Social media marketing is all the buzz these days. But with 7 different types of social media platforms available, navigating the social media marketing world can be a bit confusing if you don’t know the lingo or landscape. With that in mind, let’s examine just what’s what, shall we?
Blogs – Your blog is the oldest and still most widely used form of social media. The blog is designed to allow for easy posting of content and for easy commenting upon that content by your readers. Your blog is like a newsletter, giving out information while inviting reader response.
Social Networking Services – These are designed for two-way communication and sharing of content of all sorts – video, photo and text. There are three subcategories here: full service services like Facebook and Google+; micro-blogging services like Twitter; and professional networking services like LinkedIn. Think of these as the water cooler of the online world. You can share everything from last night’s menu, to a discussion on politics, or swap business cards. Which one you choose to use depends on your preferences and purpose.
Social Media Sharing – These are truly where the “media” comes into social media. These sites are set up to share photos, videos and audios. The biggie that everyone knows of is YouTube. But you can also utilize photo sharing through sites like Flickr. And don’t forget audio files. These can easily be shared as podcasts on Podcast Alley and other sites geared toward audio files.
Social News Sharing – Ever read something so awesome that you just have to share it with everyone you meet? Well, at the office or pub this is easy – just open your mouth and speak. The online version of this are platforms like Del.i.cious and Reddit. You “like” something and that something’s URL is shared with your network. These are a great way of sharing up-to-date info with a like-minded group, be it personal or professional. Businesses can use these services to keep customers informed, too.
Location Based Networks – In real estate, location is everything. It’s the same with social media, too. Location based networks allow you to share where you are, when you are there. These services work best for local networking – your homeys know just what and where you’re referring to in your posts. You can share that great new restaurant, or the service you just received at the new salon. You can use these to promote goings-on at your own business, as well. An example of this type of platform is FourSquare.
Community Building Platforms – If you want to build a community of like-minded, interested and involved individuals, look no further than your online forum. Through services like Yahoo Groups and PHP Builders, you can create your own interactive message boards for your community of customers. The main advantage of these platforms is that you can create highly interested niche groups of clients and then interact with them in a much more intimate way than other social media platforms allow.