What is the first thing you think of when you think of “social media“?
Facebook is our favorite social network. This giant attracts more than 1.3 billion people each day. Facebook is just one type of social media platform. We could name at most seven types of social media and we will continue to do so.
What are they? How can smart marketers and business owners make use of them to reach a larger audience? Let’s see.
1. Social networking sites
Many of us are familiarized with social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These social networking sites allow us to connect with family and friends as well as brands. These platforms encourage knowledge sharing and promote personal, human-to–human interaction.
Social networking sites are a Jack of all trades. You can post thoughts, curate content and upload photos and videos. They are built around the user and all that is important to them, their social circle and their interests.
How can social media sites benefit your business?
- Advertisements are a great way to reach your target audience. These platforms foster large and diverse communities. Advertisers have the option to rent permission to communicate with individuals based on certain targeting metrics. An advertiser might want to reach a young audience by advertising on Snapchat. However, those looking to reach professionals may prefer LinkedIn. These platforms are extremely data-rich, so we can reach many of the right people without spending a lot of money.
- Networking: Connect with your followers and find like-minded customers and potential business partners via hashtags and groups.
- Research: You can use social networking platforms to conduct customer research. This will help us better understand and serve our audience.
2. Social review sites
What is the first thing you do when you plan a trip? If you’re anything like ours, you’ll go straight to the reviews.
Yelp, TripAdvisor and other review sites display reviews from users for all kinds of experiences and locations. This removes much of the guesswork involved in booking a hotel or restaurant. Are you unsure if it is the right choice? You’ll find out by reading the reviews.
It is a great way for businesses to learn from their reviews, both the good and the not so good. It’s a great way to help them:
- Understanding the customer’s point of view: Customer reviews provide insight into the customer experience through their eyes. This will help you identify the areas that are working well and highlight areas where there is room for improvement.
- Problem solving: Reviewers can help you solve problems before they become big issues.
3. Photo sharing sites
Images, infographics, illustrations, and other visual content capture our imaginations, hearts, and eyes. Instagram, Snapchat, Imgur and Snapchat are social media platforms that aim to increase the power of image sharing.
Users curate and share original images that spark discussion and inspire action. Your business can be worth a thousand words if you have a great picture. These sites can be used to:
- Encourage user-generated content. Image sharing sites can be a great gift for photogenic businesses. Campaigns can be run to encourage users to share photos with your product and a unique #.
- Inspiration: Create, curate, and share your images to inspire others and build a community around a common interest.
4. Video hosting sites
YouTube changed the way we view, create and think about video. YouTube made the medium more accessible. Video has advanced thanks to connectivity and tech improvements.
YouTube and Vimeo are video hosting platforms that allow creators to create content and then share it on a platform that is optimized for streaming. Video is a very important medium because of its accessibility.
You can use video hosting websites to:
- You can share amazing content. Although this is obvious, creators can use YouTube for their communities and to get their content out.
- Engage: YouTube’s comments section gives you many opportunities to meet the people who are viewing your content.
5. Blogs for the community
Sometimes, a post or image is not complex enough to convey the message. However, not everyone wants to host a blog on their own website. It’s a lot of work.
Medium and Tumblr are two examples of shared blogging platforms that allow people to share their thoughts and connect with others.
These community blogs provide an audience and allow for self-expression. These sites can be used to:
- Your voice matters: It can be difficult to start a blog. Platforms like Medium or Tumblr can help you find your voice, gain some readers, and clarify your vision.
- Syndicate content: If your blog is active, you can use community blogging platforms for sharing, re-purpose and re-posting older content to reach a new audience.
6. Discussion sites
Reddit and Quora, which are discussion sites specifically created to spark conversations, have been the subject of heated Facebook discussions. Everyone is welcome to ask questions or make statements, which attracts people who share similar interests and curiosities. Users tend to share less information than Instagram and Facebook.
How can these platforms benefit your business?
- Research: Reddit has many sub-communities. You can engage people in your field and find out what they are asking. This information can be used as a starting point to your content marketing strategy.
- Answer questions: Users of Quora ask all kinds of questions. Answering these questions can make you a thought leader and increase traffic to your website.
7. Sharing economy networks
AirBnB, Rover and other similar sites are more than just a place to rent a vacation home or find a pet sitter. The sharing economy brings people with something to share with people who need it. Because these communities pool resources on a large-scale that isn’t possible without technology, they offer opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere.
Which type of social media is right for you?
There are many types of social media. There are many ways to use social media to benefit your business. Be clear on your goals, be creative, and, most importantly, be human.
Biteable and Promo.com were designed to allow people to quickly and easily create high-quality video content on many of the social media platforms mentioned above.
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