Social Media Marketing — Types and Benefits

The world is hastily moving towards a digital environment. Businesses are readily making an online presence to cope up with the pace of its competitors. There is no way out of it. Digitalization is the way forward. Any business that does not make an online presence will not be able to survive in the long run. There are many digital platforms through which a company can market their products or services. One such rapidly progressing digital medium is Social Media Marketing.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media is the need of the hour. Whether it is Generation X, the Millennials or Generation Z, all of them are present on at least one of the wide array of Social media platforms available. You can connect with anyone across the world with one click. That’s the power of Social Media.

Social media marketing is the practice of promoting or advertising your business on social media platforms by creating unique content for your social media profiles. This can be done by engaging with your customers, running advertisements and analysing results. Social networking sites are one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

Active social media users across the world:

Out of a population of 7 billion, more than 4.5 billion people use the internet, as of the beginning of 2020. Out of these 4.5 billion, more than 3.8 billion people are active social media users. This number has been increasing by 9% since last year, which means there were 321 million new users. 60% of the world population is already online and more than half of it is expected to be social media users by mid-2020.

Image Source: Hootsuite

Types of Social media networking sites:

When one talks about social media sites, they would typically be referring to some of the popular networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. Whereas in reality, there is a wide range of social networking sites available, each classified on the basis of the features and benefits it provides to its audience. Let’s have a deeper dive into the classification of Social media networking sites:

1. Social networks:

Examples: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

This kind of social media sites was initially used to help people and organisations connect over a single platform. They were used as a medium to share information and ideas. They were useful to look up for simple updates like Twitter was used to share short messages whereas Facebook was used to give small daily updates. Over the years, they became more social and grander and started sharing many more experiences like news, a new job or vacation photos.

Benefits to business: Through social networking sites your business can create brand awareness, generate leads and build relationships with customers.

2. Media sharing networks:

Examples: Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube

These media networks allowed users to find and share media online, including photos, videos, live videos, etc. The main USP of these platforms was to showcase content primarily in the form of photos or videos. With the advent of mobile internet, it is now difficult to differentiate between media sharing networks and social networks, as both have introduced similar features to engage the audience. However, these kinds of media are more often used by Generation Z and Millennials.

Benefits to business: The benefits would be similar to social networking sites which include relationship building, lead generation and audience engagement.

3. Discussion forums:

Examples: Reddit, Quora

As the name suggests, these platforms allow users to share information, news, reviews and have discussions and opinions on the same. These are one of the oldest types of social media. Where social networks try to eradicate the anonymity aspect, these sites still readily keep anonymous users active. People look up for these platforms when they want to see what’s happening, what people are talking about and be updated about the current news and trends.

Benefits to business: these types of social media are extremely helpful for Market research.

4. Consumer review networks:

Examples: Zomato, Trip Advisor, Yelp

Consumer review networks give users a platform to review products, services and brands, restaurants, travel sports, or anything else. Providing reviews gives any network a competitive edge as consumers tend to come back to your platform to put forward their experiences. According to a survey conducted by Brightlocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Benefits to business: Being able to gather positive reviews for your brand can be an excellent motivator to get more customers and retain existing ones. Bad reviews need to be handled carefully.

5. Blogging and publishing networks:

Example: Medium, WordPress, Tumblr

Content marketing can be an extremely effective way of communicating with your target audience. Blogging websites like WordPress and Blogger allow brands to convey information and connect with customers who can like, comment and share these articles.

Benefits to business: Content marketing leads to better audience engagement, generating leads and sales. It is also beneficial for building your brand.

Conclusion:

Social Media is an ever-growing industry. With the introduction of new technology and features live video streaming, augmented reality in each of these social media platforms has made the scope of marketing your business much faster. Looking at the number of people using social media today, we can see why so many businesses use these channels to promote their brands. Make the most of this opportunity and start marketing your business on these social media platforms today.

-Akshaja Doshi

Where all your web designing, digital marketing, graphic designing, and mobile app development needs are taken care of.