Most people don’t realize there are different categories of social media channels. If you were to ask a random person on the street, “What types of social media exist?”. They would probably respond with, “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn”. And they would be right of course, if we were talking about different channels. But, they aren’t necessarily correct when it comes to the different types.
So what exactly are the different types? Keep reading to find out!
Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter):
Social networks connect people and brands to a wide audience that can help a business to achieve its online goals, such as branding, social awareness, relationship building, customer service, lead generation, conversion and so much more.
Media sharing networks (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat):
Media sharing networks are very similar to social networks in that their purpose is to connect people and brands to a wide audience. They have all the benefits of a social network, they just operate through a different medium. The sole role of these platforms is to share media, hence the name media sharing.
Discussion forums (Reddit):
Online forums create a place to post questions and get answers from others who know a lot about subjects including the business you’re in or your competition. Forums can be an incredible resource if you spend time finding and getting involved in the most useful ones.
Content curation networks (Pinterest):
Content curation networks are not just for keeping and sharing pictures and videos. You will also find a wide range of information on products, services, recipes, do-it-yourself projects and lots more every time you utilize these networks. They are a great place to see what is currently trending in the world. You can also use them as platforms for content marketing your business as they have now become quite popular as well as highly effective for this kind of promotional effort.
Consumer review networks: (Yelp, Glassdoor, Foursquare)
Social marketing is not just about using social media marketing tools for promoting your business. It is also about making use of the word-of-mouth marketing techniques. One of the best ways to build your company’s credibility on the web is to have positive reviews on different customer review networks. Businesses are now starting to rely heavily on customer reviews for making more money.
Blogging networks (Tumblr, Medium):
Blogging networks create a great opportunity to create content. The role of content can’t be underestimated in any digital marketing campaign. It is the heart and soul of any good online marketing strategy. Content is the only way your target audience will believe and want to try out what you are offering. This makes it crucial for you to focus on increasing the quality and quantity of the content you produce.
While social media evolves, certain platforms can cross between different types of social media. Facebook and Twitter may occasionally be seen as media sharing apps. Then you have new social media apps pop up like Clubhouse, it’s more of a social network, but it doesn’t look the same as the typical social network.
Knowing what type of social media platform you are using can be helpful in terms of creating a marketing strategy, but knowing the platform itself may be enough for you.