social media networks

35 Things to Know Before Your Organization Joins Different Social Media Networks

Shayna McGroggan

Whether you are setting up accounts for the first time or looking to expand your presence onto more social media networks, you’ve probably noticed that there are quite a few to choose from.

Most of the major social media networks are free, so there’s no harm in signing up for all of them. But that may not be totally necessary (or effective).

Let’s take a look at which networks may be right for your type of organization.

Facebook

Facebook is usually the social media network that most anyone can benefit from. The main draw is that there are over 2 billion active monthly users on Facebook, and odds are that some of your members are among them. Things to consider:

Pros:

  • Your audience is already on Facebook.
  • Share text posts, images, video and live streaming, events, and so much more.
  • Facebook is a household name these days; members will likely expect to be able to find you there.
  • The setup for this network is very conducive to community building. Members and followers can interact with each other.

Cons:

  • It’s becoming a pay-to-play system. Unless you’re willing to invest in Facebook ads and promoted posts, it hard for your posts to get the desired reach.

All in all, a Facebook account is a must-have!

Twitter

Twitter is another mainstream social media network, so again, your members may already expect you to be there. Like Facebook, there are more pros than cons.

Pros:

  • Followers can comment on and interact with your content.
  • Negative comments or interactions are a little harder for others to find and see on Twitter than they would be on Facebook.
  • Share short text posts, pictures, videos, and live streaming content.
  • There are currently over 328 million active monthly users on Twitter.

Cons:

  • Content is limited to 140 characters.
  • Twitter has dwindled a bit in popularity and seen a dip in active users.
  • Businesses and organizations need to invest in ads and promoted Tweets to maximize the reach of their posts.

YouTube

YouTube isn’t just a great way for you to host your video content; it can be essential in supporting the rest of your social media marketing plan.

Pros:

  • It’s estimated that there are 1.5 billion active monthly users on YouTube.
  • Posts on Facebook or Twitter that have pictures or video are twice as likely to see engagement.
  • YouTube videos can easily be shared on any network and are available to a wider audience off of those networks, too.

Cons:

  • If you don’t have the means to produce quality videos, taking advantage of all of the pros can be a challenge.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has 106 million active monthly users, so this is where we may start to have to qualify the network a bit to see if it makes sense for your social media marketing plan.

Pro:

  • It’s a great network if you are trying to attract talent to work for your organization. This can also be essential for professional and trade associations.

Con: 

  • LinkedIn will help define your organization professionally. But if you’re not focused on interacting with your members as professionals, this may not be the most effective use of your time.

Instagram

Instagram has over 700 million active monthly users, so it’s definitely one of the more popular social media networks. The demographics on Instagram do tend to skew younger, and the content is purely visual (you can share pictures and short video clips).

Pros:

  • You may not think that your organization or specific industry lends itself well to such a visual platform, but almost anything can be made visual.
  • Photos of life in your office can provide some insight into your company culture and help attract talent.
  • Text can be added in the captions for the images and videos that you share.

Cons:

  • You need to be able to produce the visual content to share, so if you’re not comfortable primarily working with photos and video, this may be a tough one to achieve success on.
  • Creativity is key, can be a challenge if you’re not working in a space that is typically considered to be very visual.

Pinterest

Depending on your industry, you may need to get creative with your content on Pinterest to have it make sense for you to be here.

Pros:

  • There are 175 million active monthly users on Pinterest (that’s more than LinkedIn).
  • Can be a great way to strengthen your brand identity and give your members something to engage with. For example, healthcare may not seem to be a visual or crafty industry, but perhaps creating a board of healthy recipes or exercise tutorials will help strengthen the brands identity of being a healthcare provider.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for membership recruitment, event promotion, or speaking to your members.
  • Just like Instagram, creativity is key here, and finding or creating engaging and relevant pins can take time.

Snapchat

Newer to the scene is Snapchat. The key for Snapchat is to first identify if your members tend to overlap with Snapchat demographics.

Pros:

  • There are approximately 173 million active monthly user on Snapchat.
  • You can share picture or short video clips with very brief captions.
  • The audience on Snapchat tends to be within the millennial age range. If your members are in this range, consider Snapchat.

Cons:

  • Content sent on Snapchat will disappear after a given amount of time.
  • Snapchat requires very visual content, so much of the same strategy pros and cons of Instagram and Pinterest can be applied to this network, too.
  • The audience on Snapchat tends to be within the millennial age range. If your members are older, Snapchat doesn’t make sense.

Google+

Of the 375 million accounts on Google+, there are only about 27 million active users each month.

Pro:

  • There are theories that Google+ can play into search engine rankings when tied back to a specific brand or organization. This is BIG.

Con:

  • It has not yet become a very active hub for social media marketing. Of the networks discussed in this post, it’s by far the least active.

Every network has its pluses and minuses, and not every network will make sense for your social strategy.

Once you’ve identified what networks you’ll have a presence on, check out this guide for what to look for in a tool that will help you manage multiple social media networks all from one dashboard.

how to choose a social media management tool

About the Author
Shayna McGroggan

As a Product Marketer for Informz, Shayna creates resources to raise user awareness and understanding of new features, and encourage product adoption. In her free time she writes and plays music with her drum-playing husband and loves being a fur-mom to her Yorkie.