Social Media Basics and Types

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What is social media?

Social media is formed with interconnected elements such as content, social interaction, and communication media. Social media is a platform where all the entities communicate with each other regardless of their location. People will communicate with each other with the help of social media. In short, social media is a landscape that supports the socialization of information. Social media facilitates users to communicate and share information by sitting remotely over the globe. people can gather information and knowledge online and share on social media to create awareness among people.

What are the types of social media?
There are five distinct types of social media-
Social networking Sites-Social networking sites are platforms where individuals can communicate and share information remotely over the globe. Social networking sites is a generic term that is used to connect people who possess similar backgrounds and interests. The common elements of social networking sites are- users are able to create an interactive and customized profile within in a bounded system, a user can view and transverse their list of connections, a list of suggested friends with whom they share information.

Bookmarking sites and social news- social bookmarking sites and social news sites enable users to fetch social news. They also enable the user to submit and vote on content around the web. In short, with the use of bookmarking sites, users can control and customize their news streams.  The sites allow users to discover a website that a large number of people can use; some of the people say that social news sites have totally changed the concept of newspaper and are governed by the “wisdom of crowds”.  Bookmarking sites are putting the audience in the center through active discussions that allow users to communicate and share knowledge with each other by sitting remotely over the globe.

Media sharing sites are also one of the social media platforms where people upload, store and share their multimedia files such as videos, photos, and music etc. Media sharing sites facilitate users to create their own podcast with affordable technology.  

Blogs- blogs are an online journal which is a type of CMS (Content Management System); it is maintained by the group of people of an individual.  Nowadays, blogs create a great hub for other social media marketing tools such as videos, hyperlinks, pictures, and so on, all these things are integrated into a single platform along with that blog software provides a variety of features such as blogrolls, comments, trackbacks, and subscriptions.  Blog software is a platform that allows everyone to publish and to join multithreading conversations online.

Microblogging- It is a real-time information network, which somewhat resembles with blogs but as the name suggests microblogging facilitates user to publish limited word (number of words should be limited/ restricted) blog online. Microblogging allows the user to send short-texted messages, emails, or web contents.  For example, Twitter allows the user to publish microblogs (small text messages) through which people get interacted with everyone, and the user gets concise information through short-texted posts.  The main advantage of microblogging is- businesses are able to establish a relationship, achieving on-line and offline marketing objectives.

What makes social media marketing special?

Customers are responsible for making social media marketing special because social media marketing defines the target market, building loyalty among the people, customers engagement, communication with prospects and so on. Social media plays an important role in influencing the customer’s behavior.
Social media networking sites significantly affect the decision process of customers.  Customers can take the decision on the basis of five factors- problem recognition, information search, evaluation, purchase decision, post-purchase behavior.

Problem recognition- through social media, before purchasing anything, online people firstly search the official site to know the product reviews. But sometimes individual get triggered externally by watching television advertisements. Advertisements on the social media platform trigger thoughts and ideas of the people about the possibility of making a purchase. Through social media platform, people are exposed to a vast amount of information that helps the individual to decide whether to purchase the things or not.

Search of information- the final purchase decision will not make at once; individuals recognize problem first and pay attention to the available products. Through social media, people can identify available options, read information on the selected product and eventual judge the quality of the product. The information source can be divided into two types namely- internal and external. Internal search indicates former information and experience of the customer. External search means an individual can search the product on social media and check products marketing value, after exploring lots of information about the product, customers will come to a decision point. Thus, social media site triggers the customer behaviors of purchase.

Post-purchase decision- after purchasing, customer experience certain levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction ad evaluate the wisdom of choice made in the selection of alternatives. There are two possible outcomes of the post-purchase phase- satisfaction and dissatisfaction.