What Is Social Media?
Do you really know what Social Media is? Social Media is more or less described as a group of Internet-based applications people use to communicate and exchange ideas, knowledge, products, services and anything else that someone wants to communicate to the world
So basically Social Media uses different applications to communicate. From a business point of view, the type of business activity will determine the kind of social media that you will be using.
What categories of Social Media can we find on the Internet? There are basically five big branches that we focus on, which we will explain here.
Social Media Categories
We want you to know that is difficult to categorize every social application. There are even some applications that we don’t know about and new ones appearing every day, so we will only talk about the ones we use the most.
Collaboration Media: This is everything that is related on building an “encyclopedia,” or a database of information available to the world. This is built by the people, for the people. Normally there is an internal entity that will regulate the information posted. Generally it’s a just one-way communication. Example: Wikipedia.
Blog Media: These are really popular because they are easy to set up and are a way of communicating hobbies, knowledge, products, experiences, etc., with others. Blogs are very important in general because they are supposed to be written by people that like and know about the subject. They are normally two-way communication, more like a conversation or discussion.
There are three different kind of blogs:
- a. Standard Blogs: These are the ones that people create to share their interest on a subject and information about it. You can find all kinds of blogs for any kind of theme.
- b. Tweets: These are not really blogs; they are more like instant messages sent to followers (interested people) that describe in a short phrase a theme that can be linked to a blog. They can be also used to share news, ideas, promotions or discussions in which people can interact.
- c. Yahoo Answers: These are more like micro-blogs in which people can ask a question about a subject or theme. Anyone can reply to these questions by giving a point of view, experience, feed, etc.
Content Media: We all know YouTube; well, this is a huge content application in which people share videos (the content). You can almost share anything here. You can share knowledge, information, pranks, daily thoughts, etc. Content includes videos, pictures, audio and documents.
Networking Media: Networking is one of the activities we do the most on our life. With new technologies, we as humans are more connected and informed about friends, family and other people. We know important and not-so important social activities, interests and hobbies of the people around us. As for applications, we have the well-known Facebook, Hi5, LinkedIn, etc.
Interesting Media: As we said before, it is difficult to categorize applications because they all offer in different degrees more than one solution or activity (pictures, chat, videos, etc.). The following applications don’t fit into the previous categories, but they are just as important.
- a. Yelp: For getting information about places and ranking them based on people’s experience.
- b. MeetUp: This is similar to a blog. You can find people from your same city who share a common interest. You can find classes, or you can create your own group.
What Social Media is Good for Me?
The fact that social media is free is not the only reason to use it.
It demands time, strategy and constant updates. Not every company needs to have a Twitter account.
You should ask you self the three following questions to identify whether Social Media is for you:
- 1. Do you think your business is interesting enough for your clients to subscribe and follow you on a daily or weekly basis?
- 2. Do you have someone that will communicate with clients and followers on a daily basis?
- 3. Do you know what your strategy will be for every social media channel that you will use? Inform, Customer Service, Promotions, Loyalty, Discuss, etc.