Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 17.53.00

This post is part of a series where I am compiling lists of various tools for individuals and business, and sharing some of my experiences and examples for each.  Here are links to all the Zestee lists so far:

When I began experimenting with social media about 8 years ago, I began lists of social media platforms for business.  My original blog no longer exists, but one of the earliest posts on this blog you’re reading now was Zestee’s Top 10 Free Internet Marketing Tools.  That was published in July 2010 and now, more than 5 years later, it’s interesting to see that all of those are still popular.   Back then, it wasn’t as clear to me which were actual tools and which were platforms, and that can still get confusing.  Basically, now I would call anything a platform if it’s a brand, like Facebook or Twitter.  I would call it a tool if it’s something you use to undertake a certain function (like blogging or email marketing).   However even those words (platform or tool) can be interchangeable really.   I find that with such a fast-growing and fast-changing industry as social media and digital marketing, there are several terms in use which mean pretty much the same thing.  For example, digital marketing/internet marketing and social media/social networking.  I find myself chopping and changing terms pretty regularly despite trying for consistency.  I’ve even written whole posts about dilemmas such as how to write elearning.  My philosophy is to not get too caught up in the actual word and look at the context, purpose and how others are using it.   That same advice can go for social media platforms in general.  There is also the question of exactly what IS a social media platform?

In this post, I will focus on a list of social media platforms, starting with the big ones most of us know and perhaps later adding more.   I will only add those I have had some personal experience with and will divide into how often I use them.

If you’re after a more extensive listing, there is a great Wikipedia list of social networking websites.  You can also check out the interesting Wikipedia list of defunct social networking websites.

Social Media Platforms I use daily: 

Facebook: need my daily Facebook fix, mostly as all my friends and family use this, as well as colleagues and team mates on various projects I’m working on

YouTube: watch videos daily, sometimes embedded in other places, sometimes on YouTube directly.

WordPress: try to blog daily on at least one of my 5 WordPress websites.

Social Media Platforms I use weekly: 

Twitter: would like to use this daily but never seem to get around to it, not as many friends use this as Facebook which is probably why, but still a great community and lots of useful information there.  Love it for when I attend conferences or am after a quick connection with someone specific, or researching a keyword.

LinkedIn: was using this only a few times a month but now spend a lot more time there, it could almost go to the daily list.  I try to use Facebook for personal connections & LinkedIn for professional but there is crossover.

Instagram: This is one of those “surprise social media platforms” that started out as a smartphone app and now has such a strong following to warrant its own mention in this list.  I enjoy sharing photos and seeing others.  There are some friends and family members that only use this platform.

Yammer: recently joined this via my work at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.  Have noticed only a handful of my colleagues use it but it’s a good tool and hope to use it more often.

Social Media Platforms I use a few times a month:

Pinterest: I loved this when it first started but back then, it was mostly just images.  Now, for me, I feel there is too much clutter and text as well so tend to use it less, but still visit from time to time and gather pins regularly.

Google+: the social media platform that I’d love to love – it has all the features and potential, it’s just kind of like attending a party that none of your friends are at.  If Facebook closed down tomorrow, I’d probably jump ship here, but meanwhile, it’s just another network to log into.  I like it enough to not ignore it totally though and am trying to use a little more often – who knows, I might make some new friends at this party.

Social Media Platforms I’m a member of but use rarely:

Flikr: love photography and sharing images, I’d like to use this more often to showcase my collection and create a type of stock photo library, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Goodreads: I love reading.  Not so much into making it social though. Curling up with a good book – alone – is an escape from the online world, isn’t it?  I guess I could share my thoughts on it later but never seem to get to it. Similar story with sharing my thoughts about movies and products.

Yelp: like the concept of reviewing and reading reviews of local business, just never really got into doing it.  Same story with Google reviews.

Social Media Platforms I used in the past but no longer use:

Foursquare: for a while, the novelty of checking in and reviewing places was fun, but then I didn’t see much point, and didn’t always want to share where I was/had been with my network.

Hyves: a Dutch site that used to rival Facebook in the Netherlands, but has now been transformed into a gaming site

Won’t it be interesting to see which platforms crop up next as the “next big thing”?  Currently that prize goes to Periscope or Meerkat, both of which are live video streaming tools or platforms.  I think new social media platforms have a really hard time to gain foothold now, as I believe we have a kind of threshold where we can only manage the time to check/learn a limited number of platforms, would you agree?  What are your favourites?  Which ones are you not remotely interested in?  Love your comments below.

Renee