How I Use the Different Social Media Platforms

With the addition of Snapchat to the mainstream social media landscape, I think people (especially those over 30) are feeling collective social media fatigue.

Recently, I’ve been having more convos about how each of the different platforms are distinctly useful.  So, I thought I’d break down how I use the platforms…

Facebook – This is the best of what’s happening with the people and brands that I care about. It’s about truly understanding your audience, posting the best photos and the best links. Because it’s the “best of” and more so limited to your closer connections, there’s a better opportunity for deeper threaded discussions.  But, it’s a fundamentally closed ecosystem. It’s harder to make newer spontaneous connections.

Twitter – This is a real-time stream of what’s happening in the world right now. It’s an open ecosystem. So, your connections could and will be everyone. You could and should post often. With Twitter, you have the opportunity to interact with anyone and have anyone reach out to you.

Instagram – These are photos that are the best of your life. It’s the highlight reel. It’s photos of beautiful lives, beautiful food, and beautiful travel. I’m increasingly seeing beautiful product photos or beautiful flim clips.

Snapchat – This is the opposite of Instagram. It’s raw and messy. The videos are quick. They’re not thought out. They show you the real life of who ever’s taking the pictures or video.  It’s a great platform for turning and talking directly into the camera.

LinkedIn – This is for your professional life. What are you reading for work? What are you working on? Is there a new issue or topic relevant to those in your field. Your connections are the new rolodex.

Hopefully this makes sense. Each platform is different and serves a different audience.

Rule #1 is understand your audience. Where do they spend their time? Go there. But don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and go multiple places, including Snapchat.


Twitter May Be Realizing the Full Stream is Overwhelming

There’s a report in Vice’s Motherboard that Twitter is experimenting with arranging your Twitter feed in a non-chronological order that’s curated by an algorithm.  It’s similar to what Facebook does with showing you the posts you’d find most interesting.

Twitter is trying to find a way to make itself more appealing to a mass audience and grow their numbers. Twitter could be realizing the forcing it’s users to consume the full stream is overwhelming.  Twitter may be the world’s microphone but if you follow many accounts that’s a lot to handle. It’s easier to just show consumers the things they’ll find most interesting.

I’m an off and on TweetDeck user for consuming Twitter. But then I realized that the fact that TweetDeck exists and is useful demonstrates Twitter’s problem. The stream is just too much that you have to break it into different columns. This is great for power users but the eyes of normal people glaze over.

Of course, while curated Twitter streams is better UX for consumers, it’s terrible for people and brands that use Twitter as a means to communicate with their audience. With the way it is now, it’s fairly straightforward how Twitter works and what you need to get seen. If Twitter moves towards algorithm-driven curation, we’ll have no clue if or how to actually reach the audience that we’ve built up, just like Facebook. You’ll probably have to pay in order to reach your audience on Twitter, much like Facebook.

I’m super curious how this’ll all shake out.


52 Issues

This morning I sent the 52nd issue of my personal email newsletter, Justin’s List. I share the most interesting things I read all week. Can’t believe that I’ve kept it going this long.  It’s really just something I was experimenting with but the numbers always proved to be something people enjoyed.

It started out of a frustration with social media. It was feeling so noisy that I didn’t feel like I was reaching people effectively anymore. At work, we had invested a lot into email marketing and seen huge results. Why wasn’t I doing it personally?

Social media is so noisy. It’s a never ending stream that’s impossible to keep up with. If I post something on Facebook or Twitter, it’s a complete toss up whether someone will actually see it. When delivering something to someone’s email inbox, I feel more confident that they’ll see it. It’s in their inbox and their inbox is MUCH more personal.

And also interesting… Starting to see more of my friends experimenting with this as well.

The ancient technology of email isn’t going anywhere and I predict that’ll become even more important in today’s world.