Different Types Of Social Media
From The Social Media Road Trip Workshop
This blog post updated April 6, 2013
There are so many kinds of social media. Blogs. Microblogs. Curation sites. Ambient location networks. Geolocation networks. Photosharing sites. Video sharing sites. I know personally that trying to understand all of these different types of social media and how they work together can feel like trying to understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
I’m gonna try and keep things simple for us here, by focusing on the different kinds of social media rather than all the different ways to integrate social media into your organization. That’s really not something you can learn in a single blog post.
So clear your mind and throw all your baggage in the trunk. We’re gettin’ ready to head down the next stretch of the road on our social media road trip as we take a look at different kinds of social media.
Social networking – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
Social networking sites allow users to add friends, send messages and share content. People on social networking sites group in communities of like-minded interest. IMPORTANT: 1) The other types of social media outlined here also allow for networking, though they’re typically more focused on content sharing. 2) Don’t assume your audience isn’t participating in social networking. The growth of Facebook for example is phenomenal. The rate at which it is growing with men and women in their 60′s even is staggering.
Curation Sites – Pinterest, Storify, Paper.li
Curation sites allow you to act as curator of content, which typically will be content created by others. This is the fastest growing area of social media over the past year so as Pinterest shows great signs of generating referral traffic, which is so valuable to marketers. A great benefit of curation social marketing is that it can be done with relatively little time spent as the curator is typically sharing content. Key, as with all social media, is to stay highly niched. Also, keep in mind copyright protection laws when sharing the content of others. Here’s a great infographic related to Pinterest and its traffic-generating record.
Social bookmarking – Digg, Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon
Social bookmarking applications allow users to share their favorite online content with one another while also creating online bookmarks that the user can refer to in the same way he would a bookmark created offline in his web browser. Bookmarks may also count as a vote, hence content with lots of votes can rise to the top of the page results in that community.
Blogs – WordPress, TypePad, Posterous, Tumblr, Blogger as well as non-branded blogging platforms
Blogs are online journals where the author can write (blog) about any interest he wants. The blogger can also use the blog to share content picked up from other social media sites (YouTube, Issuu) by taking advantage of the simple embed codes offered by those content hosts.
Wikis - Wikipedia
A wiki refers to content created online as a result of multiple users working on the same content, but at different times and from different places. The “Different Types of Social Media” video from my online social media workshop
Photosharing - Flickr, Photobucket
Photosharing sites are where people can upload photos to share either privately with only selected other users or publicly. Creative Commons licensing rights can grant permissions for others to use the photos by simply embedding the codes in their blogs. That is how I get most of the photos on my blog.
Geolocation-Gowalla, Foursquare, FacebookPlaces
Geolocation sites are typically accessed through the user’s smart mobile phone. These sites feature “check-in” capabilities so that users can, if they choose, share their location with their social connections. This is a fast-growing area of social media as it has strong possibilities for retail marketing. And a new segment that’s growing really fast here in early 2012 is ambient location social networks.
Video Sharing - YouTube, Vimeo, iMemories
Similar to photosharing. Users upload video content to a site for sharing either privately or public.
Presentation Sharing - Slideshare.net, Scribd, Issuu
Files can be uploaded as PDF’s and they are then converted to work with the online presentation applications. You’ll notice these presentation tools include embed codes and email options as well, making it easy for the content to be shared online.
Meetups/Events – Meetup.com and Facebook Events
Meetup.com and Facebook event invites for example. These types of social media allow you to plan and organize events including sending out invitations through your social network and also receiving RSVP’s.