What is Social Media all about?

What is social media all about

Unlike other forms of media, social media is a phenomenon is its own right. To get the best from it, you need to understand what it's all about - and the best way to do that is to go back to basics and look at it with fresh eyes.

Let's start from the top. One of the simplest definitions of Social Media is provided by Wiktionary

“Interactive forms of media that allow users to interact with and publish to each other, generally by means of the Internet."

So social media is basically a form of media which at its core tries to promote an immediate and widespread interaction. The 21st century has seen an exponential change in how users can do this - developments in new technology, the internet and apps have given us access to instantaneous responses to posts. But how should it be used?

Let’s go deeper…

The main point of Social Media is exactly what it says on the tin - being social and interacting with your audience so they can get to know you better! In their 2011 Social Media Marketing Report, Michael A. Stelzner of SocialMediaExaminer.com highlighted the importance of this by saying…

The number-one benefit of social media marketing is standing out in an increasingly noisy world… marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Improving traffic and subscribers was the second major benefit… ”

It is important to note that while clever Social Media may be able to assist in generating leads and sales, its main focus is always going to be exposure. Why does that matter? As people begin to recognise your brand, they will naturally have a relationship with you. While the vast majority of interactions you receive will not result in a sale or a lead, that relationship will mean that when a user does require a service you provide they are more likely to remember you and trust you!

The “Here & Now” aspect…

As Social Media is all about the instant, once you have a following you will be able to see ROI far quicker when compared to other conventional forms of marketing. For example, a local restaurant with a week long special offer will be able to generate more awareness, and this will naturally grow as users begin to share the information with their network.

The beauty of social media is clear - it's brought a new level of interactivity to media, and given power to the everyday user of the internet. Opinions can now be heard and are easily accessible and businesses are able reach out and interact with potential customers.

We hope that social media is now a concept that you fully understand - if you have any questions or would like to add what we've been talking about here, we'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

Editor - 

Kane is the Managing Director of Giraffe Social Media. His primary focus is Finance and Operations Management, that's when he isn't watching clips from The Office on YouTube anyway. Google+ Profile

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