4 Social Networks We Forget Are Social

Millions of people world wide use a variety of social platforms to interact with others and stay in touch. Facebook is the most popular, followed hot on the heels by Twitter. These are the two networks that most people would define as “social media”. You can chat, comment, like, republish, tag and share. However, there are a collection of others that are widely used, but people forget are “social” platforms in their own right, because they function differently. The fact that they perform in different ways to what is usually expected, it doesn’t limit their role in the “social” media arena.

Instagram

A social platform aimed specifically at photo sharing. It’s great for showing the world, or your friends, what you have been doing in visual Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 00.01.12format. It’s quick, simple, you can edit the photos using filters to create wonderful snapshots of fun times. However, it’s easy to forget it’s a social network because it’s so stripped bare of what we would normally consider key features of networking.

1 – Being able to see photos taken by someone else, particularly if you know them, is an intimate thing. It’s like getting the family photo albums out at BBQ’s or when you meet the parents. Being allowed access to them means you can see into these people lives. A moment in time that meant something to them in order for them to share it with the world. That is one of the most social things you can do.

2 – You can easily follow/unfollow your friends and family or others. This means you can always see what they’re up to.

3 – Liking and commenting on photos is a way of connecting and showing appreciation of someones hobbies, photos, interests and life events. It’s a great way of connecting. A quick “like” of a photo or comment shows them that you are thinking of them.

Google Plus

This always feels a little more business related rather than socially engineered. People talking about the benefits of it as an SEO tool, or business app excellent for online meetings, or it’s so low key that your friends may not even have a G+ account they know how to use.

1 – If you can’t “hang out” with friends or family in person, do it online! Use the G+ Hang Out options to video message them and catch up in person, or at least s much in person as the internet can be.

2 – Follow loved ones profiles so you never need miss anything they may upload.

3 – Share or “Plus 1 (like) your friends posts to let them know you have seen it and appreciate what they have shared with you. You can comment on it, like with Facebook and start a conversation over updates.

Pinterest

Another network which is aimed at one small aspect of online media, collecting interesting webpages. Great for companies sharing their online content or people with specific interests, but overlooked as a means of socialising.

1 – Friendships and relationships work because you and that person have particular interests and likes in common. By having a place online where you can share these, you can create talking points with those you know will enjoy them too. It allows you to bond and be creative together.

2 – You can interact with other by “liking” and commenting on peoples pins. Not only can you talk this way, you can share their content on your own boards to show appreciation and spread the theme. Pinterest also allows you to share boards with certain people, so you can share pins and interests directly with someone if you know they would love it!

Picsity

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 11.35.36

I’ve written about this network before. This is a very clever, fun and quirky social media site. It is aimed specifically at people and brands who work in E-commerce. It helps you sell products in a layout very reminiscent of Pinterest. However, it’s so much more than just an online market place.

Picsity allows you to share, like and write on products you love. It features a little of all other networks, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, so really, it’s a very powerful socialising and marketing tool. By commenting on peoples walls and on peoples “collections”, sharing products or just small talk, and liking others posts, you can connect with friends or world wide about anything, and find bargains and sell goods whilst you do it!

Conclusion

In a world where social media is becoming more and more aggressively business and marketing focused, it’s easy to forget that it is is, at heart, for staying social in real life. Remembering to use it as a social tool as well as business means you really make the most of it, keep in touch with those you care about and have a little fun along the way.

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