
You can find me on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/christinabiz
Description: Tumblr is a microblogging social media service. This means the content shared is short (like Twitter). You can post short sentences, individual images, or video links. From the dashboard, you can easily read and comment on other blogs. It’s now owned by Automattic, the organization that runs WordPress.
Who uses it: primarily teenagers, young adults, some businesses
You can find me on Tumblr here: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/christinahills
Description: Clubhouse is the latest craze in the social media scene; it’s a social networking app that offers audio chat rooms for people to discuss a topic or socialize. It’s audio-chat-based. Users can browse the available Clubhouse rooms from the homepage and join the one they want. Click here to read more about What is Clubhouse and How it Can Help You.
Who uses it: early adaptors at this point
You can find me on Clubhouse here: https://www.clubhouse.com/@christinahills
Description: TikTok is a social media video-sharing platform that allows users to display their talent, wit, and stories. With a time restraint of one minute, users create and share videos that can appear on other people’s “for you page, ” a collection of specific content that caters to an individual’s interests. Some creators have gained a massive audience, surpassing 10 million followers, reflecting the platform’s widespread usage.
Who uses it: Teenagers and now adults, too
(I have been resisting getting a TikTok account, so I currently don’t have one)
Description: With Snapchat, friends interact and communicate with each other through a direct message system. Features like “streaks” (daily contacts with a particular friend) motivate users to use the app repeatedly. Snapchat offers a temporary message system, meaning messages are usually deleted automatically after a set time frame. It also has other features, such as stories and “snapmaps,” which allow you to interact with one another continuously.
Who uses it: teenagers, young adults
Description: Reddit is a media platform that allows anyone to share ideas about anything they want to. The Reddit website is split up into smaller sections called subreddits. These subreddits are like a forum for individuals with similar passions to interact through posts on a particular subject. There are subreddit communities on virtually every topic imaginable.
Who uses it: Everyone
Description: Meetup bridges online networking and in-person networking. You can find groups of people with similar interests in your area and join their local meetings (called “meetups”). Meetup has various groups based on hobbies, professional interests, academic interests, and more. It’s a great place to network and get to know people.
Who uses it: In-person networkers, hobbyists, people looking for friends
You can find me on meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/members/13881451/
Description: A question popped into your head, but you can’t find any answer online. Quora is where you can post your questions to get other users’ answers. People post all types of serious, random, or silly questions, and you’ll be surprised how other users chime in to help.
Who uses it: Young adults (https://foundationinc.co/lab/quora-statistics/)
Description: Discord describes itself as “a place to hang out with others virtually.” You can talk with friends, strangers, and your favorite content creators. An interesting fact: Discord started as an online call and message system for video gamers. Now, it’s a place where anyone can easily find others with similar interests. Servers with thousands of users act as a virtual hub where people who are passionate about activities such as video games, sports, art, etc., can interact with one another to ask questions, share ideas, or talk about why they love what they do.
Who uses it: Everyone, Gamers, artists, musicians, etc. Also, people who hate Facebook want their groups on another platform.
Description: Twitch is an online streaming service that gives creators a real-time platform to display their personalities, talents, and lives to a large audience. Unlike most other social media, many streamers can make a living off of Twitch through donations from their audience or running advertisements during their live stream.
The content found on this website focuses primarily on video games. However, many creators host streams partaking in simple real-life activities such as cooking, exercising, etc. The strength of Twitch lies in its ability for streamers to interact with their audience.
Who uses it: Gamers, Musicians ranging from teens to adults.
Description: Telegram is a messaging app that allows people to send text messages, make voice and video calls, and share media like photos and videos with friends and groups. It’s known for its strong focus on privacy and security, with features like end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages. Telegram also supports large group chats and channels, making it popular for personal and group communication.
Who uses it: Over 75% of Telegram users are over the age of 25
Still not convinced? Watch this video below, where I explain the importance of social media…
Video: Why I use Social Media with WordPress
In this video, I explain why social media is important to your business and the pros and cons of a few popular platforms.
I’ve found social media to be a great way to communicate with people in the medium they are comfortable with. It has its place in our lives and can aid in solidifying in-person relationships and networking. Social media is one tool you should be adding to your business-building arsenal.
So, what type of social media platform is right for your business? I suggest starting with one platform if you’re not currently on social media. Where does your target audience hang out? That will give you an idea of where to start and how to connect with those you can serve.