Are You Sending Your Updates To The Right Social Network?

You’ll notice that most social networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, etc. — exist alongside each other. Why is that?

Simple answer: it’s because each network is subtly designed for different purposes, so you can find different types of content on each one. It’s the same reason you might listen to both Coldplay and U2. Yes, both are rock and roll, but they each have something different to bring to the table. This doesn’t mean you’ll listen to one and not the other, it only means you might listen to them at different times.

Social networks are just the same. You need to know what to post to each one, and when. Granted, we know that there’s no “right” way to use a social network since all regions vary, but below are a few decent guidelines.

Deep, Personal Updates

confession   Are You Sending Your Updates To The Right Social Network?

In most cases, it might not be best to post anything deep or personal online unless you have really, really thought about it. This typically means you shouldn’t post extremely awkward professions of love, racy or obviously unpopular opinions (just for the sake of posting racy or obviously unpopular opinions), or a confession from your deep, dark past. However, if you must post such a update, below are MakeUseOf’s recommended social networks to post them on.

Facebook: This social network is virtually designed for lengthy posts. Whether you are posting a note or just a really long status update, it’s an ideal location where people are likely willing to read what you’ve written.

Google+: Same goes for this site. Google+ provides options for long-winded updates, and with integrations to other Google-owned sites such as Blogger, you can truly express yourself. Note that Google+ still has a very specific kind of crowd full of early tech adopters and such. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t share anything personal, but a 500 word tirade about your ex-boyfriend may not be an ideal post.

140 characters probably isn’t enough to share such a deep post, so Twitter is out. Reddit won’t give you much of an audience because, well, let’s be honest — anything deep and personal is likely to be down-voted (unless it’s a completely shocking Confession Bear or something slightly humorous).

Short Jokes & Quips

funny   Are You Sending Your Updates To The Right Social Network?

Reddit: Reddit thrives on original content, so if you have a funny joke that you think is share-worthy, this might be your best bet. MakeUseOf recommends posting to r/Funny for anything joke-related, but if you do enough browsing, you’ll find that plenty of other subreddits exist. (Just prepare for naysayers who think your joke is terrible. There are always going to be naysayers.)

Twitter: 140 characters? Boom. You can tell a joke in 140 characters. People using Twitter are typically in “short attention span” mode, so this is the prime type of content.

Facebook: Yeah, yeah. We know that you know. Facebook has funny jokes all the time, so this is a safe place to post them. Especially if they’re in image form.

If you need some inspiration, read up Tina’s 55 geeky one-liners.

Real Updates That Have Value

What’s a real update that has some type of value in society? Eh, it can depend. World-news articles are great, and pieces that are related to your field can be described as such, too. On the other hand, a so-called “real” update may be letting everyone in your personal realm know what’s going on in your life. Let’s tackle this one head-on.

LinkedIn: For whatever reason, sharing articles related to your field on LinkedIn shows that you are well-versed in your profession’s current events. However, don’t just do this to seem hip with the kids. Make sure you’re actually contributing something that you think is worthwhile.

Google+: It’s obvious that Google+ is a great social networking platform, but in many circles, it just really hasn’t caught on as a mainstream form of communication. That’s why it might work best to keep Google+ posts more professional or primarily about current events.

Facebook: Facebook is a bit of a wildcard here. While it’s great for sharing news pieces and current events, it’s also good for updating friends and family members of your current living situation, your new job, health conditions, etc. You probably wouldn’t share that info on LinkedIn or Google+. On a side-note, if you have many friends who use Twitter religiously, then the same rules apply here.

Funny Photos You’ve Found

BLB   Are You Sending Your Updates To The Right Social Network?

So you found a funny photo on the Internet. It’s worth showing it off. Where should you post it or share it?

Facebook: As you might have already been able to tell, Facebook is pretty much the all-purpose social network. It’s perfect for sharing photos that you’ve found since it has such a wide user base, so if you share a photo, chances are that most of the people you are sharing with haven’t seen it. Facebook is also less formal, so it’s a good place to share something humorous or even, *gasp*, immature.

Reddit: Reddit is full to the brim with photo-related subreddits. No matter what it is, your photo will fit somewhere on Reddit. On the other hand, chances are that your photo has already been posted. Don’t be offended if people start complaining that you reposted something. (It’s not like they have anything better to do, so you’re just giving them purpose.)

For more stuff on memes, check out these 10 hilarious meme accounts that you can find on Twitter.

Stuff You Can’t Actually Share With Your Friends

Reddit: Because on Reddit, no one knows who you really are…

Conclusion

As aforementioned, we know that the guidelines for social networking are loose. Your circle of friends may do things differently — we get it. But at least consider our suggestions above.

What other tips do you have for properly routing content to the right social network? Do you have any other related suggestions?

Image Credits: Hans Põldoja, John Dalton

5 Comments - Write a Comment

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Saikat B

We need to get off our “auto-post” mode and strategically think about it. Out of all of them, LinkedIn could be the most unforgiving with the wrong kind of post.

Nice post, Josh!

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Doug D

Great article, but zurker is the safest network of all IMHO.

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Markus Jogun

Why don’t you talk about social networks like instagram, soundcloud, mixcloud, pinterest, etc.? You keep returning to the 4 big names in social, facebook, google+, twitter & reddit. Nothing new there, despite there being lots of alternatives.

You just wasted 5 minutes of my life. Really. I usually wouldn’t bother to even comment, but i saved this article to my reading list in the hopes to learn something new. Nope.

0 votes

Joshua Lockhart

Didn’t realize that my articles were such a huge part of your life. I’m flattered – will do what I can to improve.

To answer your question, I’m not sure. I could have easily gone with numerous others, but I decided to keep it focused on what people use the most for pure social interaction. I can agree to some extent that Pinterest and Instagram would have been nice additions, but why SoundCloud or MixCloud? If we mention those, why don’t I mention Reverbnation and MySpace? Maybe Flickr…

It’s simply because those are a little more focused. The other four sites seems to have several cross-overs, but truth be told, they also have their strengths.

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Markus Jogun

I may be gone a little over board with my criticim (and apologize), but the headline kind of implies that we are too general purpose with our social network posts, so it would make sense to go the “specialised/focused” route on this topic i think.

And I like to “makeuseof” the feeds i subscribe to… so bare with me that I don’t like obvious posts and point it out ;)

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