Getting Started with Social Media: The Top 5 Sites Explained

Navigating the world of social media can be a little overwhelming with new sites gaining momentum daily. While there are similarities, each site has its strengths, weaknesses and specialties. If you’re new to the social media scene or are considering getting your agency started, below is a quick run-down of today’s top five social media sites.
  • Facebook: Facebook is not only a social media site, it’s a verb! “Facebooking” is a pastime across the world with nearly 60 percent of social media users interacting on the site daily. Though the most common age demographic is between 25 and 34 years old (53 percent being female), people of all ages and genders continue to interact and connect with friends, family, companies, charities and causes. Facebook is generally considered a good stepping stone into the social media world. It has the highest number of daily users, provides excellent analytics to see how you’re interacting with followers and has an easy to use mobile application for page management.
  • YouTube: Not only a social media site, YouTube is also one of the most popular search engines around. Since its creation, billions of people have watched, discovered, learned and shared inspiring, funny, educational or other videos. Many bloggers have moved from traditional blog posts to vlogging (video weblog) using YouTube and with over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month, YouTube is a great way to share visual messages.
  • Google+: Considered a mere toddler of social media, Google+ is one of the fastest growing social media sites ever. Built from a user’s Google account, communities, circles, and hangouts are created based on your interests and online interaction. With over 500 million daily active users Google+ is worth consideration to expand social media outreach.
  • Twitter: My favorite description of Twitter when it burst onto the social media scene was, “Twitter is to Facebook what Post It Notes are to blogs.” With only 140 characters, Twitter users maintain an up-to-date news feed filled with hashtags and photos to join and stay in the conversation. Twitter is a fast-paced social media site with a constantly changing news feed. Users tweet, retweet, favorite and reply to over 500 million tweets per day.
  • LinkedIn: Reported to be one of the oldest social media sites and the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn’s 300-million-strong daily users interact with 3 billion professional profiles in 200 countries and territories. Users connect with classmates and colleagues to share the latest business news and get inspired to strengthen their business or career.

One of the most effective ways to share the Community Action mission and current agency events with neighbors, elected officials, funders, the media, and the local community, is by creating and maintaining social media profiles. Want to learn more about how to get started or gain a following? Subscribe to OACAA’s blog for future updates.