January 26, 2022

Different Types of Social Media Marketing for Growing Your Brand

The most popular types of social media marketing today have the potential to help brands improve their online visibility, reach their audience, and turn them into customers. 

According to research:

  • 83% of marketers believe the quality of social media posts is more important than the quantity. (HubSpot)
  • Typical social media user actively uses or visits an average of 7.5 different social platforms each month, and spends an average of close to 2½ hours per day using social media. (GWI)
  • Millennials are logged on to social media for an average of two hours and 38 minutes daily, while Gen Z logs on for two hours and 55 minutes. (World Economic Forum)

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What are the Different Types of Social Media Marketing?

Let’s examine some of the most common types of social media marketing posts today. This list should serve as a useful guide for marketers, regardless of whether you’re only starting to dip your toes into using social media as a marketing tool or refining your strategy by looking into creative new ways to reach your fans and followers.

Brand Communications and Posts

Examples: Publishing a post (text, photo, or link) on your Facebook business Page, your company’s Twitter or Instagram profile, LinkedIn company page, and Google My Business listing (now called Google Business Profile).

This is great for: Posting promotional content, publishing company news, special offers, and announcements, sharing customer reviews on social media, letting your audience know that you have a new blog post, etc.

Content creation and distribution is one of the most popular ways that companies today use social media. Whether you’re announcing a new product, letting customers know about your updated hours, or showing off one of your latest 5-star reviews, you’ll be able to publish external brand communications on most social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google My Business.

Be careful not to let your page become overly promotional, though. Find creative ways to come up with various types of social media marketing posts — or share user-generated content published by your fans (a positive review, say, or a photo that they tagged you on). Also, when followers comment on these types of posts, be sure to respond promptly and answer any questions they may have. 

Here’s an example from the Instagram page of one of the locations of dessert shop San Churro.

  • Are you managing a brand in the restaurant industry? Check out our blog post on how to attract diners to your locations with these best practices in social media marketing for restaurants.

Here’s another example from DecisionOne Dental of how to creatively do social media marketing for healthcare. Note how the company uses social media to help shape public brand perception, whether it’s by spotlighting customers’ success stories or by communicating the company’s brand values. 

Community Management and Customer Service

Examples: Answering questions on Quora, responding to questions and queries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Q&A sections on your Google or Tripadvisor business profile. 

This is great for: Driving engagement, interacting with your audience, resolving complaints, and answering the questions and solving the problems of your potential and new customers. 

Just like business review sites, social media platforms can serve as a useful customer service channel. They can transform how your organization handles customer complaints, issues, and expectations. 

As one of the most common types of social media marketing, community management expands your reach and exposes your brand to a larger community of prospects. 

  • According to research, 71% of people who interact with a brand on social media and have a good experience are likely to recommend that company to a friend.

That’s why it’s important to extend the scope of your listening efforts beyond phone calls and your customer relationship management (CRM) system. When the voice of the customer speaks on social media, be there to listen and respond.

Check out how Slack is using Twitter to answer questions, solve customer problems, and respond to unsolicited feedback

Short-Form / Long-Form Videos and Disappearing Content

Examples: Sharing video content on YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Facebook Watch, TikTok, and Twitter. For more ephemeral content, use disappearing video formats like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories. 

This is great for: Sharing customer success stories and engaging with potential and new customers through videos in short and long formats.

One of the most oft-used types of social media marketing is video content. With the growth and popularity of apps and services like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Facebook Watch, brands now have the opportunity to capture the audience’s attention and bring their products and services to life through the use of video content.  

  • According to HubSpot, 9 out of 10 viewers said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses.

Use video to showcase your latest products, offer a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of your business locations, or share testimonials from customers who are happy with their experience. 

The disappearing video content format — think Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories — is also becoming increasingly popular. Most of these posts have a 24-hour shelf life or less. This type of social media marketing post is ideal for publishing more ephemeral or in-the-moment content: for example, daily specials, product teasers, highlights from an event, polls, and quick announcements.

Live Streams

Examples: Broadcasting on Twitch, Instagram Live, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook Live.

This is great for: Streaming live events, conducting live masterclasses, launching a new product, service, or business location, broadcasting interactive interviews and Q&A sessions with your executive team.

Live streams have surged in popularity in the last few years, especially with people spending more time at home than ever due to the pandemic. Most brands now encourage their fans and followers to tune into their streams on various social media platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live. 

A number of companies also monetize this type of social media marketing activity: by offering masterclasses, for example, or by selling tickets to exclusive live streaming events (like virtual conferences and webinars). 

Private Forums and Communities

Examples: Engaging with users on platforms like Discourse, Slack, Reddit, Quora, and Facebook Groups.

This is great for: Establishing thought leadership, demonstrating industry expertise, answering questions, and raising brand awareness by engaging in social conversations relevant to your brand. 

Online forums and message board communities have been around for awhile, and social media has led to the creation of platforms like Discourse, Reddit, Quora, and Facebook Groups. This type of social media marketing often involves forming or joining communities around interest-based topics. 

This means you can’t be overly promotional when you participate in the conversations. Some forums might not even allow links to your business. However, this type of social media marketing activity is perfect for demonstrating your company’s expertise and leadership in your given industry. The key is to be genuinely helpful and provide information that’s valuable to the community.

Cater Your Social Media Marketing to Your Audience

Given the many types of social media marketing campaigns and posts to choose from, keep in mind that you should develop your strategy based on the audience you are trying to reach and engage with. Create content that connects with your customers, and distribute it on the platforms that they value and spend the most time on. 

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