6 social media platforms at a glance

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Your social media platform checklist

Step 5: Identify the platforms
A core component of formulating a social media marketing plan is to understand the ins-and-outs of each of the major social platforms so you can create relevant strategies and tactics around each one. The following outline will help you determine which profiles should be incorporated into your social media marketing plan.


  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 25 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: entertainment, lifestyle brands, and non-profits
  • Biggest opportunity: using ads to build fans
  • Biggest challenge: few appreciate Facebook advertising
  • Metrics: fans, comments, likes, wall posts
  • Helpful tools: Lexicon, ad interface, applications, analytics, connect, etc.


  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 15 to 25
  • Ideal fit for: music and entertainment
  • Biggest opportunity: providing music samples
  • Biggest challenges: noisy; losing market share quickly
  • Metrics: friends, favorites, groups, impressions
  • Helpful tools: Open Platform, MyApps, MySpace Toolbox


  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 55
  • Ideal fit for: service providers, industry associations
  • Biggest opportunity: creating thought leadership via Q&A and Groups
  • Biggest challenge: time commitment
  • Metrics: profile connections, best answers, group members, discussions
  • Helpful tools: Applications, Salesforce plug-in


  • Community mindset: create
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 55
  • Ideal fit for: technology
  • Biggest opportunity: develop thought-leadership
  • Biggest challenge: requires significant resources over time
  • Metrics: feed subscribers, comments, Technorati score, pingbacks, inbound links, visibility in search engines
  • Helpful tools: WordPress plug-ins


  • Community mindset: create (microblogging)
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: service industry
  • Biggest opportunity: customer service, consumer insight, sales and marketing
  • Biggest challenges: noisy; reliability issues; platform limitations
  • Metrics: followers, @ replies, retweets, direct messages, custom hashtags
  • Helpful tools: BingTweets, TweetBeep, TweetDeck, HootSuite, CoTweet, Mr. Tweet, Twitalyzer, blog plug-ins


  • Community mindset: vote
  • Primary demographic: 25 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: big brands and entertainment
  • Biggest opportunity: creating viral content (e.g., United Breaks Guitars)
  • Biggest challenges: noise; conversions
  • Metrics: views, comments, subscribers, ratings
  • Helpful tools: TubeMogul, YouTube Insight


Kent Lewis
Kent Lewis February 9, 2010 at 11:08 AM


Indeed, there are regulations in regards to healthcare & pharma that you need to be aware of. When we worked with a Fortune 250 pharma, we were not allowed to engage in social media, due to the "averse effects" clause, where our client has an obligation to respond to any comments from customers regarding any averse effects of their medications. Compound the issue with HIPAA and SEC compliance (if publicly traded) then you've got challenges indeed. Feel free to drop me a line with questions kent (at) anvil media dot com.

Kay Ram
Kay Ram February 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Hey Kent ,

I loved your article and I was wondering if you can help me ... what about legal regulations regarding social media in the pharmaceutical branch ?

Many thanks

Julia Kinslow
Julia Kinslow January 13, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Great content on developing and utilizing a viable social media strategy.

I wrote a similar post talking about the stages of making a social media presence and strategy. I believe it's important to stress spending time "listening" first to what is being said about your company, and then finding out where your customers are. Then it's time to engage.

All the best, Juila

Andrew Ballenthin
Andrew Ballenthin October 10, 2009 at 4:47 AM

Kent, great content. Where did you collect the data from? I'm presently writing a book on social media monetization for Pearson and looking to share this type of data. I'd like to be able to quote this data in my book but need to know where the demographic data came from and who the origniating author of this content is.
Please email me at your earliest convenience

Radu Trandafir
Radu Trandafir September 8, 2009 at 1:58 AM

Excellent article. Thanks for organizing the info in such a functional way!

Lenni Eubanks
Lenni Eubanks August 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Thanks for the article, really helpful, esp the summaries in Step 5.

Kent Lewis
Kent Lewis August 25, 2009 at 12:03 AM

Kip, thanks for the comment. At a glance, metrics should be based on your campaign objectives, audience and platforms. You're on the right track, in that basic metrics include friends, followers, fans, connections, views, etc. but you should be looking at focusing in on and weighing engagement metrics more heavily:

-Twitter: retweets, replies, mentions, etc. (think Twitalyzer)
-Facebook: wall comments, likes, shares, etc.
-LinkedIn: recommendations, best answers, etc.

I suggest checking out the articles in our Resources section for additional detail:

I hope this helps.

Gunther Sonnenfeld
Gunther Sonnenfeld August 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Kent - great overview on the use of SM platforms; this should give folks, particularly those new to the space, a good idea of the possibilities.


Leslie Cawley
Leslie Cawley August 24, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Excellent article and I might add that even with negative reviews and ratings, you can till take from the comments and learn how to improve on what you have to offer the targeted audiences. As Mr. Lewis has already done, the demographics are clear for each of the popular social netoworking sites and all one has to do is visit to learn even more about the user interests, what ads are posted, what they don't like and what can be added to create more value. Just use the internet and search engines as a guide and even talk with representatives of the groups you may know fo find our more about them. It can be done.

kip steele
kip steele August 24, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Great article Kent.
What would you suggest which statistics people use to measure the success of a social media campaign? Twitter = followers? Facebook = friends? Thanks. Kip

Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger August 24, 2009 at 11:53 AM

This was a good article