Social Media Definition
Social Media Is an Excellent Way to Promote Your Business
Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn't allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content.
I particularly like Ron Jones' social media definition:
"Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online."
There is a wide variety of social media, ranging from social sharing sites such as YouTube and Instagram through social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
In my opinion, social media has shot to the forefront of people's attention because it's fun. Thanks to social media, it's easy to share your ideas, photos, videos, likes and dislikes, with the world at large - and find out what they think of them. You can find friends, business contacts and become part of a community or lots of different communities. Social media gives you what TV never could - a chance to be not only be engaged but to engage others.
Social media is of particular interest to businesses because social media generates real customers. Currently, businesses of all sizes are embracing social media marketing as a low-cost form of business promotion, grappling with the question of how to get in on what appears to be an especially viral way to get their message (and their products) out there.
If you run a small business, How to Create a Social Media Plan explains how you can pick the best kinds of social media to promote your business and how to design and implement a winning social media strategy.
The Most Popular Forms of Social Media
Founded in 2004, Facebook is the most well-known form of social media, with over a billion active members. It allows users to create a profile and share status updates, photos, videos, and exchange messages. Creating a Facebook fan page is a popular low-cost way to promote your business and keep your customers informed about your products and services. To get started with Facebook for business see:
Twitter allows registered users to send short messages of up to 280 characters in length (called "tweets") to "followers". Over 500 million tweets are sent out every day - that's around 6,000 tweets per second. Businesses use Twitter as a marketing vehicle by keeping followers up to date via regular tweets. It is also commonly used by businesses to respond to customer support queries. For more information on Twitter see:
LinkedIn is a social networking service for business professionals. Users can create profiles and form professional relationships by "connecting" with other users. Businesses can use LinkedIn as a low-cost marketing tool by posting product/service announcements or other company news. Employees can post their own profiles and link to the business, thereby showcasing company talent with prospective customers. For more information on LinkedIn see:
Pinterest can be described as a virtual pin board. Users can create and share collections of images, text, webpage links, etc. and organize them into "boards". Pinterest content can be shared by sending "pins" to other users. Businesses can promote their products/services by combining images and text in an eye-catching, informative way. Other Pinterest users can "repin" your content, increasing your exposure and driving traffic to your business website. To get started with Pinterest see:
Instagram is a social media app that lets people share photos and videos from their smartphones. It works in a fashion similar to Facebook and Twitter; after you set up an account, when you post photos or videos they are displayed on your profile and in the feeds of people who follow you. The Instagram Stories feature lets users post videos and stories that disappear after 24 hours. Learn how you can use Instagram to market your business:
These are, as the heading suggests, only some of the more popular forms of social media; other examples include Snapchat, StumbleUpon and Reddit. As well, new social media platforms are being created and gaining popularity every day.