Introduction To The World of Social Media
Over 73% of marketing experts have labeled their social media marketing strategies as ‘very effective’ – and for good reason. These marketing experts know how fast the industry as a whole, is changing.
It becomes significant for your business to be on the top and keep up with the constantly changing marketing trends because, let’s face it, traditional marketing is out of fashion. In the digital marketing age, social media is what you need to leverage and gain access to everything you might be missing out on.
Being present on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram isn’t what social media is all about. Sure, there are infinite benefits of these new-gen conversion platforms. However, before asking your team to jump on social media advertising, you need to understand what the social media world is all about. Absolutely, it is far beyond sharing a bunch of memes and videos with your peers.
Here’s everything you need to learn about what exactly it is. Let’s have a peak in the world of social media.
What are Social Media Tools?
There’s no denying the fact that social media has become a powerful source of networking today. Not just for sharing entertaining posts but as a platform for news, collaborations, and even marketing campaigns. After all, even the biggest breaking news first comes on Twitter than a top news channel!
If you are looking for a technical definition, here is what it essentially means:
“Social media tools are any internet-based communication tools or applications that allow people to connect with each other by sharing user-generated information.”
In simpler words, it is every virtual community or platform where you create, share and express your ideas, information, and more – that too in different formats.
Essentially, all social media tools have four common features:
- They are all web-based Internet 2.0 applications.
- All of them are based on user-generated content (UGC).
- Each user has a service-specific profile that is created and maintained by the tool itself.
- These tools help in connecting one user profile with another.
What are the different types of social media?
People worldwide spend an average of 2.5 hours on social media and you might be one of them too. However, can you name all the social media tools or at least all types of social media? We bet you can’t. And you are not alone. Not many people are aware of all types of social media at their disposal. So, here are the types you may or may not know about.
Have you ever visited someone’s LinkedIn profile? That’s networking. In other words, when someone uses a web page to feature their portfolio and interests to connect with colleagues, friends, family, or any stranger from some other part of the world, they are networking. This is currently the most used type of social media and still popularly growing.
Source: Codenser Networks
Are you a fan of The Daily Podcast? Yes, it’s a type of social media. Podcasts are becoming popular day after day because of their authenticity. This is where audio or video files are used in which people broadcast their voice and send out some message to the world. It is often available on subscription services that people can listen to on a variety of portable media players like iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
The Content Communities
You may come across a number of communities on Facebook or YouTube where people share content with similar interests. That is what content community social media is all about. It’s some platform or page where users or members share, comment, or organize types of content, based mostly on similar interests.
The word Wiki is what may remind you of the world-class online encyclopedia – Wikipedia. Well, you got the gist, right? The wikis are the websites that enable people to add or edit content to spread information in a community-based database.
The Website Blogs
Do you have a blogging website? Maybe not, but you are reading a blog right now and to be honest, this is the oldest and still the most popular social media type. Blogs are a form of online journal that are posted chronologically or with details like date, time, or category. Not to mention, now we also have the concept of video blogging or what people call ‘Vlogs’.
Cut down blogs to short posts and you will get microblogs. This is more like a few lines of posts that work like a mini-blog including pictures and videos. It is being used by people as a source of journal-style quick updates that are further distributed on different networking channels and devices. Our dear old friend Twitter is one of the most popularly known microblogging sites. Surprised, eh?
What are the types of social media networks?
Didn’t we just cover that already? No, we did not. While most people today use social media and social media networks interchangeably, they’re not really the same thing. Social media essentially is the different content media that can be shared socially or with a large number of people. A social media network is where the content is shared and people communicate using that content, it’s a community. Even a news website has social media in terms of articles, news stories, editorials. It’s media that’s socially available to share but it’s not a social media network because every user there cannot post news stories, only the news portal can. So, the platforms where social media is user-generated and there’s communication across the community, become social media networks.
Let’s find out the most common types of social media networks that are mostly used by businesses to grow their conversions and sales.
1. Discussion Forums
You might have a number of questions right now and many people do. That’s why some platforms are dedicated to finding and sharing answers to millions of questions. Quora, Digg, and Reddit are perfect examples of such discussion forms where people get to share or ask for information, opinions, and news. This is pretty much the best place where businesses can find what their target audience needs directly from the people.
2. Social Networks
Out of all the social media apps, a few of the most famous ones are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These are the perfect example of social networking applications where you connect with individuals or even brands.
Social networks are often used for business purposes including building relationships, providing services, generating leads, branding, and conversions. These networking apps are ideal to build a productive relationship with businesses. Moreover, it is the best way to look for the trends, data, and ways to plan your next marketing campaign.
3. Publishing and blogging sites
Telling your audience what your business is all about is very VERY important. The best way to do that is writing publishing content for marketing and this is where blogging comes in. For instance, WordPress is the oldest and the most used blogging platform. It is so good that 62% of the top 100 websites in the US are using it.
Whenever you publish an article on your blogs, you are involved in content marketing. You can share your blogs on other social media platforms as well and target, engage, attract, and convert your audience to your sales funnel. Besides, apart from WordPress, you can also use Medium, Blogger, and Tumblr.
4. Shared media networks
Sharing photos, videos, and other types of media are quite common on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Nowadays, people are making the best use of media sharing networks for generating leads and increasing sales by simply targeting their audience with what they want.
Businesses create and share media among their target audiences to get the best result from their media marketing campaigns. However, it’s not like this type of social network suits every brand. You need to figure out whether this is the right thing for your market type before jumping into it like any other brand.
5. Social Shopping Networks
Are you into the product-selling business? These social media platforms are for you. You may come across plenty of applications where people share their shopping experiences. This is exactly what it is. On apps like Fancy or Etsy, you can have your brand awareness, engage better with people, and sell products more effectively.
While going for social shopping networks, you must know that you need to have your online website, an e-commerce store, to link with these platforms. This way, you can have more concrete progress for your business, be it a small store or a big startup.
6. Interest-based networks
‘Narrow down your niche’ – something you keep hearing a lot when it comes to social media marketing. This internet-based application is just the right one for your business where you can aware people of a particular product or service. Adding to it, you can connect with people who like the same hobbies and have the same interests as you do.
What you get on platforms like Goodreads and Houzz is exactly what these networks offer – engaging people while focusing on a single type of product. So, if you are looking for more targeted marketing and don’t want to be so general on other social media platforms, this one is the right social media network for you.
7. Content curation and Bookmarking networks
Generating traffic and engagement for your business website is always a big concern. That’s why social media networks like Pinterest and Flipboard are here to share and save the latest and trending content. ‘How this is important for your website engagement?’ – you may ask.
Content curation platforms are pretty handy to channelize brand awareness, using the right strategies, of course. Once you start your creative campaign with it, your engaging content and bookmarkable feeds reach the right audience. Further, if they find your displayed feeds informative, they surely wouldn’t mind visiting your website. Do you see the point now?
8. Consumer Review Networks
Many of you may agree that the social proofs act as a choice to follow the crowd. No wonder why new media marketers know the real value of social proof because they understand how important it is to have positive reviews about your business on various platforms. Therefore, social media that allow people to show their claims of good/bad services are what customer review networks are all about.
Zomato and Yelp are the best examples of consumer review networks. However, it’s not like you only need to pay attention to the positive review because the negative ones are equally important. That’s where you get to share your concerns for an upset customer and serve them with something better. Undoubtedly, these platforms are amazing to get you many new buyers.
Source: KI Design
A big misconception about social media is that to have a successful marketing campaign, you need to be on every platform. However, the truth is, you just got to understand what fits the best to your market type and how you can contact your target customers. That’s how you can choose the right social media marketing standards for you.
There’s a saying that ‘provide for the people and the people will provide for you’. It wouldn’t be bad to say that this statement sums up everything about social media and how it works. So, this is all you need to keep in mind to get the best of it through the basics.