Social media marketing is just the process of posting on Facebook and Instagram, right? …B-i-n-g-NO! There are actually many different types of social media marketing, but most people lump everything together. Once you read the upcoming sections, you’ll begin to notice the differences between each of these types. The distinctions between these types can make a huge difference in your digital marketing results though, so it’s important to understand the differences between them.
Each type of social media serves its unique purpose as a good fit for some brands or a really, really bad fit for others. Below, we’re breaking down the most recognizable types along with the platforms and some benefits you can gain as a business from each.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a strong chance you got here by scrolling past and clicking on our social media post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. These platforms are part of the social network type of social media. People often assume they encompass all of social media marketing, but that’s far from the case!
As a brand, it’s crucial to have some form of social networking site to be able to share knowledge, communicate, and form and strengthen relationships with your customers. There are an estimated 3 billion people on social media globally; that’s a lot of potential customers.
Along with connecting with consumers, an often overlooked benefit of social networks is the ability to conduct research that can later be used to better serve your intended audience. For example, you can direct message or reply to users when they mention using your product, receive user-generated content to see how customers are actually using your product, and get general demographic information by seeing who follows and interacts with your networks organically.
From Instagram and Snapchat to Vimeo and TikTok, media sharing sites are steadily gaining popularity, and for good reason. The main premise of these social media sites is to create, curate, and share media, including video, that can bring about conversations. Youtube is one of the OGs of media sharing sites that revolutionized the way we watch, create, and think about video.
These sites are invaluable for brand awareness and engagement and can really help with social networking content creation. With Youtube and Instagram, brands can not only share multimedia content, but they can comment and interact with users to keep the conversation two-way. Businesses who are able to provide a constant stream of clean and high-quality media assets really thrive on these sites.
Consumer review sites are where most people go first to find things like a new restaurant or the rating of a hotel. Some of the biggest examples include Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zomato, all of which display reviews from their community members. Brands who are able to be on these sites can benefit from studying their reviews –– after all, it’s basically free market research! If you get a bad review, it’s a chance to grow, AND you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the reviewer to solve the problem or offer a solution.
Pages like WordPress, Medium, and Tumblr are primarily used to publish, discover, and comment on user-generated content. In the business world, having a blog is really important for your content marketing strategy. By creating and publishing a well-curated blog, brands can easily gain visibility and generate engaging content to share on social networking sites.
Also referred to as social news sites, this type of social media is one of the first to exist. Pre-dating Twitter and Facebook, people have used chat forums such as Reddit and Quora to discuss and share news/opinions. The main premise of these sites is based on popularity –– people “vote” on items, with the most voted-on items being displayed more prominently.
On the business side of things, users typically dislike ads, so it doesn’t always pay to play unless you have a specific strategy. These forums are great though for honest (sometimes brutal) feedback and opinions of your company or product. This is due, in part, to the fact that discussion forums generally allow users to remain anonymous.
Social shopping networks, like Pinterest, Etsy, and Polyvore, combine shopping and community by allowing others to comment on, re-pin, or like other’s posts. These sites are mostly user-generated content and easily integrate other social media types like social networks and blogs.
Brands can use these sites to find brand advocates, build awareness, and make e-commerce engaging, though, as with media sharing sites, it only works if you’re able to provide a constant stream of clean, high-quality visuals.
Although there are a ton of social media sites and types, you don’t have to be on every single one. In fact, it’s against best practice to have a presence on all social media platforms! We know, it can get confusing. We spend a lot of time keeping up with the latest trends, so if you need help creating a solid social media strategy for your brand, Cosmitto’s got your back. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.