Social Media to Grow Your Business

13 Types of Social Media Platforms and Counting

When I talk to people about social media marketing, the overwhelming majority of people only think about Facebook. They think social media equals Facebook. Although that makes sense given the ubiquity and widespread adoption of this social network, it is NOT the only lemonade stand on the block! Social media has proliferated and evolved into many new shapes and forms and there might be some hidden gems waiting for you and your business.

Social media platforms

So what is social media?

 

Since the term “social media” was first introduced into our lexicon in 2004, the rapid changes in technologies and fragmentation into various forms of social media has been beyond belief. This evolution makes defining social media a bit slippery. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of social media is “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content”. Alright, that makes sense so let’s take a look at all of the different types of social media platforms that fit this definition.

List of social media platforms

 

  1. Social networking sites– Facebook, Google Plus, CafeMom, Gather, Fitsugar
  2. Micro-blogging sites– Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous
  3. Publishing tools– WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace
  4. Collaboration tools– Wikipedia, WikiTravel, WikiBooks
  5. Rating/Review sites– Amazon ratings, Angie’s List
  6. Photo sharing sites– Flikr, Instagram, Pinterest
  7. Video sharing sites– YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler
  8. Personal broadcasting tools– Blog Talk radio, Ustream, Livestream
  9. Virtual worlds– Second Life, World of Warcraft, Farmville
  10. Location based services– Check-ins, Facebook Places, Foursquare, Yelp
  11. Widgets– Profile badges, Like buttons
  12. Social bookmarking and news aggregation– Digg, Delicious
  13. Group buying– Groupon, Living Social, Crowdsavings

 

Consider social media tools for business

 

As a small business owner you may feel overwhelmed with all of the options. Take a deep breath…and know that you should NOT be active in all of these social media platforms for your business. Consider your business objectives and develop a targeted social media marketing strategy while being realistic about the time and energy you are willing to expend in your social media efforts.

social media marketing platforms

The main message is that there might be social media marketing alternatives to Facebook and other social networking sites that could give you a considerable business advantage. With Facebook moving to the Facebook Timeline format for all business pages (which many consider a disadvantage for small businesses) looking at alternative social media marketing platforms may be more important than ever. Before you launch your presence on any platform consider the options and what works best for your unique business. Remember, strategy before technology!

Can you think of any social media platforms that I’ve missed? Thanks for commenting!

 

 

1 Comment
  1. Thanks, Alison, for the useful essay on Social Media Platforms. Your readers might also be interested in a new book, Social Networking and Community Behavior Modeling edited by Maytham Safar and Khaled A. Mahdi, published by IGI Global. My chapter, “Network Perspective on Structures Related to Communities,” is a significantly changed revision of one of my earlier papers, “Network Perspectives on Communities.” That earlier paper is available in USF’s Scholar Commons, at the URL, (http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/8184j9bq). The 2012 book has much more of interest to your readers.More information at: http://www.igi-global.com/book/social-networking-community-behavior-modeling/55315.

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