Social Media Channels — Categorization

The approach we take in regard to optimizing social media is different when we’re using them as an individual and as a marketer. In the first case, we see social media as a way to communicate with our loved ones and share information. Therefore, it’s natural that we would use social networks daily and in our own interest. However, when using social media as a tool for boosting a business’ online visibility, we need to change our perception. We need to look at it from a different angle.

How to pick the right social media channel

Among the various social media channels, we can use, there are different categories. Although most of them will promote interaction, there are slight differences between networks, platforms, and content channels. It’s our job to determine which channel mix is the most suitable one for our business.

But that’s not an easy thing to do. In order to reach a well-informed decision, we first need to see who our prospective customers are and to understand them. By doing so, we’ll have an easier time identifying the right medium we can use to reach our prospects and prompt them to buy our products or services. That way, we’ll also make the whole approach about them.


Within the Platform category, we have:

  • White label social networks

  • Wikis

  • Personal social networks

Meanwhile, under the Social Content category, there are:

  • Blogs (of all types)

  • Microblogs

  • Podcasts

  • Video, audio, and photo sharing tools

Finally, in the Social Interaction Platforms category, we have:

  • SMS

  • RSS

  • Emails

  • Events, etc.

Nevertheless, no matter how tempting it might seem to use social media only, it’s crucial to use it as a supplement. After all, at the macro level, marketing programs involve the overall strategy — not just the online one. Thus, solely using social media for news will not get us anywhere. Instead, we ought to use a media mix that our advertising department can effectively apply in order to reach the consumers.

But to create that mix, we need to identify the part of the target audience we want to reach and see which platform they’re using. Afterward, we should choose how we would like to participate and reach them.

All of these steps are crucial if we want to create a specific social media strategy. By knowing in which social circles our audience is, tracking the social feedback cycle, and figuring out how they’re making their purchasing decisions when influenced by others, we’ll be able to develop the right strategy. In essence, these social interactions are and should be the basis for our marketing and advertising strategy.

Word-of-mouth publicity

Finally, we mustn’t forget about word-of-mouth publicity. Even though it has played a significant role in traditional marketing and sales channels, we can still use it in our social media strategies. In fact, it’s especially important there, as it’s a big part of microblogging, SMS, and similar channels.

However, in order to use it effectively, we must understand how it can make or break our social media reputation. Only then will we be able to tailor-make a strategy that will be just perfect for this segment of marketing.