People use social media to share photos and videos, post updates, and connect with family, friends, and brands.
Similarly, brands use these social networks to grow their audience, conduct target market research and increase engagement on the platform.
However, as social media evolves, it can be difficult for brands to determine where to focus their attention. And who has the time to engage effectively on all social media platforms and apps? No one.
So which ones should your brand use to connect with your audience? Well, that depends on a few factors.
Most brands don’t have the resources or, to be honest, the need to be on every social media platform, website, and app.
I will detail the following types of social networks and the benefits of each:
- Traditional Social Networks.
- Media sharing networks.
- discussion networks.
- Blogging social networks.
1. Traditional Social Networks
Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
We talk a lot about traditional social media, so I won’t go too deep into that guy.
But like I said, there are some changing trends in how brands use traditional social media.
That’s not to say that short posts have disappeared; we see short posts on all traditional social networks.
We can also see that Facebook has evolved to include more engagement options like Facebook Marketplace for purchases, Facebook Live, and Facebook Groups.
The platform also serves as a directory for businesses to create a storefront in the form of a Facebook page to promote their products, book services, message customers, and leave a space for reviews.
Facebook Pages and Groups are great for brands to engage with their audience and reach new people.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, has been a major player in professional online networking.
These traditional social networks provide opportunities for brands to use advertisements to target their audience and conduct market research through analytics and insights tools.
2. Media Sharing Networks
Examples: Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok.
There are many forms of visual content on media sharing networks, such as infographics, images, and short and long videos
While this type of network includes sharing of video and image media, most are now multimedia, using audio, video, and images.
On Instagram, there are several main ways brands use the platform: video and image sharing on the brand profile, then Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Reels.
People use these sites to be entertained, find information, and sometimes even shop. This creates ample opportunities for your brand to reach your audience.
Many products have recently gone viral through TikTok. When people can easily shop through an app, it gives them an easy way to shop before they guess.
Brands also use these sites to spread product instructions, collaborate with influencers, promote discounts, and more.
When it comes to Pinterest, you can use various marketing strategies to grow your brand on the platform.
Visual content is an engaging way to connect with customers and intrigue them to follow you and learn more about your brand and ultimately buy your products.
As with traditional social media, ads work well on these platforms, especially when brands use data and analytics to support their strategies.
3. Discussion Networks
Examples: Discord, Reddit, Quora.
When people have specific questions or want to discuss a topic, sometimes platforms like Facebook or Instagram aren’t the right place.
There can be many reasons why people view and create content on multiple platforms.
But when it comes to sites like Discord or Reddit, users are often looking for answers and connecting with communities of people with similar interests.
People also tend to flock to these platforms to do research.
Discussion networks allow brands to answer questions and connect with their communities.
Only Discord provides opportunities to create customer community groups, events, and live streams.
Sometimes getting into a discussion about your brand or industry can help clarify issues and show that you’re willing to engage with your audience.
Your effort to serve your audience where they like to communicate can go a long way toward creating long-term customers.
4. Social Blogging Networks
Examples: Medium, Tumblr, Blog Meets Brand.
When an image or video isn’t the right form of content for a particular topic, blogging can be a great way to share information with your audience
Sometimes information is best shared through a blog. For example, you can better explain a topic and help readers understand more complex topics.
Blogs are beneficial for opinion leader content. They can expand important information or news.
Your brand can also reuse, expand or share what you create on your website through blogging social networks.
For newer brands, it’s a great way to develop your voice and build your audience.
These are additional platforms, in addition to their websites, for brands to share their ideas about what is important to them and their target audience.
Social media has become an overwhelming yet incredibly valuable marketing component for brands.
But categorizing the types of social networks and identifying which ones your brand wants to engage with can help keep things simple.
Your brand can then allocate the right resources, people, and time to create a social media strategy.
Some brands may outsource social media management components such as online reputation management, blog writing, social media post creation, ad creation, and customer service across all platforms.
Once you’ve analyzed your brand goals, it will be easier to assess which platforms you’ll be looking for and which ones are worth skipping, at least for now.