What are social networks?
Social networks are digital platforms that connect people with common interests, activities or relationships (like friendship, relationships or work). These platforms allow contact between the individuals who compose them and function as a means of exchanging information. The information posted by a user can be public or private.
Social networks and social media
Many times we talk about social media and “social media” interchangeably, but in reality they are different concepts.
We call “social media” the use of digital technologies to make dialogue between people interactive. It is a broad concept, which encompasses not only social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, but also videos, blogs and other websites that provide the opportunity to interact with other people.
Instead of, social networks It is a type of social media focused on connecting people with each other. Each user creates their profile and interacts with other people by sharing information.
Types of social networks
Personal social networks. Personal social networks are meant to connect individuals to each other based on their personal relationships. The most typical example is Facebook.
Social entertainment networks. In this type of social network, the main function is not so much to interact with other people as to share content. For example, YouTube is a social network designed to share video content.
Professional social networks. Professional social networks are designed for networking, posting information about our education and achievements, obtaining employment and for other purposes related to the professional world. LinkedIn is the most well-known and used in the world.
Niche social networks. Finally, niche social networks are aimed at people with a particular interest in common, whether professional or personal. For example, DeviantArt is for visual artists to share their work and Goodreads for finding book recommendations.
Keep in mind that although this classification is based on the initial purpose of each network, in reality many social networks offer flexibility in their uses. For example, Instagram can be a personal, entertainment, or even business network.
Another possible classification is to divide social networks between horizontal or generic networks and vertical or specialized networks in a specific niche.
The 10 most important social networks
Although in recent years some think it has gone out of fashion, the truth is that Facebook’s dominance at the level of active users is overwhelming: it surpasses the 2.5 billion active users worldwide.
As a generalist social network, it can adapt to the strategies of a wide variety of brands, including B2C. Another of its great advantages is its demographic scalebecause it has a very large user base. Of course, it might not be the most appropriate to connect with young audiences.
YouTube exceeds 2 billion active users and every day, more than a billion videos are viewed on this platform. Without a doubt, it is the world leader in the video format, which in turn is one of the most interesting types of content in online marketing.
Uploading your videos to YouTube can offer you great benefits in terms of visibility. Moreover, it is a very simple platform with multiple features, like live streaming. However, you have to take into account that this is a network geared more towards consuming content than interaction, and the large amount of content it contains makes it very important to support the network. positioning.
WhatsApp is the world’s most popular social messaging network and is based on the 2 billion active users. He had a great influence around the world, to the point that he changed the way we communicate.
The great strength of WhatsApp in online marketing is its speed and comfort as a customer service channel. Users positively appreciate the ability to contact brands through WhatsApp and get their issues resolved quickly. On the other hand, since it is a messaging application, it is not the most suitable for strategies based on content sharing.
4) Facebook Messenger
With an active user base exceeding 1.2 billion, Facebook Messenger is the second most used instant messaging application in the world. It should be noted that it is integrated with Instagram messaging.
In terms of social media marketing, Facebook Messenger is a channel with great potential for brands that have a Facebook page. In particular, messenger chatbots They allow us to automatically perform a series of actions, such as placing orders or answering customer questions, which helps us improve the user experience while freeing up time and resources for the team.
Instagram is the fifth social network in the world in number of active users, because it exceeds the 1200 million.
It is a social network very marked by the phenomenon of influencers, because it is one of the most used platforms to promote brands and in which this type of content is more accepted by users. Today, the trend is more to search for the microinfluencers, with a smaller community of followers but higher rates of influence and interaction.
It should also be noted that it shares the same advertising platform as Facebook, which gives us many possibilities when launching social advertising campaigns.
6) Weixin / WeChat
WeChat It’s a social network China relatively unknown in our country, but it also has a base of over 1.2 billion active users.
It has multiple features, including a messaging service, geolocation, official or verified accounts, options to share images, statuses, links and other items to selected contacts, a payment system and even a professional version similar to Slack.
For brands, WeChat can provide many great options, both for online marketing and internal organization management. To use it, it is necessary to have a Chinese company or at least a foreign business license.
We have arrived on the fashion social network, TIC Tac, what happens with more than the 600 million active users and is based on sharing short video content, often in a “play” format. Its popularity has exploded especially during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
TikTok is a network particularly suited for connecting with younger users, although brands should take into account that there is a need to tailor their posts to the particular style of that network. It has a growing community of influencers and offers monetization and advertising options.
In eighth place we have QQ, which also surpasses 600 million users and it is one of the most popular in China. In recent years, it has lost speed compared to WeChat, but it is still an option for companies doing business in China to consider. In addition to messaging, it offers a variety of services such as online games, music, shopping, movies, and voice chat.
Douyin is around the 600 million active users. It is often called “the Chinese Tik Tok” because, like this network, it allows you to create and share short music videos.
Its relevance in our country is closely linked to the world of soccer, since in 2020 he signed an agreement with La Liga whereby Douyin is committed to offering quality content from Spanish content and its clubs, increasing its reach beyond our borders. Many LaLiga teams have official profiles on Douyin, including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
10) Sina Weibo
The Chinese social network Sina Weibo, with more than 500 million active users. It has many features in common with Twitter, such as the 140 character limit per post, the use of the at sign to mention other users, the use of hashtags, the options to repost content and add it to favorites lists and account verification. of famous people or organizations.