The 3 Different Types of Social Media & Why You Need to Use Them

December 3rd, 2009 by | 79 Comments

iStock_000010540973XSmallWith technologies like spam blockers, caller ID, and the national do not call list, consumers are becoming increasingly good at blocking out traditional marketing. Word-of-mouth, peer recommendations, and real relationship marketing are what people truly value these days. Therefore, marketing through social networks is becoming an essential part of most companies’ promotional efforts.

Social media puts all kinds of valuable tools at your fingertips—and often for free—it allows you to network with new people, elicit feedback from your target market, make valuable suggestions, answer customers’ questions and address their concerns.

Many new users are overwhelmed by the multitude of social networks available online. But don’t fear this evolution in marketing. There are three general kinds of social media which you should use in conjunction with each other for the most effective promotional campaign: there are 1) publishing tools, 2) sharing tools, and 3) networking tools.

1.) Social media publishing services include blogs, forums, discussion boards, wikis, YouTube and other video sites. Publishing freely-available content to these networks is one of the most effective ways of spreading your message to a global audience.

2.) Social media sharing services include bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg, and Mixx, as well as microblogging tools like Posterous, Tumblr, and Twitter, where users share their favorite links and recommendations. It’s important to create an online profile where you can promote the most useful content from others, as well as creating your own content that will resonate with your target audience and stand the best chance of going viral with users of these services.

3.) Social media services that empower you to network with others include Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, MySpace and many other niche social networks that bring together people with common interests, and encourage users to promote and share the best content.

For best results, you should utilize all of these services together. Remember that hard selling will turn people off, but if you genuinely try to help others using these tools, people are likely to reciprocate and promote you in return.

Cody is a nomadic entrepreneur and lifestyle designer who writes at Thrilling Heroics and develops social web presence for changemakers.

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