Expertise Social Media Platforms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On this day in 2010, the good folks at Mashable proclaimed June 30th “Social Media Day” (#SMDay if you’re Tweet-savvy) as “a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.” Whether that’s global communication between a brand and their fans or keeping friends connected across continents, social media has a place in almost everyone’s life, including and especially the lives of Fireflies.

Our Take

In honor of this wonderful day, we decided we’d go around and give our favorite platforms a little bit of love. This is what the #FirefliNerds have to say about social media. We’ll start with the clear social media nerds first…

Matt Sams, Director of Strategy

I’ve found myself largely practicing what we preach to clients in terms of how to use social media. We always tell clients “don’t spread your resources too thin — identify a specific use for whatever channels you can manage and do them well.” For me, that’s somewhat organically evolved into specific usage of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Twitter: Amongst our relatively small sample size, I seem to be of the dying breed who still heavily uses Twitter. It’s my primary news outlet — which is cool because I’ve catered it to be the news I care about most. Sure, I follow both national and local news outlets, but I love Twitter for the connection I get to news surrounding my hobbies. I nerd out over industry-related original thought, Apple product rumors, Hokie football recruiting prognosticating, Baltimore Orioles hot takes, new music announcements, and craft beer news. It’s simply a means of curating news about the stuff in my life.

Facebook (aka The O.G.): I find myself with a love-hate relationship with Facebook most days. It’s great for staying connected to people, but it’s also a constant reminder of the reasons why I’ve grown apart from many of the people that Facebook keeps me to update with (especially during election seasons). We recommend Facebook as an advertising platform for clients due to its extensive targeting capabilities and relatively low costs. But I also personally hate being targeted so specifically based on my interests — meaning that Zuckerberg just made something that works.

Instagram/Snapchat: I utilize Instagram and Snapchat purely for entertainment. Funny photos or snaps make me smile, and I’ve enjoyed growing my following list for each as usage has grown over time. I will say that I can’t stand Snapchat’s user interface. As a digital agency, we’re constantly analyzing user experiences for the products we build; but I feel like Snapchat should come with a manual.

Kelly Prince, Content Strategist

As the resident social media nerd, I have a lot of respect for how each platform has special capabilities in connecting ideas, people, and brands to those that matter most. But there are a few that have stood out to me throughout my digital lifetime.

Myspace: I would argue that it’s the true O.G. (Sorry Matt). From bulletin boards to blogging, to the first stream of comments I ever got lost in, Myspace had it all. A lot of platforms have niched themselves out today but Myspace was the one that got us used to all of these different concepts of social interaction.

Furthermore, I can attribute my constant obsession to pimping out my profile layout and look with HTML to my ability to have a basic understanding what my developer teammates are talking about.

Instagram: As an incredibly visual person working for a very visually driven company, Instagram is my go-to these days. They’ve kept some serious integrity in the way they’ve built the platform to be focused on the here and now of each post by limiting users to only post words and images. No spammy links, no sidebars with ads to distract and overwhelm you, just simple visual connection. It’s so inspiring to see all of the creative ways people use this outlet for their jobs, for blogging, or just for keeping up with great memories.

Facebook: Though I like to pretend I don’t love Facebook as much as I do, it’s probably my most used platform. It is an incredibly powerful way to keep up with what’s going on in your community, local and digital. The events feature is probably my most used element, whether it’s community events or concerts for my favorite bands. I love how easily event holders can engage with attendees these days. It really enhances the experience. All the memes on my feed are just a bonus.

John Cornthwait, Director of Products

Instagram: Instagram is my favorite platform because it’s visually based with an easy-to-consume timeline. I like that my feed doesn’t change like it does on Facebook, so I always know how far to go back before I’m seeing things I already checked out. Also @itsdougthepug.

Jocelyn Ashwell, SEO & PPC Strategist

Instagram: I prefer Instagram because there is a lot less “noise” compared to other social media sites (at least in my feed). I’ve never had much interest in adding to my repertoire of social media sites (who has the time really?), so anything after Instagram I pretty much have not bothered with 🙂

I get tired of the comments, politics, and advertisements on Facebook, but I do often use this as a good way to keep up with PPC and SEO trends. It is also hard to avoid completely because a lot of the older generation like my Mom and family are only on there.

Jeremy Basham, Senior Designer

Blogs & Podcasts: While I enjoy a good afternoon Facebook or Instagram scroll, I tend to follow various business design blogs and podcasts more than a specific social media platform. I’m fascinated with design trends and communities that will help push me as a designer.

Caleb Pierce, Senior Developer

Instagram: Caleb is vacationing in New England at the time of writing this blog post, but judging by his play-by-play posting style while away, it’s safe to assume Instagram is where it’s at.

Greg Brock, President, and CEO

Tumblr: I actually have a secret Tumblr account. I use it as my personal archive for music clips, videos, pieces of art, and anything else interesting and inspiring I come across. You can easily get lost in the feed. My family and friends don’t follow me, but strangers do. It’s a very different environment from other social platforms.

We are noticing a trend here. Is it possible that we’ve found the best platform for our brand? Try asking your co-workers how they use social media and maybe you’ll discover a new opportunity for your brand too!