Purpose vs. Actual Use of Social Media Networks

by   |  July 23, 2014

Purpose vs. Actual Use of Social Media NeworksIt’s important in marketing to keep up with the latest social media trends.   This helps companies reach their target audiences and also know where to mine important information for refining business strategy.

Keeping up with social media developments is dizzying.   It seems like every day there’s a new social network that “gurus” are labeling as “hot”.   Surely, in the time it has taken me to write this article, something new and hot will have come out.

For his conversation, let’s stick to the social networks that are most popular, and as “tried and true” as they can possibly be in this vastly-shifting digital age.

It’s interesting to compare what each network’s intended use is and how people actually use the networks.   There are some marked differences.

 Purpose vs. Actual Use of Popular Social Networks
 Rank  Social Network    Purpose  Actually Use 
1 Facebook To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected – Social interactions- Keep in touch with family & friends- Share status updates, pictures, & major life events- Invite people to events- Advertise &   purchase goods & services
2 Twitter To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers – Receive & create updates on pertinent information
3 LinkedIn To connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful – Highlight professional accomplishments- Network with individuals & companies of interest- Share links to professional content
4 Pinterest Discover ideas for any project or interest, hand-picked by people like you – Inspiration for home projects, crafts, cooking, etc.- View and share attractive “pins” (pictures, activity ideas, recipes, products, etc.)- Drive traffic to websites through use of imagery
5 Google+ To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful(Note: This is Google’s company-wide mission; Google+ doesn’t have its own public mission statement) – SEO- Accidental posts result from YouTube comments & likes- Separate contacts into circles to filter who sees which updates- Share pictures & life updates- Follow persons of interests
6 tumblr To empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – Create & read others’ microblogs- Share & explore information on specific topics of interest
7  Instagram To capture and share the world’s moments – Edit & share pictures
8 VK To top the number of Facebook fans – Similar to Facebook; Popular in Europe
9 Flickr 1) To help people make their photos available to the people who matter to them.2) To enable new ways of organizing photos and video – Edit & share photos- View others’ photos- Assist with SEO of images
10 myspace No mission statement. Something to do with connecting with friends, sharing content, and exploring music.   But who really knows?



The rank of popularity is based on the list of the  most popular social networks as of July 2014.


Social Media Purpose vs Actual Use

More on: Business, Marketing, Strategies
About the Author:

Mimi West is a consummate entrepreneur, brand and marketing expert. This retired opera singer and Founder of My Dream Teacher is now pursuing her MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Administration. You can follower her on Twitter: @MimiGuynnWest.
Publshed: July 23, 2014  | 
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