The list of social media websites expands daily. It can be hard to understand which outlets are the best for your association. The obvious components for building online connections are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter—the main ingredients for the recipe of networking. However with the influence of Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and even Snapchat, the connective meal you are creating may leave a poor taste for both you and your followers. Isn’t it time we lay out the benefits and drawbacks of each of these social media sources?
LinkedIn: Having a LinkedIn has lingered on becoming the new resume or business card (key word is lingered, not replaced). This is a great outlet to inform clients and prospective clients what your newest projects focus on and works as a great introduction to your association. This is a necessity for all professionals and associations.
Facebook: With a recent study showing teens are using Facebook more than you’d expect, it’s clear to see that the hub of social media will stay the hub as long as people care to stay in touch. With a fairly easy to use system, almost everyone has a personal Facebook , meaning almost every company should have one as well!
Twitter: Twitter takes a lot of energy: it’s a busy site where many Twitter users follow hundreds of profiles. It can be easy to get lost in chaos—but it’s also your opportunity to get creative and stand out. Keep in mind that many don’t want to be told to buy/donate something when scrolling through their Twitter feed. However, if you are posting advice, articles, or news links, nothing beats the fast and organized updates that Twitter provides. Just be sure to remember that this is a text based site (otherwise see Instagram).
Tumblr: Like many blogging websites, this source is only popularized when advertised on a regular basis. It’s a great source to use, however, it should be shared via other social media sites that have more views per minute (Facebook and Twitter).
Pinterest: This catalog-like layout is a great source for portfolio work. However, if you are not selling a product or providing a tangible service, then you would have to have an extremely creative mind to use this site. It’s probably not the best source for nonprofits and associations.
Instagram: A picture speaks a thousand words, but does not having a picture speak a thousand bad words? Instagram has been coined the visual Facebook, however, it is much more active among the younger generation. Unless you are selling a product or providing a viewable service, this site does not have to be used profusely. In any case, even if you don’t have many followers, it’s a great source to share via Twitter (counteracting the non-visual appeal and creating the best of both worlds).
Vine: Believe it or not, this 8-second video sharing source has expanded to the point where people have taken on the job title of “Professional Viner”. Now, nonprofits shouldn’t go this far, but it is a great step to show followers what projects you are working on in a light-hearted setting (once again, shared through Twitter/Facebook). Who knows, your video just might go viral!
Snapchat: Over 26 million Snapchat users, and more than 400 million images are sent a day! This is a great opportunity for businesses (large, small, for profit or not) to connect individually with their clients. Unless there is a specific coupon, image of a product, or urgent reminder, the likelihood of this media outlet being productive to your office is fairly slim. In the meantime, leave it to the fashion designers and magazines.