Most people equate social media with Facebook. Business people and entrepreneurs who’ve had some training will add Twitter and YouTube to the mix. But did you also know that blogs are a method of social networking? Some people assume everything on the Internet can be classified as social media, and before you do that too, let’s define social media and social networking.
Media vs Social Media
Let’s start with media in general: media is the plural form of the word medium, which for the purpose of our discussion is anything used to disseminate information. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV are all forms of media. They provide information. Social Media is a specific method of communication that allows for social interaction with the information it provides.
Interaction ranges from very simple; posting a status report or a LIKE on Facebook, to more complex; commenting on someone else’s Facebook post, tweet or blog. Social interaction on YouTube might encompass commenting and voting for a particular video.
To understand the distinction, just think of social media as allowing for interaction and social networking (which we’ll talk more about in a few minutes) as being interactive with Internet resources and online sites. The major distinction is conventional media allows for output and social media both output and input.
Business Benefits of Social Media
Now that you have a little background, let’s go back to the purpose of our discussion: How does all of this benefit business?
Learning how to use social media to get the word out about your business is pure power. This involves more than just social networking, so if you’re one of those folks I mentioned a few paragraphs back, who thought social media began and ended with Facebook, it doesn’t. It extends far beyond.
Networking on social media sites, i.e. social networking, is a focused way of building relationships with colleagues, prospects and customers. You won’t find an easier and more efficient technique to reach and expand your target audience without spending massive amounts of money.
Every social media site has its own special purpose. Facebook is meant to help you show people who you are as a person. Friendships are built and alliances made because of this tool. Twitter allows for short, blips of conversation. It helps you say, hey this or that is going on. Come on down! Blogs give you the opportunity to teach, share and educate. As people comment, you can begin some great conversations.
Social media is one of your most valuable marketing tools. Learn about it and use it. You’ll not only avoid being left behind by the competition, you’ll also move your business farther ahead!
Daven Michaels is a New York Times Best Selling Author and CEO of premiere global outsourcing company, 123Employee, http://www.123Employee.com. The company employs hundreds of young bright individuals on three continents. His International event, Beyond Business Live! http://www.BeyondBusinessLive.com inspires entrepreneurs to meet challenges head-on in with revolutionary new theories and systems allowing them to design the business and personal lifestyles of their dreams.