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Cartoon-style graphic illustrating the ways in which it different types of social MEdia are supposed to act "like ME", "watch ME", "hire ME", "show ME" etc.

Social Media Platforms

The social media landscape is constantly changing. Each platform is evolving to meet the needs and demands of both businesses and users whilst fulfilling their own personal agendas. For this reason it is important to understand how each platform can be used while keeping up to date with ongoing changes and developments.

There are so many different social media platforms available that it can become quite overwhelming knowing where to start. This chapter provides some insight into the differences between them, so you can begin to consider which platforms may be most suitable for your situation.

Over 60% of all Australians are on Facebook (and 40% visit the site every day), so this is an obvious place to start for many. Yet, Facebook isn’t the entire story. There are many other platforms on the net that are well-suited to specific audiences and organisations.

When deciding on a social media platform its best to consider which ones will help you to engage with the greatest number of people in your target audience, in the most appropriate way. For example, the audience on Pinterest is majority female, so if you’re running a business targeting women this could be a platform worth exploring. If your business is highly visual or is targeting a younger demographic, Instagram could be well worth exploring.

The key questions to ask yourself are: “Who is my target audience?”; and “How do they like to communicate?”

Leonie Smith, owner of cyber safety education business ‘Cyber Safety Lady’ says: “Choose a social media platform that is recommended for your industry, because not all social media platforms are the same.”

We will now investigate the major social media platforms and explain the differences, similarities, advantages, disadvantages and business benefits of each.


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