Visible Strategy

Using the web to propell your business to visibility

The Big Four Social Networks …

An overview of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

This is part two of a recent post. I am posting these definitions of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube from Constant Contact’s learning center. Please check out the definitions on the previous post for terms like app and blog and geo-tagging!
is the link for the entire list.





The largest of the social networks (it boasts more than 500 million active users), Facebook has become a favorite destination for people, businesses, and organizations to connect and share information because of its easy-to-use interface and interactive features. It’s the most multimedia-friendly of the big three networks as members can post text, pictures, audio, and video. It also offers tons of applications and widgets that can make your Facebook Page engaging and fun.


This is the term that was used for someone who chose to connect with a Page. Facebook no longer uses the term; currently, when someone chooses to connect with a Page, he or she “likes” it, rather than becoming a fan. (See “Like.”) While most people will know what you mean when you ask them to “Become a Fan” on Facebook, the preferred terminology is for you to ask someone to “Find” or “Like” you on Facebook.


When you want to connect with someone on Facebook through a personal profile, you “friend” them. The friend connection is two-way, meaning both parties have to agree before the connection is made. (See also “unfriending.”)


The “Like” button is now ubiquitous on Facebook (and off). The Like button provides a simple way for Facebook users to share their approval or endorsement with their network of friends. Users can Like a Page as a way of providing a recommendation or they can simply Like an individual post, picture, or video to provide a virtual thumbs up. You may have noticed Like buttons on non-Facebook websites. This is a great way to get visitors to your website or blog to recommend your business or an individual post with their Facebook network. (You can learn how to add a “Like” button to your website here: You can also add a “Like” button to your email newsletter to help amplify your voice and extend your message beyond the inbox; but we make it easy for you by automatically adding a Like and Share button to any newsletter you send through Constant Contact.


A Page (previously referred to as a Fan or Business Page) is the recommend platform for your business or organization to connect with new people and engage with your existing customers in an open dialog. The benefit of a Page is that customers can follow it by hitting the “Like” button without the connection having to be reciprocated. When you post a comment to your Page, it will show up in your fans’ news feed, for all their friends to read and share. You can create an incredible network effect by posting interesting and valuable content and promotions to your Page.

Personal profile

Any individual who is on Facebook has a personal profile: it’s the focal point for the entire network. Your profile page contains all your pertinent information and is how others find and connect with you on Facebook. Through your profile, you can share status updates, photos, videos, links, and other content. Plus, friends can comment on your posts. Businesses, organizations, and celebrities are recommended to create a Page rather than a personal profile.

Privacy Settings

Facebook has a myriad of privacy settings that you can use to control who sees what. Note that Facebook changes the range of settings and their defaults from time to time. It’s good to keep an eye on any changes to Facebook’s Terms of Service.


Sharing is synonymous with posting or publishing. You can publish text, links, photos, videos, and events on Facebook using the share box at the top of your profile (it says, “What’s on your mind?” inside the box). After entering your text, you have the option to upload a photo, video, or insert a link. When sharing a link, Facebook will automatically include the title, description, and an image (if available) from the page you’re linking to. If there are multiple images on the page, you have the option to select which image you want to use as the thumbnail. You can also change the specific text that is displayed by clicking on it. In addition, when you share content to your Wall, your fans and friends can then Like, comment on, or share the content with their friends. The share feature is what makes publishing content to Facebook so powerful. By sharing great content, you can encourage your friends and fans to syndicate your message, creating a powerful network effect.


Along the top of a Facebook profile or page, tabs separate out areas of content. Customers can add additional tabs using pre-built applications or by building their own. [To find interesting tabs to add to your Page or Profile, check out Appbistro (


You can tag friends in pictures, places, videos, and in text, which places a link from the item to their profile. Tagging a person’s face in one of your own photos will allow that person’s friends to see your photo, depending on the tagged person’s privacy settings.


Disconnecting with someone on Facebook. When you unfriend someone, the person does not get notice that you have done so.


This is your own profile page and the updates it contains. People can write updates on your wall that are viewable by all your friends.



Often described as the more professional of the big three social media networks, LinkedIn lets you connect with friends, colleagues, and other people you’ve worked or done business with. Your profile on the network is akin to an online resume, complete with the ability for others to write recommendations for you. Like with Facebook, connections made on LinkedIn must be verified by both parties. Companies can have their own profile pages on the site, and there are group features available to build discussion areas around a central topic.


Pages designed for businesses that want a presence on LinkedIn. Company pages can be used to list all employees of an organization with accounts on LinkedIn.


There are three degrees of connections on LinkedIn. 1st-degree connections are people that you have mutually agreed to connect with on the network. 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections are people that are connected to your 1st-degree connections, but not directly with you. One of the benefits of LinkedIn is that 1st-degree connections can be used to introduce you to 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections.


Groups connect people with a similar interest and include shared discussion threads and other tools. Some groups require verification to join, but you do not have to be connected to everyone in the group.

Job Posts

LinkedIn runs its own job board. Users can post or search for jobs on the site. When searching for jobs, LinkedIn will automatically show you any connections you might have in common with the company looking to hire.


Allows users to post questions to their network of connections. You can also answer questions posted by friends and colleagues on the site. Answering questions is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a given area.

Status Update

Like with Twitter and Facebook, you can write a quick post to update your network of connections on what is happening. LinkedIn users can also set their Twitter updates to feed their LinkedIn status updates.



The social media network based on 140-character micro-blog posts. Users post short updates that can be seen by anyone, even if they are not logged into the site. Posts can only include text and links; any multimedia content (photos, video, audio) must be linked to. The people who follow you will see your updates in their timeline when they log in. Unlike with Facebook, you do not have to confirm or reciprocate the follower connection, meaning people can follow your updates without you have to see theirs.

DM/Direct Message

A private note between two users on Twitter. The person receiving the message must follow the person sending it and the message is bound by the 140-character limit.


The act of connecting with someone on Twitter. People who have elected to follow you will see your tweets in their timeline. You are not obligated to follow people back and you have the ability to block followers (usually used only for spammers) from seeing your posts.


Electing to see someone’s tweets in your own timeline. Follow people and companies that you’re interested in hearing from.


Your Twitter username is referred to as your handle, and is identified with the @ symbol. For example, Constant Contact’s handle is @constantcontact. The @ is used to refer to a specific person and link to that account on Twitter within a tweet. If you want to reference Constant Contact within a tweet, you would use our handle in your post. (Advanced tip: When you use an @ reference as the first word in a tweet, only those of your followers who follow you and the user you’re referencing will see the tweet. If you want all of your followers to see a Tweet that references another user, use another word prior to the @ reference.)


Words preceded by a # sign (i.e., #ctctsocial) can be used to tie various tweets together and relate them to a topic, be it a conference, TV show, sporting event, or any happening or trend of your choosing. Twitter automatically links all hashtags so users can search for other tweets using the same tag.


A way to combine select people you follow on Twitter into a smaller feed. A list can be made up of friends, competitors, people in the same state: anything you want. Lists let you view a slice of your followers at a time and are a great way to focus on specific folks when you’re following a large number of people.


The practice of documenting an event through tweets that are posted while an event is in progress. (See also “live-blogging.”)

Photo sites

In order to share photos on Twitter, you have to upload them somewhere and link to them. Sites like,, and are all popular for quickly uploading and sharing pictures on Twitter. You can use the links to these photos on sites other than Twitter.


This is the Twitter equivalent of forward-to-a-friend. When someone posts something you find interesting, you can retweet it and share it with all the people who follow you.


Since the majority of tweets are public, you can use Twitter’s search feature to look for tweets containing a keyword or phrase. The search results will update in real time with any new tweets that contain the word or phrase searched on.


The chronological listing of all tweets in a given feed, be it your own, in a list, or another user’s.

Trending Topics

Along the right side of the main web interface, Twitter lists 10 topics that are “hot” on Twitter at the given moment based on certain algorithms. You can see trending topics for all of Twitter or for certain geographic areas. Beware: trending topics are sometimes gamed by people trying to promote pop culture references that aren’t truly trending topics. And some businesses now pay for their product to be a trending topic (Disney was one of the first, for Toy Story 3.)


What posts are called on Twitter.


A term for events (i.e., meetups) that spring from Twitter connections. Tweetups are typically informal gatherings that let Twitter followers meet in real life, and coordinators often use a hashtag to unite tweets related to the event.


A fun term used to describe the world of Twitter


By unfollowing someone, you no longer receive their updates in your own timeline.



A video sharing site owned by Google. Users can freely upload their own video content to the site (you must have the rights to the content), as long as it is less than 10 minutes in length and the file is less than 100MB is size. YouTube makes it easy for people to embed videos on their own site or blogs, which helps with viral marketing efforts. Google results include YouTube videos as well.


The home page for each account’s own video collection (e.g., You can customize a channel with your own logo, description, and colors. YouTube does have premium options for greater channel branding, customization, and promotion.




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