Six Types of Social Media
Social networking is an interactive technology that enables the generation or sharing/reception of content, ideas, professions, lifestyle interests, and other types of expression through virtual networks and online communities. Social media is generally used to identify, establish, and explore new acquaintances, share experiences, information, and any other thoughts or topics of common interest. Social networking has the potential to significantly impact organizations by significantly expanding the range of people who can potentially access the organization’s offerings, expand the reach of current offerings to a wider audience, or simply use the network to provide for a better user experience. Social networking sites are used to share user-generated content such as blogs, images, videos, text, and audio. These services typically provide the means for people to easily communicate with each other by participating in conversations in real time or in a format more similar to email.
In the past decade, social media has exploded from being something that was enjoyed primarily by techies and nerds in internet chat rooms to being something that is enjoyed by everyone from college kids to the office managers to major business leaders. Social networking is now one of the most prominent tools used by businesses to connect with their customers and clients and to build connections with business partners, co-workers, executives, other industry players, government agencies, and the public at large. Businesses ranging from airlines to super bowl teams have found social networking to be an invaluable resource in building their brand, promoting their products and services, and generally accomplishing their organizational objectives. The growth of social media has resulted in many new media forms that have emerged such as, video blogs, instant messaging (IM), podcasts, Facebook Instant Messenger (FBIM), MySpaceTV, Twitter, and Yahoo! 360.
This explosion of new and innovative media channels has increased the competition faced by today’s marketing professionals in effectively leveraging social media. Social media has become an essential element to the marketing mix of many organizations, and marketers must find effective ways to leverage the powerful effects of the online communities to gain an edge over their competitors. Social media marketing professionals are recognizing that the key to success in this marketing challenge is to be able to create a niche within the vast ocean of social media. They are also recognizing that the key to achieving niche success is to not only develop a strong social media presence but to work closely with the customer to truly understand their business, and in return the customer will return on a regular basis for more meaningful interactions. Below are some of the most effective social media marketing strategies for today’s marketers.
Engaging the Community: Most social media sites are free to join and therefore there is no cost to connect with other users worldwide. Therefore, companies use social network to not only build customer relations but to engage users by offering special deals or promotions, free content, discounts, or even contests. To really engage a user, a company needs to provide useful and relevant content, respond to their questions and comments, provide useful and relevant content, and encourage interaction within the community. Companies that understand these basic principles will be able to tap into the power of the social network.
Establishing Relationships: Social networking networks allow users from all over the world to connect, share, and get information about one another. When a user joins a network, they usually do so because they have a connection to the person they are connecting with. This relationship becomes much deeper when the two parties mutually engage with each other and develop a real friendship. Social media marketing tools such as blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and wikis can help you not only build relationships with existing users but to also gain new customers. Companies should seek to make their social media accounts a place where they “stretch their creative juices” and share information with each other in an effort to attract new customers and to establish long term relationships.
6 Types of Social Media: Social media has many forms and each type has specific advantages and disadvantages. The six types of social media discussed here are the most popular forms of SMM currently available. However, SMM requires a lot more creativity and ingenuity than most people think. A good rule of thumb is that you should stay away from creating applications and services related to your industry unless you have extensive experience in that particular area. However, if you are skilled in the various fields of your chosen industry, you should definitely consider integrating them into your social networking plan.