What is social media?


It is a form of communication.

It’s important to think of it in such fundemental, simple terms. Because, when we do this, new ideas and thoughts emerge.

So when a client tells me, “why should I use social media?”. My answer is, “why should you communicate?”

Why communicate?

It’s a question a lot of people and businesses seem to forget in the rush to blog-twitter-digg-facebook-bebo etc.

Lets take it a bit further.

  • What do you want to communicate?
  • Who do you want to communicate to?
  • Is your communication time sensitive?
  • What defines your communication as success?

These are the questions you should be asking before you even think about social media.

For example, is a front page digg really the best thing to add to your online marketing mix right now?

When you address things from a more theoretical aspect, alternative opportunities arise.

6 thoughts on “What is social media?”

  1. In my personal opinion SM means diffferent things to different people. As an individual SM such as Twitter is a means of “convinient communication” and a source of relevant information, opinions, gossip, support, and banter.

    As a brand evangelist, I agree with you, SM is simply “Communication on Viagra”, but businesses need to make sure that they need Viagra before they actually rulled out other means…

  2. My take on Social Media is how you would communicate between friends or companions in various social environments.

    I mean discussing latest news events or what new game you bought for your x-box 360 down the pub with your mates would be a completely different conversation if the same topics were to arise in a less formal place – say a Church / Hospital / Funeral Parlor / Strict Peers House.

    The message is still the same but the way the message is presented is completely different. An individual can get away with so much on Twitter but if they represent a firm / brand then their communication is more than likely to have that starched effect.

    You just need to look at the top seo / marketing agencies and see how their blog / smm mouthpieces walk such a conservative line.

    The message contained within the conversation sometimes needs to breathe to be heard which is why the more relaxed environment the stronger it comes over — when it becomes hard-edged then it loses its human element and that’s why some companies / brands don’t get social media – they forget about the human element.

  3. Also, many people ask what kind of ROI they can expect. This type of marketing does not come down to ROI. You can track at the bare minimum how many visitors make it to your website from a link in your profile but that will only capture some of your figures.

  4. Social media is more complex than that, it really is all about democracy and the collective voice. Social media is difficult to manipulate, which means that popular items are usually truly unique and valuable.

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