A common question that I receive, addresses the differences among the many social media outlets. I will endeavor to give a brief synopsis of their differences. Largely, the difference is in purpose.
Let's take a look at the biggest of the big, Facebook. Facebook has degraded into a place where people shout what they think everyone should believe. It can be a very unruly place and one that is not very welcoming. It is the least of the professional social media services. However, since it is so enormous, having about 1.2 billion subscribers, it is a hugely successful marketing platform. The marketing drives the user base which, in turn, drives the marketing. It's a huge circle.
LinkedIn by comparison, is a place for professionals to network with other professionals. Your LinkedIn page should look similar to an online resume with additional information. Headhunters and human resources department across the nation search LinkedIn for qualified professionals to work for large companies. A controversial post on this social media platform could very well stop you from being employed or get you fired.
Twitter is a large dynamic social media platform which allows for lively snapshots of conversations. I would assert that Twitter really does not have a purpose, but I have seen it employed very successfully in a few different ways. During the time of a crisis, government and first responders will release critical information through Twitter and it is devoid of noise. Interactive television programs have used twitter to provide a method for their audience to provide feedback in real time. A third way that I thought was most ingenious is during a live activity, such as a festival or a symposium. You really can drive up the crowd and the Masters of ceremony know what their audience is thinking in real time.
Instagram is a marvelous platform to share a few photographs with many people, and them do the same.
Flickr, by contrast, is a convenient way of sharing albums of photographs with many people.
MySpace, which I consider to be the first viable social media platform, has transitioned itself into a media outlet for musicians.
There are many other social media outlets. All with their own purpose and focus audience. Before you sign up, you need to ask or research the purpose and focus of the outlet. Tinder is for dating and Snapchat is for chatting in a temporary sense.
One thing the user must realize is there is no first amendment freedom on any of these networks. There are limited provisions for privacy. There are policies governing behavior, but there are no laws guaranteeing any rights.
Thank you for reading,
Jay C. "Jazzy_J" Theriot