How do I differentiate between the popular social media platforms?

In recent years, social media has become a big part of everybody’s lives. We use it to connect with people we know, find people we don’t. We use it for business and personal use. It’s fair to say that social media is becoming a sort of backbone of society. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who don’t use social media at all, but on the other hand, there are people who live on it.

Whatever way you chose to use it is up to you, but if you do use social media then you may have noticed the subtle changes to each platform that are making each platform like the next. In this blog, I am going to cover the similarities, differences, pros and cons of each social media.

The Similarities

Let’s talk about the similarities of each social media platform. For the purposes of simplicity, I will only speak about the major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and Snapchat (I may mention Netflix for comparison purposes).

Once upon a time all social media platforms were different and had unique features to help them stand out from the rest. Over the past few years (2018 especially) the platforms have slowly begun to evolve into different versions of the same thing.

It started with Instagram stories after it’s launch in 2016. Instagram took this idea from Snapchat. When the feature first launched people took to their accounts to complain about how Instagram where ripping off Snapchat. It paid off for Instagram, however. In 2017 Instagram stories reached 300 million daily users. Facebook also launched a stories feature shortly after in March 2017.

Another similarity is between YouTube and Netflix. In 2015 YouTube launched a subscription service called YouTube Red where you can watch ad-free videos and exclusive content. YouTube Red was rebranded to YouTube Premium in May 2018.

How does this relate to Netflix? Well, YouTube has recently rolled out YouTube originals which is similar to Netflix originals.

The Differences

Nowadays there aren’t too many physical differences on social media. You have obvious differences such as Colour scheme, branding, Logos etc but I won’t go into that. The biggest differences come with the culture surrounding each platform.

By this, I mean that each social platform has a different set of people and a different set of rules.

So, Facebook is for expressing anything that is on your mind. Whether you’re expressing your concerns around Brexit or sharing a funny video. Facebook is for everybody. YouTube is for sharing video content, Instagram is for sharing pictures and short videos.

The Benefits of using all Social Platforms

There are a lot of benefits to using all social media platforms. So, I’m going to run over some for you.

If you’re using social media for your business, then you can gain a lot more reach by utilizing all the social platforms that are out there. You can find people on Instagram that you wouldn’t be able to find on Facebook. As mentioned before, Facebook and Instagram have different cultures. So, depending on the nature of your business and the tone of your ads, you have a higher chance of attracting quality consumers.

Another benefit of using all social media platforms is that is can give you better search engine rankings. Now, posting to social media doesn’t directly affect your SEO (search engine optimization), however, it does help. Especially if the content that you are posting is related to your targeted keywords. With this tip in mind, the more platforms that you post to then the more it will help to increase your search engine rankings.

One final benefit of using all social media is that it leads to better customer satisfaction. If you engage with your consumers on social media then there is more chance that they will become loyal towards your brand. Did you know that the likelihood of converting a lead is between 5-20% whereas the likelihood of converting a new customer to a repeat customer is 60-70%. So client retention is very important.

The Cons of using All Social Platforms

Where there are advantages there are also disadvantages. The biggest con of using all social media platforms is that it can be very time-consuming. Keeping up with every platform and making sure that you post on time can be very daunting. Using third-party tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer can help you save this time by allowing you to schedule posts. Another downfall is that it runs the risks of attracted unwanted attention. This could be from internet trolls, bullies and hackers. Whatever you post to social media can be seen by anyone so a hacker that has you as a target could use your social media as some kind of “in” to your website / social accounts.


To conclude. Social media is slowly evolving into the same platform. Different versions of the same product. The main differences between them are the culture and the people who use the platforms. There are also many advantages and disadvantages to using social media, so pick the ones you’re most comfortable with and use them for your business.

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