7 Kinds of Social Media and How Every Can Profit Your Enterprise


With so many varieties of social media platforms on the market, it may be tempting to hitch all of them—or bury your head within the sand. However not all social media platforms are created equal, and if you wish to achieve success on social, it’s good to prioritize.

Which platforms are value your time and vitality, and which of them will yield diminishing returns?

That will help you make sense of the social panorama, we’ve grouped all kinds of platforms into seven normal classes. We break down particular use circumstances and what companies can accomplish through the use of them. For those who’re prepared to seek out the suitable match for your small business, learn on!

7 types of social media platforms

1. Traditional social networking sites

Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), Threads

Used for: Connecting directly with customers in specific areas, communities, or interest groups.

How your business can use them: Traditional social networking sites are a great way to amplify your voice and connect with your audience. These flexible platforms are designed to help you share both text and visual content with whomever you like. They share features like networking, event organizing, and advertising.

Traditional social platforms also gather lots of information about their users. This allows you to run specific targeted ads and connect with the right audience to share useful information, promote upcoming local events or appearances, or run contests.

You may as well use these platforms to attach instantly with prospects utilizing direct messaging instruments. These could be beneficial for patrons who’re searching for fast solutions to easy questions. Right here’s an instance of a Fb Messenger enterprise chat:

On the prime of the chat field, Fb highlights different buddies who’ve favored the web page. This community-focused function provides social proof and helps construct belief for potential prospects.

2. Picture-based social media

Examples: Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok (picture mode)

Used for: Visible storytelling, brand-building, and social commerce.

How your small business can use them: Nearly all image-based social media platforms are nice for social commerce. They provide numerous methods to buy in-app and get rid of the necessity to drive visitors to an exterior web site. You possibly can promote on to your prospects by constructing a strong in-app buying presence.

Instagram Shopping permits companies to create a storefront. You possibly can tag particular merchandise in your photos and movies and point out merchandise in your profile bio.

Jungalow Home Decor View Shop

Malik Sunrise Rug by Jungalow

Pinterest Shopping permits you to join your retailer catalog and add shoppable hyperlinks to go looking outcomes. You’ll additionally get a Verified Service provider badge in your profile, which creates a way of safety for patrons.

Blackbird Fabrics

With the Snapchat Store function (presently in beta), manufacturers with verified Snapchat Enterprise profiles can add a catalog and embody a Store tab on their profile.

If your small business caters to a youthful demographic, Snapchat is a should. The platform reaches 90% of the 13-24-year-old population and 75% of the 13-34-year-old population in 20+ nations.

Buzzfeed Snapchat Store

TikTok Photo Mode is an image-based format much like Instagram’s carousels. Customers can add music to soundtrack their photos, and viewers can both swipe by every picture or allow them to scroll robotically.

Your enterprise can use this format to showcase product collections, announce a sale or giveaway, or inform longer tales.

TikTok Photo Mode beach days with dog in sunglasses

Image via TikTok

3. Brief-form video social media

Examples: Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube Shorts

Used for: Sharing short-form video content (normally between 5 seconds and ninety seconds lengthy)

How your small business can use them: Brief-form movies are nice for driving model consciousness and bringing merchandise to life.

This kind of content material is fast to movie and edit, making it excellent for companies with a lean social media group. Brief on inspiration? The fixed stream of traits on every platform signifies that inspiration in your subsequent short-form video is at your fingertips.

Simply word that any video content material you publish ought to entertain, educate, and/or encourage your viewers. Movies that really feel sales-y aren’t going to have interaction viewers.


speak about a temper kill 😑 #socialmediamanager #sociaediamarketing

♬ original sound – Hootsuite

4. Livestream social media

Examples: Fb Reside, Instagram Reside, TikTok Reside, Twitch, YouTube

Used for: Broadcasting dwell video to many viewers directly

How your small business can use them: Livestreaming’s recognition exploded in the course of the pandemic. By late 2022, almost 30% of web customers aged 16-64 have been watching livestreams each week.

October Global Statshot Report Watching Online Video Content

Supply: Digital 2022 October Global Statshot Report

You need to use livestreams to launch new merchandise, interview well-known company, or internet hosting AMA classes.

Livestreams typically embody options like dwell chats and polls. Additionally they enable customers to work together dwell with the hosts, so it’s very important to observe and interact with feedback in the course of the stream. Learn extra ideas in our guide to social media live streaming.

5. Dialogue boards

Examples: Reddit, Quora

Used for: Asking and answering questions, networking, and forming communities round niche- and interest-based matters

How your small business can use them: It may be difficult for manufacturers to crack dialogue boards. Customers could be naturally cautious of companies inserting PR-speak right into a community-oriented house.

The important thing to mastering dialogue boards is so as to add worth in your prospects. Lend your material experience and reply questions associated to your business. Take heed to their points and supply helpful options.

You get bonus factors if you happen to can share details about your model and merchandise in your solutions. However that shouldn’t be your main objective of taking part in dialogue boards.

One factor to notice: Redditors (as Reddit customers are referred to as) dislike solutions that embody self-promotion. They’re prone to downvote one of these publish to bury it deep within the feed.

For those who’re posting as a enterprise, make certain to reply the unique query. Solely add hyperlinks to your merchandise in the event that they’re genuinely useful. Earlier than posting in a subreddit, examine the principles to confirm if together with hyperlinks to your personal enterprise is allowed.

Whereas Microsoft didn’t create the /r/XboxOne subreddit, as soon as they noticed how fashionable it was, they began participating with Redditors by internet hosting AMA classes with sport builders to supply tech help.

Reddit XboxOne subreddit

Supply: Reddit

6. Non-public neighborhood platforms

Examples: Discord, Fb Teams, Patreon, Slack

Used for: Creating communities, with the potential of requiring registration or different screening measures for brand spanking new members.

How your small business can use them: Non-public teams deliver your neighborhood members collectively. They will bond over shared challenges and assist reply one another’s questions with out the distraction of unrelated conversations.

You need to use your personal neighborhood to have interaction with prospects, solicit user-generated content material, and run contests and promotions that add worth for members. You may as well use the group welcome display screen to ask members questions and study extra about your viewers.

The Sorry Women just lately launched a paid on-line course that features entry to a personal Discord server. This kind of personal neighborhood permits you to join instantly along with your largest followers.

The Sorry Girls server

The Sorry Girls's discord server

Supply: Sorry Girls Discord

The Instant Pot Facebook Group (began by the model in 2015) has grown to over 3 million members who love sharing recipes and product ideas.

When customers submit a request to hitch this group, they need to reply just a few questions, together with:

  • Which Instantaneous Pot Mannequin do you personal?
  • How lengthy have you ever been an Instantaneous Pot consumer?
  • What’s your capacity stage with the Instantaneous Pot?
  • Do you agree to not publish self-promotion, dialogue of manufacturers aside from Instantaneous Pot (together with photos), or use inappropriate language or bullying?

These questions function like low-lift market analysis. They permit the Instantaneous Pot advertising group to study extra about their customers and create content material that targets their ache factors.

Instant Pot Community Giveaway

Supply: Instantaneous Pot Group on Facebook

7. Decentralized social networks

Examples: Bluesky, Mastodon

Used for: Constructing model consciousness, participating along with your neighborhood, and monitoring ongoing conversations.

How your small business can use them: Connecting with customers to do neighborhood outreach and run UGC campaigns. Conducting market analysis utilizing social listening.

Decentralized social networks resembling Mastodon satisfaction themselves on being “radically completely different” than conventional social media platforms. However what does this imply precisely?

Mastodon Social networking that's not for sale

Properly, many of the social media platforms we’ve talked about up to now function on centralized servers. One firm calls the pictures for all the things on its servers.

However in contrast to conventional social networks, decentralized platforms distribute info throughout many servers. Meaning your knowledge isn’t confined to a single server, and nobody entity controls it. Customers can discover communities and work together throughout servers with out worrying about knowledge assortment or censorship.

However how can your small business use a decentralized social community like Mastodon or Bluesky?

Properly, Mastodon is a non-profit group, and so they’re unlikely to ever enable promoting. Bluesky stays invite-only and ad-free. Nonetheless, loads of companies are working on each platforms. They’re simply utilizing them to create neighborhood, conduct market analysis, and construct their manufacturers.

How to decide on the perfect varieties of social media for your small business

Know your viewers

Earlier than becoming a member of a brand new social media platform, ask your self: The place is your viewers?

For those who don’t have plenty of money and time to burn, it makes extra sense to go the place your viewers is already hanging out. In any other case, you threat becoming a member of a brand new platform after which having to draw your viewers to it.

Solely be a part of the networks that help the targets of your social media advertising technique.

Align to your key enterprise targets

Subsequent, ask your self: Which platforms match my enterprise targets finest?

For instance, suppose certainly one of your targets is to extend consciousness a couple of new services or products that would profit from video tutorials. In that case, you must give attention to video platforms (like YouTube and TikTok) or video codecs out there on the websites the place you’re already lively (like Instagram Tales and Reels, Fb Reside, and many others.).

Create content material tailor-made to the platform

When you’ve picked the perfect platform in your viewers, work out how they’re utilizing that platform. Earlier than you begin creating content material, ask your self just a few questions:

You need to use this info to design efficient content material that may catch your viewers’s consideration and enable you to attain your targets.

Preserve updated with social media statistics

New social media platforms are thrilling, we all know. However earlier than you go all-in, do your due diligence. It’s essential to find out whether or not a brand new community is a shiny new object or a platform with the potential to stay.

One strategy to estimate if a platform has endurance is to match its statistics to established social media platforms. For those who’re undecided the place to seek out current stats, we’ve bought you coated:

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With information from Laura Wong.

Do it higher with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media device. Keep up to the mark, develop, and beat the competitors.

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