The 7 Forms of Social Media and Professionals & Cons of Every (Analysis)


On the subject of social media, I‘m fairly the skilled. I needed to tireless scrub by means of social media for potential tales again after I was a journalist.

7 Types of Social Media; A woman thinks about several social media platforms she can leverage in a marketing campaign

Now, I’m HubSpot‘s go-to blogger for nearly something social media-related, so I’m at all times maintaining with the most recent on-line happenings.

Plus, I‘m a youthful millennial who grew up alongside social media. So in the event you’e a marketer making an attempt to determine the appropriate social media platform to improve your model’s consciousness, generate leads, and enhance site visitors, you have come to the appropriate weblog.

That can assist you make the perfect determination in your model, I’ve compiled a listing of core varieties of social media, examples of platforms inside every class, and the professionals and cons that every sort may current.

By the top, you need to have a clearer thought of what social media technique will work for your online business. Let’s dive in.

Download Now: The 2023 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

What’s Social Media Used For?

Most individuals use social media to specific themselves, share their pursuits, join with pals, and develop their careers. Nonetheless, completely different social media platforms serve particular functions. For instance, expressing creativity is most typical on TikTok or Instagram; selling one’s profession is widespread on LinkedIn.

The listing of social media platforms is rising, and well-known platforms like Fb are continually evolving and including new options.

With a larger and larger want for a social presence and an amazing quantity of platform decisions, it may be laborious to choose which social channels to make use of.

You may not wish to unfold your self too skinny by managing a channel on each conceivable platform, however you don’t wish to miss nice model consciousness alternatives.


Forms of Social Media

Social Networking
Photograph Sharing
Video Sharing
Interactive Media
Running a blog / Group
Non-public Group

Social Networking

Examples of Main Platforms

Social networking is presumably probably the most conventional type of social media, and most social media platforms fall below the social networking class. So, you may seemingly see no less than one of many aforementioned platforms (*cough, cough* X) pop up once more later on this put up.

Platforms like Fb, X, and LinkedIn are sometimes known as “networking” platforms as a result of they permit consumer accounts to work together (community) in numerous methods.

Skilled Makes use of

Many manufacturers and companies are leveraging social media direct messaging (DMs) for customer support.

In actual fact, our 2024 Socia Media Report reveals 88% of entrepreneurs are rising or sustaining their funding in social media DMs for customer support.

Fb Messenger is a good platform for this technique because it lets you reply to messages out of your model‘s Fb followers.

Plus, as a fellow shopper, I can guarantee you it leaves an amazing impression in your clients if you’re reply promptly to their DMs.

There have been many occasions after I‘ve slid right into a enterprise’ DMs as a result of I wanted an replace on an order, extra details about a product, or troubleshooting.

And when the enterprise responds again with useful data, I at all times made a observe to maintain shopping for from them.

When you’re a small enterprise, like a restaurant, I like to recommend a platform like Fb as an amazing place to start out your social technique. With Fb, you may construct a enterprise profile with hyperlinks to your web site and particulars about your menu.

I‘m particularly keen on Fb’s neighborhood characteristic, which it’s also possible to leverage to create a neighborhood web page for patrons to ask questions or rave about your services.

In actual fact, we discovered that companies that leverage social media communities will see wonderful ends in their advertising and marketing technique.

In response to our State of Social Media Survey, 90% of entrepreneurs say constructing an lively on-line neighborhood is essential to a profitable social media technique.

I am not shocked, contemplating our Client Traits survey discovered 20% of social media customers joined a web-based neighborhood up to now three months, and 22% actively participated in a single.


LinkedIn emphasizes career-related networking, and, for years, I solely ever used LinkedIn when trying to find jobs or to assist pals discover alternatives. It seems, nonetheless that LinkedIn may be very helpful for companies.

For firms trying to provide knowledgeable service, comparable to B2B or publishing firms, LinkedIn is one other wonderful technique to develop a following.

In response to our Socia Media Advertising Survey, LinkedIn is among the many prime six social media platforms yielding the best ROI for entrepreneurs.

Moreover, of the entrepreneurs who at present leverage LinkedIn of their technique, 90% plan to take care of or improve their funding in 2024.

Manufacturers trying to construct an viewers of execs from a selected business can create a enterprise profile there, categorize it with an business sort, after which use posts and messaging to publish updates.

They’ll additionally use messaging and remark options to work together with their audiences or customers who touch upon their posts.

X (The app previously referred to as Twitter)

An X account might be useful to firms in a broad spectrum of industries, from leisure to e-commerce. This platform equally lets you create a profile the place you may listing and hyperlink firm data.

You’ll be able to then use X to put up about firm updates, tag firms or clients in posts, repost constructive buyer tweets, and reply to buyer questions by way of posts or direct messages.

Like Fb, it’s also possible to put up content material like pictures or movies.

Certainly one of my favourite X options I believe entrepreneurs ought to look into is Areas, which permits customers to create dwell audio chatrooms and discuss amongst one another.

Firms will typically use Areas to host Q&As, interview thought leaders, or hold audiences knowledgeable concerning the newest happenings with the model or business.

On all three social networks, customers can simply talk with others by means of easy actions like tagging, hashtagging, commenting, personal messaging, reacting to posts, and re-sharing content material.

Apart from social interplay, feeds on widespread social networking platforms are designed to point out off a mixture of textual content and visuals slightly than one main content material sort.

This flexibility makes it simple to start a social technique on social networking platforms as a result of you may experiment with completely different types of content material earlier than branching out to platforms that require extra particular content material sorts.

For individuals who wish to dabble in video or graphics, these platforms might be an amazing place to check this new content material.

With the expansion of video advertising and marketing, many have begun to launch extra superior options like Fb Tales and X’s dwell streams.

Platforms like Fb and X have additionally began encouraging native video and photograph uploads extra closely.

Lately, Fb adjusted its algorithms to favor dwell video and picture uploads. This has brought on most of these native content material to achieve larger consumer engagement.

When you’re uncertain the place to start out, take a look at our newbie’s guides for Fb, X, and LinkedIn.

I will be trustworthy, the newbie information for X was revealed earlier than the platform rebranded from Twitter, nonetheless a lot of the knowledge nonetheless applies at the moment.

Professionals and Cons



These eager about posting hyperlinks might have extra issue getting engagement than importing pictures and movies.
Some platforms, like Fb, put particular person consumer posts greater than enterprise posts in newsfeeds.
Fb might not be the appropriate platform for you enterprise in the event you’re trying to goal youthful shoppers like Gen Z, who’re extra seemingly to make use of TikTok, X, or Snapchat.

Photograph Sharing

Examples of Main Platforms

Photograph-sharing social media platforms are precisely as they sound — they’re platforms the place sharing photos is the secret. I bear in mind the times when Instagram was probably the most distinguished photo-sharing platform.

However that was then and that is now, so in the event you‘re questioning why Instagram isn’t talked about right here — don‘t fear! I’ll have extra on that after I get to the video platforms.

Skilled Makes use of


One of many greatest platforms specializing in photograph sharing is Pinterest. Pinterest is a “visible discovery engine” for customers in search of cooking, type, residence decor, and common visible inspiration.

Personally, I‘ve been utilizing Pinterest for over 10 years and, like most customers, I work together with different accounts on the platform by means of tags, likes, feedback, or direct messages.

Within the early days, Pinterest wasn’t as synonymous with manufacturers and corporations as it’s now.

It was extra so about crafting digital imaginative and prescient boards primarily based round aesthetics.

Nonetheless, manufacturers, firms, and creators discover it helpful whey they wish to take images, show content material, and replace followers about their meals, items, or merchandise.

Pinterest is well-suited for e-commerce firms, comparable to people who promote residence items and companies that would really like a spot to share crisp standalone product photos with hyperlinks.

The platform presents a photo-based feed with posts that may embody a photograph and a brief description.

In the previous couple of years, Pinterest has additionally shifted to incorporate extra video content material to compete with platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok. Nonetheless, the platform nonetheless stays a spot for customers to share their favourite pictures.

Here is little take a look at my Pinterest feed.

The platform additionally permits all customers to hyperlink on to web sites or product touchdown pages in posts. I particularly love Pinterest’s Discover web page and might see lots of alternatives for manufacturers there.

The Discover web page updates day by day and operates virtually like an old-school weblog with how one can scroll to see the earlier days’ themes as nicely.

The discover feed options boards curated by celebrities, creators, and types sharing photos their followers can be eager about. And, after all, there are alternatives for shoppers to buy.

I clicked on the board known as Pinterest Predicts: Spring 2024 Purchasing Concepts, and was proven completely different traits anticipated to take over this season together with hyperlinks to purchase them.

Manufacturers options on the board embody Tory Burch, Nordstrom, and STAUD. Unrelated, however I‘m stil laughing at Tennis Aesthetic being the development of the season as a result of I don’t do sports activities.

Earlier than beginning on a platform like Pinterest, you’ll wish to decide whether or not your aim is to achieve model consciousness, or link-based or e-commerce site visitors.


When you haven‘t heard of BeReal, I don’t blame you. It is a pretty new app that launched in 2020 and is fairly fashionable amongst Gen Z customers.

The app’s important characteristic is that it permits customers to share a photograph of themselves and their fast environment throughout a randomly chosen two-minute window on daily basis.

The thought of BeReal is to step away from the overly filtered and curated content material customers typically see on different platforms. Simply be actual. Get it?

With the apps premise being candid and unfiltered, how can manufacturers leverage BeReal? One of the simplest ways I may consider is to make use of the app to construct belief together with your viewers and solely share behind-the-scenes candids.

Nonetheless, that may be troublesome given customers are solely given a random two-minute window to put up.

Professionals and Cons


These sorts of platforms assist with model consciousness. Roughly 80% of Pinterest customers say they’ve discovered about services or products on the app.
Pinterest gives an outlet for exhibiting off visible content material or product photographs.


Repairs on these platforms may require a photograph finances or devoted manufacturing time.
Some platforms require you to put up from a cellular app.
BeReal is beginning to wain in reputation as its consumer base has dropped by 18% from its peak.
BeReal is hottest with Gen Z customers and there’s no alternative for e-commerce or paid content material on the app.

Video Sharing

Examples of Main Platforms

Video has been the dominant sort of content material advertising and marketing over the previous couple of years and it has no signal of slowing down — particularly short-form video.

53% of entrepreneurs whose firms are at present leveraging short-form video say they’ll improve their investments in 2024.

Including a video platform to your social technique may make your model look related and hold you in control together with your rivals.

Video could be useful to a variety of industries. Whereas a restaurant may have a vlog with cooking ideas, a expertise firm may focus its video technique on product demos.

Skilled Makes use of

There are lots of method companies can leverage video sharing platforms like YouTube. YouTube presents each short-form and long-form capabilities.

Relating to short-form video makes use of, YouTube Shorts could be a platform your online business makes use of to put up product demos, explainer movies, and extra.

If you wish to get interactive, it’s also possible to host live-stream Q&As to reply shopper questions and construct neighborhood.

On the subject of long-form movies, YouTube is without doubt one of the main platforms. In comparison with competing video-sharing platform like Vimeo, YouTube has an intensive viewers base and higher web optimization capabilities.

YouTube additionally appears to have higher alternatives for advertisers and monetization, whereas Vimeo presents viewers the perk of no pre-roll advertisements.

For an extended listing of similarities and variations, take a look at this head-to-head piece the place we examine the enterprise capabilities of Vimeo and YouTube.

Together with YouTube and Vimeo, the extra conventional social networking platforms have begun to aggressively embrace video advertising and marketing.


One other prime contender for video platforms is Instagram. You‘re most likely considering, “However isn’t Instagram a photo-sharing app like Pinterest?” Nicely, it was once.

Nonetheless, to compete with TikTok, Instagram has shifted away from being a photo-sharing app.

In actual fact, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri clarified in 2021, “We’re not a photo-sharing app or a sq. photo-sharing app.”

Whereas customers can nonetheless put up pictures on Instagram, the platform primarily promotes reels and video tales. It is also value mentioning that Instagram video posts are greater than twice as seemingly to generate engagement than picture posts.

Like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels is a good platform for posting short-form content material like product demos and explainers. Nonetheless, YouTube, as an entire, nonetheless permits long-form video whereas Instagram doesn’t.


I‘m going to revisit TikTok once more later on this put up as a result of it additionally falls below one other class of social media platforms, nonetheless, it’s nonetheless a video-sharing channel.

What I really like about TikTok with reference to advertising and marketing is that it’s a really various app with many advertising and marketing alternatives.

Sure, you may put up short-form demos and explainers like on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, however TikTok has extra alternatives to construct neighborhood together with your viewers.

This as a result of the app is a breeding floor for brand new viral traits any can participate in, and the app gives some ways for audiences to work together by way of liking, commenting, stitching, and repurposing sounds (the latter two actually assist the app stand out).

However we‘ll dive inter TikTok’s interactive alternatives within the subsequent part.

Professionals and Cons



Video content material, significantly long-form, may take extra money and time to create.
Vimeo and YouTube require extra backend duties like web optimization.
Instagram doesn’t have longform video capabilities
TikTok appeals to a youthful viewers identified to mistrust manufacturers, so you’ll seemingly must spend money on influencer advertising and marketing to achieve traction on the platform.


Interactive Media

Apps like Snapchat and TikTok permit customers to share pictures and movies and have numerous distinctive interactive and extremely experimental options.

These two apps embody AR/VR filters, musical overlays, and interactive video games. Their viewers bases are additionally predominantly Gen-Z.

Skilled Makes use of

Manufacturers with massive followings may think about publishing Snapchat Tales or movies curated by followers.

With no high-budget or large on-line following, it could be troublesome for a corporation simply beginning out on social media to leverage Snapchat.

Manufacturers and influencers on Snapchat are likely to cater their content material to the platforms’ youthful audiences. For instance, on Snapchat, you may see tales that current magnificence tutorials, wellness ideas, information, or stylish new merchandise.

When you’re eager about interactive media, there are nonetheless a couple of viable methods you can get entangled with Snapchat.

Whereas main manufacturers, like VICE and BuzzFeed, have turn out to be Snapchat Uncover companions, the typical enterprise can nonetheless create a Snapchat enterprise account that customers can seek for and pal.

This account lets you publish non permanent tales like particular person accounts. Nonetheless, these with a enterprise account can even buy advert area.

When you’ve arrange an account, take a look at this information to getting began on Snapchat.


When TikTok first rose to prominence in 2020, it primarily an app-based platform catering to a Gen Z market that needed little to do with manufacturers.

Since then, TikTok has grown to shift its focus to some longer-form content material, and types are far more conscious of the right way to leverage the channel.

In actual fact, a few quarter of entrepreneurs in our Social Media Advertising survey say TikTok yields the best ROI in comparison with different social media platforms.

The important thing to TikTok is to spend money on influencer and creator advertising and marketing. Construct a partnership with a creator who aligns together with your model’s values and might introduce your services to their viewers.

Professionals and Cons


These platforms are very inventive and experimental.
They have younger audiences, which might help manufacturers higher goal Gen-Z.


Producing common content material might be costly and time-consuming.
Enterprise accounts aren’t promoted up-front on the Snapchat interface. You could wish to promote your channel in your web site or different social channels as a result of customers should seek for you with your Snapcode or username.
Snapchat is restricted to cellular and is not as simple to make use of as different platforms.
You’ll most definitely must spend money on influencer advertising and marketing to achieve traction on TikTok, and discovering a creator aligned with your online business could also be troublesome.

Professional-Tip: You need to attempt to accurately estimate the money and time which may go into retaining these accounts up-to-date and related.

When you’re uncertain how quick video advertisements can profit your online business, keep in mind that short-form movies have the best ROI in comparison with different video codecs.

Running a blog/Group

Examples of Main Platforms

Tumblr and Reddit permit customers to put up about thrilling area of interest subjects, like memes, occasions, politics, and popular culture.

When customers publish a put up, these platforms permit others to share it or add it to the dialog with their commentary.

Skilled Makes use of

Each running a blog and community-building platforms might be useful to those that wish to encourage dialogue round very area of interest industries or subjects.

For instance, on these platforms, you may see discussions about something from various well being to machine studying.

By running a blog, you may write posts about your organization’s business subjects and hyperlink them to your product or website.

Whereas many individuals have a weblog on their web site, platforms like Tumblr could be nice to make use of in the event you haven’t set this characteristic up — or simply wish to see what others in your business are running a blog about.

With a dialogue website like Reddit, you can share a hyperlink or a put up a few particular matter on a dialogue board associated to your business and see how customers reply.

You might additionally begin your board if a subject you’re trying to encourage dialogue on doesn’t have one but.

These two platforms particularly encourage internet chatter and put up shares from customers who care about the identical subjects.

Each additionally permit customers to observe you or subscribe to your blogs or Reddit boards so your content material can seem on their feeds. Right here’s an instance of what Reddit’s feed seems to be like.

Different customers can up-vote or down-vote when somebody publishes one thing on Reddit. Up-voting makes a put up present up greater in Reddit feeds, whereas down-voting does the other.

On Tumblr, the feeds are organized by time. Nonetheless, a put up can present up greater when it’s re-shared by different customers. When a consumer shares or interacts together with your Tumblr content material, they offer it a observe.

After they reshare, they will put up a remark with the put up that will get added to a thread.

Right here’s an instance of how notes and threads can be utilized to encourage dialogue:

Professionals and Cons


Each platforms help you share textual content posts, pictures, and movies about your online business, model, or particular person ideas.
These platforms allow you to start out conversations a few matter.
Each platforms permit linking to exterior web sites.


Longer weblog posts may take time to craft or write.
Getting downvoted on Reddit or having no response from Tumblr customers means your posts might go unseen.
Your viewers could be too area of interest or restricted to simply these on the precise platform you employ.


Microblogging refers to posting quick blogs which are meant for fast viewers interplay. Each Threads and X fall below this class as they permit customers to put up weblog content material with very restricted character counts.

Skilled Makes use of

For years, firms have used X to put up fast updates relating to their services or to interact with their viewers in a humorous or relatable method. For instance, Wendy’s will typically put up content material like under to humrously entice their viewers.

The identical could be mentioned about Threads, although the platform has solely been round since July 2023.

Each platforms permit customers to add mini blogs, pictures, and movies to interact audiences. So, actually the probabilities are countless by way of the right way to use the platform.

Professionals and Cons:


If in case you have an amazing humorousness (like who ever runs Wendy’s social media) you may have an amazing probability of entertaining audiences and elevating model consciousness on microblogs.
Microblogs are very versatile by way of the sort of content material you may put up.


Non-public Group

Few issues are extra irritating and terrifying to me than after I put up one thing on social media that’s meant for my pals, followers, or my target market and it “leaves the neighborhood.”

By that, I imply the put up leaves its meant viewers and takes on a lifetime of its personal.

Typically, as a marketer, you wish to guarantee your content material is just being share amongst your viewers. You additionally wish to construct neighborhood and foster belief, which can result in longterm shoppers.

Enter: Non-public social media neighborhood platforms like Discord.

Discord is a voice and chat platform the place customers be part of dialog servers, typically by means of unique invitations, and discuss to different members about area of interest subjects.

Skilled Makes use of

Platforms like Discord are nice as a result of they help you communicate instantly together with your shoppers, share content material that’s extra seemingly to stick with your target market, and construct neighborhood together with your followers.

You should utilize Discord as digital focus group the place you may interact together with your shoppers instantly to know their habits, issues, and wishes.

For instance, I’ve a Discord server I exploit a content material creator to interact with my followers, sustain with the most recent happenings in my area of interest, and construct neighborhood.

Professionals and Cons


Like I mentioned, personal neighborhood platforms like Discord are wonderful for neighborhood constructing together with your followers and likeminded people. You’ll be able to foster neighborhood and keep tapped into your viewers.


Discord doesn‘t have options for native promoting, and it’s solely actually useful if you have already got a steady viewers who needs to be in neighborhood with you. So, you might have to concentrate on constructing your model’s following earlier than investing in Discord.

A Few Issues to Take into account

Earlier than you begin logging in and establishing your accounts on a bunch of platforms, you’ll want to think about these elements:

How a lot time do you commit to strategizing round a social platform?
Do you may have sources for creating graphics or movies?
Do your targets contain boosting model consciousness or site visitors and income?
Will you want an extra employees member to run this platform, or will it’s simple to take care of?

When you’re on a platform or two, you’ll want to keep conscious of the way it’s altering and what entrepreneurs are doing. Try our Final Information to Social Media Advertising for a present outlook.

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