Social Media is defined as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”
It’s basically a way for people to communicate and interact online. Publishing content has become much easier, and non-technical web users are now able to easily create content on a rapidly growing number of platforms. This has led to a massive growth in the use of social media over the last few years.
But what is social media really?
Well for a start, it’s appropriately named!
The term “social” refers to socialising. It’s all about interacting with people, engaging with others and communicating with them, whether it’s through written text or ‘likes’, ‘retweets’ and ‘follows’.
“Media” refers to a means of communicating with the masses, be it a social media site, website, radio station, TV station, magazine or newspaper.
So basically, “social media” means you’re socialising with your own form of media. Your Facebook page becomes your own little TV channel all about you. What you write, post, share and like is all communicating your message about you. You’re essentially sharing that media with your family, friends, and whoever else happens to stumble upon your media page. Your entire audience can see everything you post and comment about, so you become a form of media. They might find you to be a positive influence in their day, or they might think everything you post is complete rubbish and a waste of time.
Regardless of the message, whatever you put out there can draw an instant reaction, and for that reason you need to be incredibly careful when you’re interacting on social media. Everything you say and do can be scrutinised and will leave an impression with others about who you truly are.
The same principles apply for businesses trying to create a social media presence. It’s not necessarily a place to create revenue, it’s more about building relationships. Be mindful of the audience you’re trying to reach. Who are they and what do they care about? Make sure you respond to questions and comments you get on your social media pages.
Remember it’s all about being social. It’s just like networking in person or being at a party, except the whole world can see what’s going on and the Internet never forgets!