Checking In On Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn After Their Fourth Quarter Earnings

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn–the all-important trifecta of social media platforms–recently reported their fourth quarter earnings, giving investors and commentators a chance to weigh in on how they’ve been doing.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked a little bit about two out of three of these social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and how they’ve been doing individually as they make their way into the New Year. But how have these companies been stacking up when we put them up against one another?

Well, by the look of things, we have somewhat of a mixed bag.

Shares for LinkedIn plunged 11% in after-hour trading last Thursday after the company reported a disappointing outlook–total sales ranged between $2.02 to $2.05 billion, which is well below analysts’ forecast of $2.2 billion.

LinkedIn also reported a 13.8% increase in sales, clocking in much lower than Twitter, which rang in at a 44% increase, and Facebook, which registered a 28% increase.

On the other hand, LinkedIn reported double the amount of user growth, with a 6.9% increase compared to Twitter’s 3.9%–down from a 6.4% growth in the previous period, which led to a devastating 24% drop in shares, and Facebook’s, which sat at a 3.4% growth rate, despite Facebook’s 63% increase in revenue and an eightfold increase in profit for the fourth quarter.

While taking a look at these companies’ earnings might not be all you should think about when weighing in on their potential for growth (or whether you should call it quits on the platforms) it does help to give you a better idea of where they stand.

By now, you might be wondering how to decide which social media platform to concentrate on in 2014. But honestly, the biggest takeaway from all of this is not that you should go ahead and pick one social media platform to use from now on—quite the opposite, actually.

Instead, think of this as a way to review all of the social media platforms that are a part of your recruiting/marketing arsenal. As we always like to point out, it is essential that you keep yourself acquainted with the ins and outs of all of your tools.

And at this point, even though we have a mixed bag as far as platform growth is concerned, the best strategy here seems to be to continue working with a mix of all the main social media platforms. Do that, and you should be safe all throughout any future growth or retraction.