If you’re like many business owners you’re probably wondering, what exactly is social media? If you don’t know what it is then your business is missing out on a tremendous marketing and sales tool. Also, without a thorough understanding of Social Media, you can wind up paying a company a lot of money to do it for you and not get the results that you want. So there’s a simple solution, let’s learn what social media is and what it isn’t.
Social media is a term that includes internet programs and systems such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other things typically thought of as social networking. The idea is that they are media designs with social components and public communication channels. These are built to be distributed through social interaction, where people can easily access and drive up their popularity through the use of voting and tagging.
Social media supports the human needs and wants for social interaction, and uses the Internet to transform broadcast media (one to many) into social media (many to many). It supports education and information; and also transforms people by not just being consumers yet also producers. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated communication. Okay, now we have some of the technical stuff out of the way.
On the surface, you might think that people who stay in front of their computers would have a sorry social life. Yet a recent survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, found that those who use the Internet and mobile technology actually enjoy a bigger social network than those who do not. These are the people that are more likely to join discussions, make friends and basically keep in touch with friends and family.
If you’re a business owner, you may find unique ways of promoting your product or service through social media. You may want to thank Facebook and Twitter the next time you organize a seminar, launch a new product or service line, hire for a key position or even reach your sales quota.
So what are the common forms of social media that can help your business?
• Electronic media with sharing, search engines (like Google) or your own mobile phone.
• Concepts, expressions and statements that are not only easy to remember yet hard to forget and that excite others to repeat it.
• Grass-Roots direct action information distribution such as public speaking, seminars, events, installations, performances and demonstrations.
• Print media designed to be re-distributed and shared to others.
So what are something’s that are NOT social media? Well the answer is simple, older forms of media such as magazines and newspapers that are simply places for content to be surrounded by advertisements.
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