What is Social Media?

Posted by | May 18, 2011 | Career Headquarters 101, Social Media Basics

Social media has become a social force. It is something that both individuals and businesses are using increasingly to network and do both personal and professional business in various ways.

This article will briefly explore this interesting new niche in internet interactivity and commerce.

Basics of Social Media

To answer the question “what is social media” in a basic sense: social media, as it’s used in the web sense, basically refers to websites that allow individuals to interact in a sociable manner and that is based around personalities rather than businesses or websites as such.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and YouTube (the three social media giants) allow individuals or groups to create pages that showcase who they are in a number of attention-getting and interactive ways.

For instance, an individual can put content of a verbal sort, visual elements such as photos or graphical icons, and video on a page to showcase their talents, interests, and general personality. This allows other users to find a page based on the user and to communicate with the user.

Social Media for Persona or Business Use

A slightly more subtle way of answering the what is social media question is to discriminate between social media that is used for business or personal use. Both, as noted above, are a common internet phenomenon.

Personal Use

Personal use of social media networks usually involves simple use of these sites for socialization. Individuals like to keep in contact with other users, look at items of interest that users post, send messages, upload videos and discuss them, and so on.

The primary motivation is here is social rather than monetary. These sites allow users to both communicate with existing friends, relatives, romantic contacts, or professional associates and to make new ones.

Business Use

Business use of social media, by contrast, is profit driven and monetarily motivated. Businesses use social media as a form of advertising. They create pages related to their business, using the interactive and multimedia nature of the sites to drive traffic to a website or landing page.

The simple advantage her for businesses is that social media sites are well trafficked and considered fun by users, so they are likely to check out what businesses have to offer on their social media pages.

Another advantage for businesses involves the fact that social media offers demographic tools and ways to pin point various classes of users. This enables businesses to reach customers that are most likely to be interested in their services.

Search features and diagnostics included with the site and even satellite sites allows companies to get fairly targeted about users they wish to contact or market to. A business can, for instance, send a message about a contest they are running on a social media page to a large group of users in a specific age group.

Jobs in Social Media

Social media jobs are a new employment niche. They may be done remotely as outsourced work or done in house at a specific business. They usually involve managing the social media presence of a company and overseeing its marketing performance.

These sites need to be continually updated in order to maintain user interest and to be checked regularly on how much traffic they are generating. This has enough work associate with it that it is often either a part time or full time job.

These new media jobs often have a lot involved with them. A social media professional may be asked to make video, analyze market trends that relate to social media, put up high quality photographic images, communicate with a large number of users who have interacted with the social media page, and many other tasks.

Social media sites are a daily phenomenon and need to be handled by one or several individuals as such. These new media jobs can be thought of as comparable to working at a television station and handling as specific aspect of broadcasting.

The Right Approach to Social Media for Business Purposes

By all accounts, the thing for a business to emphasize in social media is the entertainment value of the social media site. The people they frequent these sites consider them primarily entertainment and commercial resources second.

This if a business want to attract site subscribers or followers on a social media site they would do well to emphasize the entertainment/interaction aspects of the social media experience.

For instance, a business may run contests or put up entertaining videos that relate to what their business does. Users may initially be attracted to the game like feel of the contests or the fun of watching a funny or interesting video.

Once they show interest via this entertainment avenue, they are more likely to take interest in the business at a commercial level as a provider of goods or services.

Social media is an interesting phenomenon because it brings together social, commercial, and entertainment elements all in one place, offering advantages to socializers, shoppers, and businesses alike.

So what’s your definition of social media?

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