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Different Types of Social Media [Which one is right for your business?]

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21st Dec, 2021
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Different Types of Social Media [Which one is right for your business?]

At this point, a business not being available on social media is close to not existing at all. Social media is the face of every expanding business, presenting exceptional growth opportunities with close customer interaction. It’s like being right between the people you’re serving to understand their needs, expectations, and grievances, which was not as accessible back then as it is in the current age. Social media, being a boon for brand expansion, presents itself as a boon. But what if this boon comes in myriad, undefined ways?

The unstoppable reach of social media has made it a resident of every other smartphone in your vicinity. However, the amount of social media platforms extending their services is hard to keep up. Now, Facebook is not the only one to keep yourself updated. Around 200 different social media platforms have been created to cater to the ever-evolving requirements of users. As much as businesses should match pace with trendy ones, social media is a challenging play, and many might reach their wits’ end completely using it to their benefit. 

The right way to fight back through social media complexities to create your brand’s identity is to understand different types of social media and what your brand can seek out of it. Choosing the right ones can drastically change a brand’s growth graph, so follow a few basic steps to get started!

Define Your Business Goals

Understanding and planning out business goals creates a blueprint for the client and business to follow to make well-informed social media decisions. And in spaces like social media, it is extra vital as traditional winning strategies may lose relevance after some time. Acknowledging business goals allow you to choose the right social media platform and create user-friendly content to win maximum engagement.

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Know Your Customer Base

Social media platforms have now changed their course from serving everybody to being relevant for specific age groups. The set interface and offered services lead people of diverse ages to choose platforms according to their interests. It is up to the businesses to understand their target customer specifications like age, interests, and social media platforms. A company is more likely to experience increased interaction when the befitting social media platforms are used.

Choose the Right Platform

Over 4.5 billion people continuously allow businesses to interact with them by being active on social media platforms every day. The wisest decision you can make for your business is choosing the right platform to reach customers. Go through social media statistics, discern where, how, and when to target your audience, and start your social media growth journey!

Now that you have a clear grasp of your business goals and objectives, it is time to know some of the most popular social media channels and how they can affect your business through their platform. 

1. Video-Sharing Platform

Video-sharing social media platforms are experiencing an explosion of traffic following its easy-to-consume format; even the laziest people are consuming enthusiastically. Over 500 million people enjoy videos on Facebook, making it a unique space to promote your business. The best way to use a video-sharing platform to expand your business is by creating awareness. From selling products to promoting services, diverse video-sharing formats allow using social media as your stage for the world.

Brands such as Sephora, Netflix, and Louis Vuitton are actively using Instagram’s new feature called Reels to create engaging content, as well as ‘How To’ videos, winning them improved customer interactions and sales. 

Examples: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram Stories and Reels, Tiktok

2. Picture Sharing Platform

Content generation is peaking with reducing attention span and oscillating trends around the audience. Instagram and Facebook are no more a place to add candid pictures. Instead, it is a valuable tool requiring more attention and efforts to create educational, informative, engaging, or simply entertaining content to interact with an account. Businesses can effectively use it to generate infographic posts for beginners relevant to their niche, valuable updates from the industry, or product updates. 

Statistics show around 83% of the total Instagram users discover new products through the platform, and about 87% take practical actions such as buying after coming across information through posts. So imagine the growth your business is likely to gain. 

Example: Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat. 

3. Inspiration Sharing Platform

Inspiration sharing platform allows users to seek inspiration through diverse genres and subgenres. The ‘How To’ aspect of a video sharing platform also works here as simple tutorials, playlists, inspiration boards, recommendations, and other curated lists are available to consume content. In addition, businesses can create their channel to put out inspirational content relevant to the target audiences’ tastes. 

Creating content and generating traffic on the same is most likely to grow your search engine ranking. So don’t forget to follow effective SEO strategies and optimize the content with the right hashtags, keyword-rich descriptions, and pictures to suit the theme well.

Example: Pinterest, Community Blogs, YouTube, Instagram.

4. Review Sharing Platform

Word of mouth is faster than any other form of marketing as no one tries a service before checking out reviews. Review sharing platforms are widely reliable and frequently visited websites businesses can use up to their advantage. Sites like TripAdvisor and Airbnb provide accommodations that customers can filter through using reviews. These reviews speak volumes for a business more than any advertising or paid promotion. 

Businesses can effectively improve their participation on review-sharing platforms by interacting with customers, actively answering questions, and extending offers to win customers faster. 

Example: Airbnb, Google Reviews, Glassdoor, TripAdvisor.

5. Audio Sharing and Interaction Platform

Audio sharing and interaction platforms took over the web when going out of the house was impossible. Emerging as a highly interactive platform, audio-emphasized social media led people to pay attention to informative and engaging conversations. Attentiveness and engagement are two strong weapons, and the platform offered both. As a result, it’s a suitable space for business representatives to create awareness about their brand, share informative conversations relevant to the same niche, and win more audience engagement towards their business. 

Hosting live content, inviting industry panels to speak on significant subjects, talk shows, podcasts, or recorded interviews. Businesses can use either of these methods to spread brand awareness. 

Examples: Twitter Spaces, Spotify, Clubhouse, Facebook Audio Rooms.

Discussion Forums

Discussion forums constitute a simple question-answer format where people join in to extend advice on interest-based subjects. These platforms offer businesses an opportunity to actively engage with audiences and make themselves known. For instance, you may help people, seeking answers to a query relevant to your business, which would further create brand awareness. Extend genuine help and promote services only if the question is seeking one. Bonafide interactions are bound to bring attention to your business.

Example: Quora, Reddit, Slashdot.

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Do you have a business you wish to grow rapidly? Owning the right set of skills can make the process smoother. 

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Conclusion

With the rise of social media platforms relevant to diverse media forms, it is easy for businesses to set themselves up for success following their own rules. All it takes is well-defined business goals and the right social media comprehension to readily create a space for your brand in the market. Monitor goals and market analytics to never go out of trend!

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Karan Raturi

Blog Author
Karan Raturi is the General Manager of upGrad North America. He has also led various finance, strategy, and operations teams at Wayfair, Kurt Salmon, and IBM.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How can I use social media to promote my business?

A few simple steps can help you create, promote and win the social media business game. These steps include creating business goals, knowing your audience, opting for the right social media platform, content generation, promotion, and active engagement. Following these are sure to bring followers, eventually building a valuable community.

2What social media is the best for small businesses?

Small businesses are rapidly growing on Instagram, emerging as the best space for local and small-scale businesses to promote their products and services. It's a hassle-free process for both seller and customers, while the active engagement between them makes it a lot more convenient and friendly.

3 How does social media affect a business?

Social media is a powerful tool helping businesses to understand user behavior, solve their problems, make themselves known, create a community, and so much more that comes with active engagement with followers. Perceive it as a digital version of an offline store, personalized and interactive, unlike websites or e-commerce platforms.

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