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Apr 26 2021

Types of Social Media And How Each Can Benefit Your Business

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It goes without saying that social media dominates the internet. Mainstream platforms like Facebook and Instagram collectively have billions of users across the world. However, many brands solely focus on the largest platforms when seeking marketing opportunities instead of prioritising the sites that best suit their goals and values. There are several different types of social media that exist, even if they do have a considerably smaller number of users in comparison to other sites. For this reason, businesses everywhere should be aware of the types of social media platforms that exist, in order to market their products and services in the best ways. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of social media marketing and how each can benefit your business.

7 different types of social media

1. Social networking sites

types of social media

Social networking is arguably the most popular type of social media today. Social media platforms are used for users to connect with each other. Whether it’s to find common interests or to network with professionals within their niche, social media is a quick and efficient way to communicate with anyone in the world. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, all share many things in common — they encourage their users to post content, directly connect with other users, and create their own communities. 

How they can benefit your business: Social networking sites are essential marketing tools for any business. They help people and brands to connect online and exchange vital information. These platforms are also ideal for increasing the visibility of your brand as well as increasing sales in your products and services. Partnering with social media influencers on these sites also helps to boost your brand’s reputation.

2. Media sharing networks

types of social media

Media sharing networks are primarily used to share photos, videos and other media online. Given that the majority of social media users prefer visual aids to text, sites like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat are among the most popular media sharing networks today. They allow brands to be creative with their marketing strategies, as there are no limitations to the types of content that they can create. 

How they can benefit your business: There has been a surge in popularity of media sharing networks, with TikTok currently being the fastest-growing social media app. This is because these types of social media encourage users to connect on a more personal level, which is ideal for promoting brand awareness for your business. Live videos are also pertinent to media sharing networks, which can help you to connect with your audience in real time. Sites like Instagram and TikTok notify your followers when they are going live, which helps you to increase the visibility of your content.

3. Discussion forums

types of social media

Discussion forums are among one of the different forms of social media. They are predominantly used to discuss opinions and share ideas about different kinds of information. Sites such as Reddit, Quora and Yahoo! Answers are some of the most used discussion forums on the internet. Discussion forums are considered to be among the most traditional types of social media. Before the creation of the biggest social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, people utilised discussion forums to talk about any subject they liked.

How they can benefit your business: Discussion forums are recognised as being a safe place for online users to express their true opinions on different topics. This is great for your business as customers are likely to give honest feedback about your products or services on these forums.

4. Bookmarking and content curation sites

Bookmarking and content curation sites are some of the most popular types of social media. They help people to share and discover trending content through images and headlines. Sites like Pinterest are known for providing a space for innovation and inspiration. Topics such as fashion and beauty are hot topics on Pinterest, where people can view different photos of their favourite looks. 

How they can benefit your business: Platforms such as Pinterest are perfect for driving traffic to your website. For example, if a Pinterest user sees an item of clothing that they like, they have easy access to the links to your website so that they can make a purchase.

5. Consumer review networks

Consumer review networks are mainly used to review different organisations and establishments. Sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp are used to share information about different brands, restaurants and travel destinations. 

How they can benefit your business: Consumer reviews can help to boost your brand’s reputation. For example, customers that leave positive reviews about a hotel can substantially influence the decisions of potential customers. It makes brands look professional and genuine when their previous customers have enjoyed their experience. When it comes to receiving negative reviews on these platforms, it can help you to determine how to improve your products and services.

6. Blogging networks

Blogging networks is one of the categories of social media that is used to publish, share and discover various images and videos. They are considered as creative outlets for people to showcase their interests and their hobbies. Platforms such as Tumblr and Medium are highly sought-after places for those interested in blogging channels. 

How they can benefit your business: Blogging networks are great for not only increasing your visibility, but they are ideal if you want to focus on a niche category. Sites like Tumblr offer brands a huge platform to discover and share content that is relevant to their niche.

7. Shopping networks

Shopping networks are mainly used to purchase items, follow brands and discover new trends. They are easily one of the most desired types of social media among mass audiences. Sites such as Etsy and Depop are recognised as being huge platforms for shopping. 

How they can benefit your business: You can significantly increase your sales by joining sites like Etsy and Depop. These networks add an interactive element to e-commerce through incorporating social features such as privately messaging online sellers and liking content. Shopping networks such as Etsy raise brand awareness for independent and small businesses.

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