The 5 Sorts of Social Media and Pros & Cons of Each (Research)


Marketers commonly use social media to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and improve traffic.

In case you’re tasked with starting a social media strategy on your company, you is perhaps wondering which kind of platforms you ought to be on. Your platform selection will likely change based in your audience.

The list of social media platforms is growing, and well-known platforms like Facebook are at all times evolving and adding recent features.

With a greater and greater need for a social presence and an awesome amount of platform selections, it could be hard to choose which social channels to make use of.

You may not wish to spread yourself too thin by managing a channel on every conceivable platform, but you furthermore mght don’t wish to miss great brand-awareness opportunities.

To allow you to make informed decisions about which platforms to make use of, this post will guide you thru a number of the core forms of social media, examples of platforms inside each category, and the professionals and cons that every type might present.

By the tip, you need to have a much clearer idea of what form of social media strategy will work for what you are promoting.

Social Networking

Examples of Major Platforms

Social networking is possibly probably the most traditional type of social media.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are sometimes called “networking” platforms because they permit user accounts to interact with one another in quite a lot of other ways.

Skilled Uses

In case you’re a small business, like a restaurant, a platform like Facebook might be an amazing place to begin your social strategy. With Facebook, you may construct a business profile that features links to your website and details about your menu.

Once your profile is all arrange, you may post regular updates about what you are promoting, “like” other pages, and answer customer post comments or messages. Business profiles also allow other Facebook users to offer you reviews.

You may as well leverage Facebook’s community feature and arrange a community page for patrons to ask questions or rave about your services and products.

Actually, we found that companies that leverage social media communities will see excellent ends in the marketing strategy.

In response to our State of Social Media Survey, 90% of marketers say constructing an lively online community is crucial to a successful social media strategy in 2023.

This is sensible, considering our Consumer Trends survey found 20% of social media users joined a web based community previously three months, and 22% actively participated in a single.

For firms seeking to offer an expert service, B2B or publishing firms, LinkedIn is one other great strategy to grow your following. LinkedIn emphasizes career-related networking.

Brands seeking to construct an audience of execs from a certain industry can create a business profile there, categorize it with an industry type, after which use posts and messaging to publish updates.

They can even use messaging and comment features to interact with their audiences, or users who comment on their posts.

A Twitter account might be helpful to firms in a large spectrum of industries, from entertainment to e-commerce. This platform similarly permits you to create a profile where you may list and link company information.

You’ll be able to then use Twitter to post about company updates, tag firms or customers in posts, retweet positive customer tweets, and reply to customer questions via tweet or direct messages.

Like Facebook, you too can post content like photos or videos.

On all three networks, users can easily communicate with others through easy actions like tagging, hashtagging, commenting, private messaging, reacting to posts, and re-sharing content.

Other than social interaction, newsfeeds on common social networking platforms are designed to point out off a combination of text and visuals, relatively than one primary content type.

This flexibility makes social networking platforms easy to start a social strategy on because you may experiment with different types of content before branching out to platforms that require more specific content types.

Here’s an example of Facebook’s newsfeed:

Facebook newsfeed

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

With the expansion of video marketing, many have begun to launch more advanced features like Facebook Stories and Twitter’s live streams.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have also began to encourage native video and photo uploads more heavily.

Recently, Facebook even adjusted its algorithms to favor live video and image uploads. This has caused some of these native content to realize greater user engagement.

In case you’re still undecided where to start, try our beginner’s guides for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Pros and Cons



Photo Sharing

Example of Major Platforms

Considered one of the most important platforms that focus on photo sharing is Pinterest. Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery engine” for users on the lookout for cooking, style, home decor, and general visual inspiration.

In case you’re wondering why Instagram is not mentioned here — don’t be concerned! We’ll have more on that once we get to the video platforms. 

Just like the social networking platforms above, Pinterest users on most photo-sharing platforms can interact with others through tags, likes, comments, or direct messages.

Skilled Uses

Photo-sharing platforms could be helpful to firms like restaurants or stores that wish to take photographs, display content, and update followers about their food, goods, or products in a crisp, clean way.

Pinterest is well-suited for ecommerce firms, reminiscent of those that sell home goods, and businesses that may like a spot to share crisp standalone product images with links.

It similarly offers a photo-based feed with posts that may include a photograph and short description. The platform also allows all users to link on to web sites or product landing pages in posts.

One interesting aspect of the platform is that users can heart posts from others, or assign them to a themed “board.” For instance, users might make boards centered around topics like “Inspirational Quotes” or “Bedroom products.”

Once a board is created, other users can even follow it. A business could potentially make a board with their very own product posts, or find their products on one other user’s board.

Here’s an example of what a board looks like:

Pinterest Home and DIY board

Before getting began on a platform like Pinterest, you’ll want to find out whether your goal is to realize brand awareness or link-based traffic.

When selecting a platform, it’s possible you’ll want to contemplate your content-related bandwidth. Each require visual imagery, but you may also need to incorporate video creation inside your strategy.

Pros and Cons


  • These sorts of platforms help with brand awareness. Roughly 80% of Pinterest users say they’ve learned about services or products on the app.
  • Pinterest provides an outlet for showing off visual content or product shots.


  • Upkeep on these platforms might require a photograph budget or dedicated production time.
  • Some platforms, require you to post from a mobile app.

Video Sharing

Examples of Major Platforms

Skilled Uses

Roughly 88% of marketers say video gives them a robust ROI and 90% feel the extent of video competition has increased.

Adding a video platform to your social strategy could make your brand look relevant and keep you in control along with your competitors.

Video may be helpful to a wide selection of industries. While a restaurant could have a vlog with cooking suggestions, a technology company might focus its video strategy around product demos.

To allow you to pin down a method that’s right on your industry and repair, try our video marketing guide.

On the subject of long-form video, YouTube is one among the leading platforms.

While YouTube has the larger audience base and higher search engine marketing capabilities, Vimeo’s smaller platform could be very community driven.

YouTube also seems to have higher opportunities for advertisers and monetization, while Vimeo offers viewers the perk of no pre-roll ads.

For an extended list of similarities and differences, try this head-to-head piece where we compare the business capabilities of Vimeo and YouTube.

Together with YouTube and Vimeo, the more traditional social networking platforms have also begun to embrace video marketing more aggressively.

In the previous couple of years, Facebook launched Facebook Stories and Facebook Live, and added a tab on their mobile app dedicated to video. Meanwhile, Twitter has allowed users to launch live video streams that are powered by its Periscope software.

One other top contender for video platforms is Instagram. You are probably pondering, “But is not Instagram a photo-sharing app like Pinterest?”

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

Actually, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri clarified in 2021, “We’re now not a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.”

While users can still post photos to Instagram, the platform mainly promotes Reels and video stories. It is also price mentioning that Instagram video posts are greater than twice as likely to generate engagement than image posts.

Pros and Cons



Interactive Media

Examples of Major Platforms

Apps like Snapchat and TikTok allow users to share photos and videos, in addition they have quite a lot of unique interactive and highly experimental features.

These two apps include AR/VR filters, musical overlays, and interactive games. Their audience bases are also prominently Gen-Z.

Skilled Uses

Because mainly large companies are just starting to experiment with these recent applications, marketers who are only starting a social strategy don’t have to prioritize these interactive apps before traditional social networking platforms.

The big firms on these platforms are likely to produce high production-level content. Brands with large followings may also publish Snapchat Stories, or videos which might be curated from fans.

With out a high-budget or giant online following, these strategies is perhaps difficult for a corporation that’s just starting out on social.

Brands and influencers on these apps are likely to cater their content to the platforms’ younger audiences. For instance, on Snapchat, you would possibly see stories that present beauty tutorials, wellness suggestions, news, or trendy recent products.

In case you’re really eager about interactive media, there are still just a few viable ways you can get entangled with Snapchat or TikTok.

While major brands, like VICE and BuzzFeed have develop into Snapchat Discover partners, the common business can still create a Snapchat business account that may be searched and friended by users.

This account permits you to send publish temporary stories, identical to individual accounts can. Nevertheless, those with a business account can even purchase ad space.

Here’s a comprehensive video that explains how you can use Snapchat:

In case you’ve arrange an account, try this guide to getting started on Snapchat.

TikTok, an app based around short, repetitive clips offers five types of advertising options for businesses. While large businesses may find value in all five, smaller businesses may lean more towards “In-Feed Ads.”

These ads are 9-15 second clips that may be skipped by the user.

Guess is one notable brand that has used its account to create trending campaigns with trendy hashtags. Universal Pictures has also had influencers create posts to advertise its movies.

In case you do test out these platforms, it is advisable to make sure that your industry and content matches in with the young age demographic.

It’s best to also attempt to properly estimate the money and time that may go into keeping these accounts up-to-date and relevant.

In case you’re unsure of how short video ads can profit what you are promoting, remember short-form videos have the very best ROI in comparison to other video formats.

Moreover, 54% of social media marketers report using short-form videos like TiKTok videos and IG Reels of their strategy.

Pros and Cons



  • Producing regular content might be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Business accounts aren’t promoted up-front on the Snapchat interface. It’s possible you’ll want to advertise your channel in your website or other social channels because users will need to go looking for you with your Snapcode or username.
  • Snapchat and TikTok are limited to mobile and aren’t as easy to make use of.


Examples of Major Platforms

Tumblr and Reddit each allow users to post about interesting area of interest topics, like memes, events, politics, and pop-culture.

When users publish a post, these platforms allow other users to share them or add to the conversation with their very own commentary.

Skilled Uses

Each blogging and community constructing platforms might be helpful to those that wish to encourage discussion around very area of interest industries or topics.

For instance, on these platforms, you would possibly see discussion about anything from alternative health to machine learning.

By blogging, you may write posts about topics in your organization’s industry and link them to your product or site.

While many individuals have a blog on their website, platforms like Tumblr is perhaps great to make use of when you haven’t set this feature up — or simply wish to see what others in your industry are blogging about.

With a discussion site like Reddit, you can share a link or a post about a selected topic on a discussion board related to your industry and see how users respond.

You might also start your individual board if a subject you’re seeking to encourage discussion on doesn’t have one yet.

These two platforms specifically encourage web chatter and post shares from users that care concerning the same topics.

Each also allow users to follow you or subscribe to your blogs or Reddit boards so your content could show up on their feeds. Here’s an example of what Reddit’s feed looks like.

Reddit feed

When someone publishes something on Reddit, other users can up-vote or down-vote it. Up-voting makes a post show up higher in Reddit feeds while down-voting does the other.

On Tumblr, the feeds are organized by time. Nevertheless, a post can show up higher when it’s re-shared by other users. When a user shares or interacts along with your Tumblr content, they give it a note.

After they reshare, they’ve the choice to post a comment with the post that gets added to a thread.

Here’s an example of how notes and threads may be used to encourage discussion:

Tumblr music recommendation thread

Pros and Cons


  • Each platforms permit you to share text posts, photos, and videos about what you are promoting, brand, or individual thoughts.
  • These platforms enable you to begin conversations a few topic.
  • Each platforms allow linking to outside web sites.


  • Longer blog posts might take time to craft or write.
  • Getting downvoted on Reddit or no response from Tumblr users means your posts may go unseen.
  • Your audience is perhaps too area of interest or limited to simply those on the particular platform you utilize.

A Few Things to Consider

Before you begin logging in and establishing your accounts on a bunch of platforms, make sure you consider these aspects:

  • How much time do you might have to devote to strategizing around a social platform?
  • Do you might have resources for creating graphics or videos?
  • Do your goals involve boosting brand awareness, or traffic and revenue?
  • Will you wish a further staff member to run this platform, or will it’s easy to keep up?

When you’re on a platform or two, make sure you stay within the know of the way it’s changing and what marketers are doing. For a current outlook, try our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing.



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