What is Social Media?
Social media was a bit of buzzword but the idea and concept has now been around for quite a while. But many of us still don’t really know the answer to the question is ‘What is Social Media?‘
Social media from it’s very nature can be determined as media that is social. Okay, that’s all well and good you might be thinking, but what is media? And what is meant as social? Well, let’s try and create a slightly more descriptive definition.
- Media – this refers to sources of information and knowledge and the ways in which that data is provided to a specific audience. In this context, media can take the form of images, text, video and audio.
- Social – this can describe the ways we relate and interact with others, or in other words a sense of community.
So, if we take both of these descriptions and turn them into a single definition for social media, we could come up with something similar to:
Interacting with others through a community environment in order to provide information, knowledge and data to those that are interested in that data.
What does Social Media involve?
So, we now have a definition for social media but what does social media actually involve? What does it mean to us? I think the Wikipedia description helps us put social media into the correct context:
“Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
So using this definition as reference, we can say that social media involves the use of virtual communities and networks. In an everyday sense, a community or network has a collective sense of purpose or point of interest. Think of all the groups we have (or haven’t) been part of throughout our lives – neighbourhood watch schemes, football clubs, mother and toddler groups, craft classes … All of these groups, networks or communities have a joint point of interest or purpose.
Simply put, social media is an online version of these communities where members holding similar ideals and interests to you can be found. These websites (or platforms) allow you to sign up to become a member where you can share your news and information and interact with other members.
My next post will be a followup looking at how we Social Media can be used as part of a daily Online Marketing plan. For more information on how The SeedMill can help, take a look at our Social Media services.