88 Social Media | Types of Social Media Tools

Social media tools fall into different categories based on what they are used for. Hootsuite, a popular social media-planning tool, outlines 10 different types of social media.

person looking at a phone

  • Media sharing networks – share photos, videos and other media
  • Social networks – connect with people
  • Discussion forums – share news and ideas
  • Bookmarking and content curation networks – find and review businesses
  • Blogging and publishing networks – publish content online
  • Interest-based networks – shop online
  • Sharing economy networks – trade goods and services
  • Anonymous social networks – communication anonymously

Types of social media via Hootsuite

This module will examine a few popular examples of social media tools you might want to use as part of a social media strategy to reach your academic colleagues, your research funders, potential policy makers, and all those interested in your research:

  • Twitter (social networking tool example).
  • Facebook (social networking tool example).
  • YouTube (media sharing tool example).
  • Instagram (social networking tool example).
  • LinkedIn (social networking tool example).
  • Pinterest (social bookmarking tool example).
  • Medium (discussion forum example).

The world's most-used social media platform: Facebook, youtube, whatsapp

There are other social media tools that will not be explored in detail in this module including ResearchGate or Academia.edu, two examples of social networking tools for academics. The purpose of this module is to explore social media tools that are used to share research with multiple audiences, not solely academic audiences. TikTok will also not be explored in detail as its use by academics to reach audiences interested in their research is just emerging, although the video provides a compelling argument for individual academic use of TikTok to support an academic writing practice.


light bulb iconDeeper Dive
University of Oklahoma Library extensive discussion of academia.edu and ResearchGate
TikTok for Academics?(by a historian)
Be aware that social networking sites create value by selling you and your information to advertisers. You are the product that social media services seek to monetize to advertisers. Therefore, it is best to use networks that allow you to reach the largest possible audiences.

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