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Which of the 5 Types of Social Media is Right for Your Business?

In this digital age, it’s no secret that social media and online content can be a big part of any business’ marketing strategy. But with so many different forms that this can take, what do you choose? We’re here to break down the 5 major types of social media, and discuss the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision about what type of social activity is right for your brand.





1) Photo Sharing

Two of the biggest platforms for photo sharing today are Instagram and Pinterest. These provide visual feeds that focus on images that individuals and businesses post. When it comes to developing aesthetics and sharing high-quality photography, these are the go-to platforms to do so.


Benefits:

  • Brand awareness: 60% of people say that they have learned about a brand and their products on Instagram

  • Great for showing off product shots and posting relevant ads or promotions

  • Most photo platforms also allow short videos which can be implemented into a social marketing strategy

  • Can be used to develop and show off a strong brand aesthetic


Negatives:

  • If you are looking to share links and large amounts of text information, different photo platforms may not support this or be difficult to integrate

  • Frequent upkeep and posting is important in order to keep engagement, followers, and show up as relevant posts for users to see, so there is often a big time commitment associated with these platforms

  • High quality photography can also be a big investment of either time or money


2) Video Sharing

The two biggest video sharing platforms today are Youtube and Vimeo. Creating videos for your business can take on a wide range of forms and topics: from product demos and how-to guides, to information about your industry, the options are endless.


Benefits:

  • Content can be longer and more in-depth than a single photo post

  • Creativity can run wild with how information is presented

  • Youtube and Vimeo both allow links to be posted in descriptions, or included within videos

  • Search optimization and analytics are features on both platforms as well


Negatives:

  • Video content often requires a large time commitment to develop and create

  • Resources for filming, lighting, and know-how of proper video production and editing is needed to create high-quality content


3) Blogging

Hey, that’s what we are doing right now! Blogging is a longer form of written content, often posted on a business’ website, and linked to within posts on other social media networks. Rather than a quick glimpse, blogs are designed for a more in-depth sharing of information and knowledge.


Benefits:

  • Can incorporate text, visuals, infographics, and more into a single post

  • Allows you to start conversations and go deeper into topics than most people want to engage with on a short photo post or tweet, etc

  • Links can be shared on other social platforms to bring people to your post or website

  • Can increase SEO through keyword usage


Negatives:

  • Visual content and images tend to be processed by the brain faster than text, so the audience may be limited to those already interested and invested in what you have to offer

  • Writing informative posts can take a longer time to craft and research than a simple post caption

  • You may receive less engagement (through comments, shares, etc) than on photo sharing or social networking sites where people tend to spend more time on a daily basis


4) Social Networking

The original form of social media, platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all designed for people to interact with one another in a variety of ways. Building a business profile on a social networking site can create exposure for your brand, a place for people to leave comments and reviews, and provide more places for people to interact with and ask questions of your business.


Benefits:

  • Can be used to share all forms of posts: photos, videos, links to blogs, articles, and more

  • Designed for personal engagement with your brand through comments and shares

  • Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the most prominently used social networks, so the audience is big and wide


Negatives:

  • If you are just posting links or text, you may find it harder to get engagement than those posting videos or photos, so a combination of post-types is ideal to create or invest in

  • Depending on the platform, individuals’ posts may be put higher in people’s newsfeeds than businesses’ posts


5) Interactive Media

Targeted at younger demographics, platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat offer a more experimental way for brands to share information or engage with their audiences through videos, photos, challenges, games, tutorials and more. Before engaging with these types of platforms, however, make sure that your industry’s target audience is really the demographic that is likely to use them.


Benefits:

  • Can allow for a lot of creativity and experimentation

  • Has a young audience if you are looking to interact with a Gen Z demographic


Negatives:

  • Trends can change fast, so you need to keep up with them, or risk falling behind (nobody wants to come across as a disingenuous business trying to pull a “how do you do, fellow kids?”)

  • Certain platforms will need people to actively search for your brand’s username in order to find your posts, as businesses aren’t promoted up-front

  • Frequent content can be time-consuming to create


No matter what your business is, there is a form of social media that will work for your marketing strategy. In many cases, brands will actually use more than one, to cover a range of bases! Whatever the case, there are a few important things to keep in mind when deciding what types of social media to engage in:


  • How much time do you have to invest in strategizing and creating content?

  • What resources do you have for creating graphics and videos?

  • Will this be easy to maintain or do you require additional staff and hours to manage your social media?


If you are still at a loss as to what you should do for your business, consider taking a look at some of your competitors. Where are they succeeding and where are they not? Do they have some good basic ideas that you can jump off of and develop further into something that works for your brand? Just like anything, social media is always evolving, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new with your social media marketing.


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