SIMILAR FUNCTIONS: There has been a convergence of how social media networks set up interfaces for users.
SIMILAR FUNCTIONS: There has been a convergence of how social media networks set up interfaces for users. Thinkstock

Networks copying functions

UP UNTIL now, each of the major social media networks - namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube - have been different beasts.

They have had their own languages, character limits, ways of using graphics, and of course they generally have different types of users and should be used to achieve different business objectives.

Naturally, each of the social networks are keeping a close eye on what the others are doing and want to emulate features on competitor networks that they believe their users would like. Over time there has been a convergence of what one social network does compared to another. I thought I would give you a heads-up on some of the functionality that started on one network, but is now available on another.

You may or may not realise these are available, or which is coming to another social network you use.

Tagging people

I have been using LinkedIn for a long time, but it has not been that long since they have had status updates like Facebook. Like other social networks, at first I found I would do status updates and not get a lot of response.

But as I increased the messaging, frequency and understood what my users wanted and made sure I was mixing up the marketing messages, I now find that I get a high level of interaction on my LinkedIn posts in the forms of "likes" "comments" and "shares".

I am pleased that just the other week, LinkedIn released the ability to tag in other people in your status updates.

For instance if you have an article that certain clients of yours will love, and you are connected with those clients on LinkedIn, type their name and LinkedIn will tag those clients in the status.

Cover graphics

Facebook has offered the ability to have large cover graphics for some time. Twitter followed this lead in September last year, when it added the ability to feature a header photo.

Linkedin followed suit in October last year when it began to offer the ability to add cover graphics to Company Pages (not profiles).

Adding well-designed cover graphics to any social network lifts your page, so make sure you use it when it is available. If you feature on more than one social network, be consistent with the graphics you use.


I know some people are put off by Twitter simply because of the use of hashtags on the network, which they don't understand. The #+word combination groups conversations across specific topics and in real time.

For example, I believe when the Christchurch earthquake hit the Twitter hashtag for this was #Chchquake. By searching Twitter for this hashtag, you could find anyone talking about the earthquake - whether it be emergency services, media, loved ones or even people trapped in rubble.

According to reports, Facebook is working on ways to incorporate the hashtag into its service. Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion last year, also incorporates the hashtag so they already have the know-how internally.

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