What is Social Media?

A Primer For Social Media Newcomers

As defined by Wikipedia:

Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies  to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media utilization is believed to be a driving force in defining the current time period as the Attention Age. A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.

Ok, well what does that mean in plain English?

The Social Media Party

Day Seventy FiveI find it easy to compare social media to an online party. There are all different kinds of parties so there are all different types of online party scenarios. A cocktail party, a professional networking party, a crazy summer party with your friends.

When you attend a friend’s barbecue you might not be in business mode, but I’m sure if you hear someone talking about your industry, you’d get involved in the conversation and offer your insight and some advice. Think of social media the same way.

If you’re a plumber at a buddy’s holiday party and someone mentions that they’ve been having issues with their kitchen sink, you would respond with some quick tips that might help and they may ask for your contact information. When they go home and it’s more than an easy, quick fix, guess who they’re going to call? No, not Ghostbusters.

You may attend some local chamber of commerce meetings in your town or be a part of a peer group that gets together once in a while to discuss the industry and ways to improve business. This is another aspect of the social media party as well. Information is constantly flowing from all different sources online and once you determine which sources can provide quality you can really be on top of your game. Likewise, sharing quality content will bring you more of a following and raise your voice as an industry leader. Who doesn’t want to hire an industry leader to solve their problem? Even if it’s a faulty siding job on their new house, standing out above competition online will help you bring in more customers.