Which Social Media is "Best"?
March 10, 2013 4:07 PM   Subscribe

II am trying to get a handle on web content and which content has, overall, the best stickiness. Sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr are, as near as I can tell, mostly visual. Blog and microblogging sites like Wordpress and Twitter are word based. Quora, Reddit and Metafilter are information sharing communities. Podcasts and music sites like MySpace or Soundcloud are, for the most part, sound focused. And then you have sites like Facebook and Google+ that are trying to combine the best of all of them.

I'm not asking about raw numbers or surveys that show which sites are used by the most people, though I admit that may be the closest I can get to my question. It seems to me that those sites that give people the most freedom to do more than one thing, i.e., not restrict them to a keyboard or a screen, would be the most popular since time is limited. But is it simply that some people who prefer video or are OK typing into a keyboard don't care about how much time they spend focusing in one direction? And are they markedly different from people who only want to listen to podcasts?
Or am I just going to have to be satisfied with leaders in each genre rather than discovering which social media is the "best."
posted by CollectiveMind to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Depends entirely on what you're trying to achieve, I guess. An awful lot of people use different social media platforms for different things. I use FB to keep tabs on my extended family, Metafilter for interesting reading, Tumblr to share visual media. I still even have an active LiveJournal for longform writing. Each serves its own purpose.
posted by Jilder at 4:24 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

In my experience, most people don't stick to just one type of social media site. I speak as both a user and someone whose business is partly based upon social media visibility.

Also, longevity is difficult to call - these days I spend so much more time on Twitter than I did just a year ago. Next year, who knows? I am moving where my audience goes, I guess.
posted by kariebookish at 4:43 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

The best social media website is Facebook, because it's used by the most people. See "network effect."
posted by John Cohen at 4:50 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pinterest is very sticky, but since it's used overwhelmingly by women, many male social media marketing experts tend to discount it.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:04 PM on March 10, 2013

It's not really possible to name the best social network. Jilder is right that it depends entirely on what you're trying to achieve. Since you use the word "sticky," I'm assuming that you're asking in terms of marketing or promotional effectiveness?

Facebook may have the most users, but it's turning out to generally not be very good for marketing or advertising. That's part of what their new redesign is hoping to solve.

If you know where your audience hangs out and what they need, then you can use social media to make it easy for them to find it, use it, or connect with other people who love it too. You can do this on pretty much any social network if you've got the audience-knowledge step down.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 6:48 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

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