You probably interact with several different social networks. As a business owner, you are probably familiar with online marketing because you recognize the need for social media marketing. The reality is that since everyone else is doing it online, you need to do it as well. If you don’t have that approach, you will be left in the dust and everyone else will move past you. However, what you may not realize is that there are several different types of social networks that may benefit your business.
The popular social networks and then some
The chances are that you are involved with the popular social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You may also be interacting using Instagram and YouTube. On the other hand, you may not even be aware of the other social networks and how amazing they may be for your brand and for your business. What you may not realize is just how much there is to social media and how much more you may be able to get out of it than you are aware of right now.
The different types of social networks do all sorts of different things and help you to accomplish what you want to accomplish in many different creative ways.
- Social networks: The function and purpose of a social network are really simple. Social networks connect people to each other. That is exactly why they are called social networks. Social networks can benefit your business in several different ways, such as allowing you to do market research, generating leads, building relationships, etc.
- Discussion forums: A discussion forum is a great place to get involved if you want to share your opinions with other people, hear their opinions, and really get a stimulating conversation going. All sorts of interesting nuggets of information can emerge as a result of a discussion that you have on a discussion forum.
- Networks that share media: A network that shares media does just that. It is a network where people can share all types of media, such as photos, videos, and any other type of media that you can imagine. This type of network can benefit your business in similar ways to what happens with social networks. They can help you to build your brand and to build relationships, engage your target audience members, and generate leads, among a whole list of benefits. In many cases, these types of media are more effective than words (if used in combination, your content will be highly effective). It is important to remember that many people are visual, which is why they respond so well to visual content.
- Content curation and bookmarking networks: If you are searching for new content, this is the type of network to do it. There is a good chance that not all of the content that you share is original content. You may be curating some of your content, which is an intelligent part of your online content marketing strategy. There are networks that can help you to get where you are going in this regard. This type of network can benefit your business in several different ways, including increasing your brand awareness, engaging your target audience members, and increasing traffic to your website.
- Networks where you can leave product and/or service reviews: This is an important type of network because other business owners count on your opinion and similar opinions from other people. The fact is that everyone considers and buys a variety of products and services. Why not go a step further and share your opinion about what you have researched and purchased? It will certainly help the business owners if you do so.
- Networks for publishing content: Content is the bread and butter of all businesses. No matter what you do and what you offer, the fact is that you will need to tell other people about those offering and your brand. Otherwise, the person on the other end will not know about you and if they don’t know about you, you will not be able to establish a relationship with them and they will not buy anything from you at any point. Content marketing is a necessary approach for all businesses. The networks that specifically enable business people to effectively share their content for maximum impact are a critical tool to the success of those businesses (yours included).
- Networks where people with common interests can get together: This type of network can apply to personal or professional interests. They are very effective and very successful on the whole. Because this type of network helps people to build relationships, that also means that you will be engaging the other person and build your brand.
- Networks where people can shop for products: Since shopping is necessary and everyone does it, this type of network will be around for a very long time. Similarly to the other networks that have been discussed here, this type of network can also build brand awareness, enhance engagement, and sell products to other people.
- Networks where people can trade: This one is probably obvious. If you have things that you don’t want or need anymore, there is a very good chance that there is another person who does need and want it. It is a great way to clean up and build some sort of relationship at the same time.
- Networks where people can be anonymous: One of the most attractive features of the Internet for many people is the idea that they are anonymous. Before the Internet, many people were reluctant or afraid to communicate using their own name. Now they can hide behind anonymity, which feels safer. Of course, it is not always the right approach to take but it is how many people feel.
Even if you don’t get involved with all of the different types of social networks, it is important that you are aware of their existence and understand exactly what they are for and how they work. It is interesting to note that most of the different types of social networks have common threads: building brand awareness, engaging audience members, and establishing new relationships. It is only then that you will be in the position to reject them if you don’t feel that they will work effectively for your business.
by Michael Cohn