Civic Engagement and Advocacy Blog

Find Out Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for Your Organization

Posted by Brent Willis on 11/23/12 11:13 AM

Find me on:

Social media platforms are not just for virtual high school reunions and stalking a local celebrity bongo-player.How to determine social media platforms

Organizations and professionals around the world have seized the opportunity to engage a global audience and raise awareness about the information, services, and products that they have to offer. It can be difficult to identify which platform offers the best solution for your needs, so the first step is familiarizing yourself with the unique qualities and advantages of each website.


Of all popular social media platforms available on the internet today, Facebook has reached the largest amount of the world’s population to date. As of May 2012, there are well over800 million Facebook users across the globe, with over 400 million users located in Europe and North America. It’s designed for brand advocacy and business profiles largely due to the personal connections it allows in comparison with many other social media platforms.

The premise of Facebook is interacting with “followers” by engaging with statuses, sharing media, and starting conversations.

Organizations step onto Facebook to shed some of the formalities that otherwise come naturally. This social media platform is all about humanizing the interactions in social media for member engagement, and can be most useful for organizations who want to create a large pool of followers by using call-to-action statuses, links, and uploads of various media.   


Acting as a word-spewing, journalistic liaison in nutshell format, Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms for newspapers, journals, and various other e-publications. Brushing past the Twitter infamy of celebrity updates on bathroom regimens and short-lived infatuations, this is a popular and exceptionally useful tool for link sharing and creating viral content. Organizations can use Twitter for making frequent posts of quick links and political advocacy updates. Every minute of every day, Twitter publishes 100,000 tweets, which creates a definite challenge for organizations that want to generate more followers. Nevertheless, once a group develops a large pool of followers, news can travel at lightning speed.  


Content writers and web marketers have been abuzz with the necessity of search engine optimization (SEO) for published material. The Google+ social media platform is one effective form of addressing the use of keywords and popularity in search engine results. The basic concept of this platform is to generate private and business/organization profiles, in a similar fashion to Facebook, and functioning through a connection with Gmail. However, the focus is generated towards the content being shared, which makes this an exceptional solution for socially inclined text-generating organizations, like review and suggestion boards. Unlike other social sites, Google+ takes into account the number of +1s a share receives.

The latest project is incorporating Google+ shares into search results based on how content is ranked.


Is the second most used search engine after Google. Often used in combination with another social media platform, YouTube is a wildly popular venue for uploading and sharing videos. It is used to tell stories, educate on a topic, and excite members about an upcoming event. The popularity of this forum is indisputable, with over 800 million unique users watching content each month. For creative organizations, YouTube is a stellar solution, offering the ability to share statistics, updates, information, and products in incredibly artistic ways. Focus with this social media platform is certainly on community, encouraging members to comment, share, and even respond to videos with their own creations.


When it comes to professionalism and solid network building, LinkedIn is the go-to form of social media for member engagement. As of June 2012, approximately two new members join the LinkedIn community every second. Simultaneously functioning as a digital resume, company profile, news database, and job resource, LinkedIn puts on a more professional face than its competitors, and thus proves to be very effective for B2B companies. Connecting with other organizations, having conversations, and establish a presence online is efficient and streamlined.


While the importance of text-based content is crucial to any successful organization presence online, more groups are recognizing the power of sharing images. As part of the visual content revolution, increasingly more marketers are seeing the benefits of Pinterest for their business. Images offer a creative look at the products, services, or messages an organization offers, the personality of a group, and material relevant to the product or message. Pinterest allows users to gain maximum information from an image in much less time than through text, and increases the chance of sharing the content across other social networking sites. Maintaining this social media platform will require a lot of visual content, such as photos, videos, and infographics.

In turn, Pinterest can encourage an organization that is not necessarily based around creative content to engage with a larger audience by using artistic media. 


Brent Willis

Written by Brent Willis

People want to be heard other then just voting every 2,4, or 6 years. Groups that engage them and measure it are positioned to win the public policy battles of the future. My vision and mission is to revive the civic engagement of the American citizen in government relations; at the federal, state, and local level.

Topics: Social Media Engagement