If you’re an expert in digital marketing, you’ve probably already used major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to expand your business’ reach.

But did you know, that beyond gauging these apps according to their niche, capabilities and features, these social media platforms are categorized by marketers according to their type?

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Reddit can be grouped according to what we can accomplish with them.

Different Social Media Types

Here are the different social media types and what they’re used for.

Social Networks

People use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to connect with people and for brands to reach their audience and potential consumers online.

Facebook UI

These apps can benefit your business as it expands brand awareness, builds your business or brand’s relationship to your consumers or customers, and can even be used for customer service.

Social networks, sometimes called relationship networks have become so ingrained in every aspect of modern life. It’s almost natural to jump in these platforms especially with the countless resources.

Media Sharing Networks

Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Youtube are called such because these are apps where you can find and upload photos, videos, live video, and other media online.
These apps are vital for brand awareness, lead generation, and audience engagement. Media sharing networks are great for accomplishing your social media marketing goals, especially because it allows brands to share media online.

While the majority of posts on Social Networks are text-heavy, posts on networks like Instagram and Youtube start with an image or a video to which the uploader may add captions, and hashtags.

When considering using any of these platforms for your business, make sure to check your available resources. Promotions using videos on Youtube or Vimeo may take a lot of time and resources. Being specific and having a planned goal works the best on Instagram or Youtube.

Discussion Forums

Reddit, Quora, and Digg are just a few examples of this type of platform. People use these platforms to find, discuss, and share news, information, and opinions. These networks can be great for market research. You can advertise on them, but make sure to keep your ads and posts separate.

quora looks like

One of the oldest types of social media, Discussion Forums have connected people before Facebook or Twitter through forums. 

The variety of topics and the people that go to these websites make customer research valuable and worth the time.

Bookmarking and Content Curation Networks

People use websites such as Pinterest and Flipboard to search, share, and curate content and media that they’re interested in. These platforms are highly effective for driving brand awareness customer engagement, and website traffic.

These bookmarking and content curation websites are a cradle of inspiration and ideas for people. By adding them to your social media marketing plan, you’ll expand brand awareness and audience engagement for your business.

green veggies
Pins by Pinterest

You can start off with Pinterest by making your website bookmark-friendly. Optimizing headlines and images on your blog or website for Pinterest means creating really good content and photos that represent your brand or your business.

Consumer Review Networks

Websites like Yelp, Zomato, and TripAdvisor are frequented by people to find, review, and share information about brands, products, and services, as well as restaurants, travel destinations, and more.

social media platforms
Image via Tripadvisor

Reviews can be helpful to your brand, especially positive feedback, which brings social proof to your claims. You can balance out negative ones with good customer service and efficient solutions.

Consumer review networks are an avenue for people to give businesses, brands, products, and services reviews. Reviews in themselves are a type of content that adds value to many websites and services. Consumer Review Networks take it one step further by building networks around the review as a core part of the value they provide.


These are only five social media types and platforms explained, but there are actually a few more. Whatever your needs and goals are for your business and social media marketing plans, the internet will surely deliver. With further research, you’ll find what you’re looking for.


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