You've got a new piece of content you want to share, but where do you put it? Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, your Wordpress blog... all of the above?! With these and many other options to choose from, posting on the Web can be confusing - even a little stressful. But never fear, ReadWriteWeb is here to help. We've identified three main social media profiles, based on the Big 3 networks: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
We're not suggesting to choose one of the Big 3 and ignore the other two. Many people use each of the three for different purposes. What we're saying is: why not choose one as your main account. It will make it easier for you to manage your social media life.
Here are the three types of social media users we've identified:
The Google+ Pundit
This person favors Google+ because of its topic-focused discussions. They enjoy writing their thoughts on topical issues of the day and (unlike Twitter) Google+ doesn't restrict them.
Tim O'Reilly, the founder of O'Reilly Media and father of Web 2.0, is a Google+ fan. In a recent post there, he explained that he uses Google+ because it has "meaningful groups that are growing organically out of my various communications." In other words, he finds like-minded people to talk with on Google+.
He uses Twitter and Facebook too, but Google+ is his preferred network. Here's an example of Tim posting his thoughts onto Google+ first, then following up with a tweet that points to Google+:
The Talkative Tweeter
This person is very good at thinking out loud and tends to post to Twitter regularly throughout the day. Twitter is ideal for people who love real-time discussions. These conversations can be topical or just everyday social, but either way it all happens fast and in the moment.
ReadWriteWeb's own Jon Mitchell is a great example of this profile. He posts once or twice a day to Google+ and Facebook, but about every 5 minutes to Twitter. Well, maybe not that much, but as I've been writing this very sentence there have been 2 updates to his Twitter stream! I really enjoy following his tweets, even though I am not a heavy tweeter myself.
The Facebook Socializer
Facebook is the most difficult of the three big social media sites to figure out. It's mainly a social network, for keeping up-to-date with your friends and family. But you can also subscribe to people you don't know, or "like" their "Page". Or you can subscribe to their public profile and like their Page. In a nutshell, Facebook is trying to be all things to all people - which has created a whole lot of confusion for content producers and consumers alike.
Despite all this, the most effective Facebook users are ones who regularly post for social purposes. Often they pipe in their Twitter updates, too. My friend Chris Saad is a great example. Chris is a successful Web strategist who lives in San Francisco; and he also has a social life that many of his friends are politely envious of. So his Facebook profile is a mix of savvy technical commentary (much of it syndicated from his Twitter profile) and photos of him living it up in San Francisco.
So there you have it: three types of social media users to model yourself on. There are of course a plethora of specialist services, too: Tumblr for curation, Pinterest for images, Wordpress for blogging, and so on. If what you do is a good fit for a specialist service, then use it as one of your primary services alongside one of the Big 3. For example, if you're a visual person and love to post images, then Pinterest should be one of your main social media sites.
Which of the Big 3 social media profiles do you fit?
p.s. You don't need to be a white male with a beard to answer. Sorry about that, occupational hazard!