What is social media?
Social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication (as web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content such as videos.”
What is social media used for?
Social media is used for various reasons, including personal, professional, and educational purposes. To begin with, most people create a social media presence to keep in contact with their social network of friends and acquaintances.
Companies use it to build brand awareness and stay in touch with their client bases. Teachers even use social media creatively to engage and educate their students.
Social media allows you to share all kinds of information:
- Updates about your life events, including marriage, children, and even what you had for lunch.
- Sites like Blogger, Tumblr, and LiveJournal, allow users to create an online journal that Who can share worldwide. Often readers of these blogs then form a quasi-community by frequently commenting on the sites’ content. They interact with each other and the author in this manner.
- Share the video you created or found elsewhere on the Internet that you find engaging, entertaining, or informative. These videos may also have educational value.
- Digital photographs of yourself, your family, or your friends. You can also share pictures from friends or images you found somewhere else on the Internet.
- Links to sites or stories that you want others to see. As with news stories, you can express your opinion about the story’s content to engage or influence other people.
- Your view on topics or other people’s posts to organize a movement, share information, or inform others.
- Links to current events stories that interest you. You also can express your opinion about the story’s content or engage with others in your community.
What is a social media network?
A social media network is a website that allows users to interact with each other and with the community of users. A social media network usually requires users to log in, create user accounts, and passwords to protect their online identities.
Once a user has established an online presence on a social media site, they can connect to the people they know from all around the globe. Some users choose to communicate with only the people they know in real life, while others prefer to allow other acquaintances on their social networks.
What are social media sites?
Social media sites are websites or apps specially designed for sharing information and the interaction of community members. These sites usually
Some of these will be familiar as they have a valid worldwide reach. Some of those most popular in China make this list due to the sheer number of users but are not well known outside of that country.
- Sina Weibo
- Tencent Weibo
Some even newer platforms such as Tinder are well known in some areas but have yet to reach a monthly user count that would put them on this list.
What is social media management?
Businesses have learned that social media is an excellent way to advertise their business, service, and products for nearly free. For example, what better than to post a new picture of your latest model vehicle and have people who have liked your page not only see it but share it for even more people to see? All of that for the cost of simply taking a photograph and having someone manage the account.
It’s not just large automobile manufacturers who engage in social media use. Almost any business or organization can make good use of the venue to spread its message. About 57% of small businesses use social media to engage with their customers.
- Primary and secondary schools use social media to announce events, send messages about emergency closings, and promote special events.
- Universities use social media to draw attention to their institution, rally support behind sports teams, and keep in touch with students.
- Pro athletes, celebrities, politicians, and charities use social media to build their public brand and awareness of important causes.
- Local businesses use various social media platforms for advertising specials and drawing customers’ attention.
- Large corporations craft creative advertisements that they hope will go viral on social media and build brand awareness.
Account management is where things can become tricky. Who is in charge of it? Social media accounts are valuable assets to a company or organization. How does a business keep track of them all with so many social media accounts available?
Having the account hacked or mismanaged would be detrimental to the company’s image and brand. Companies want to tightly control their social media accounts and the messages posted to each of them.
Businesses generally use a wide array of platforms for social media. The top three are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, though more are using newer platforms such as Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram.
The benefits of social media to a company also include creating a dialogue with their customers rather than a monologue. According to the BBC in the United Kingdom, 36% of people had used social media to get in touch with a large company, and 65% of those people said it was a better experience than using a call center to air the same grievance.
Using social media, especially Twitter, to complain about a service grabs the attention of companies very quickly. They can reach out to the consumer in real-time to solve the problem. If they do not, they run the risk of other users sharing that negative post repeatedly.
Businesses want to maintain a positive image on public social media sites, so they will work quickly to resolve issues negatively impacting their business. These people used social media to resolve negative customer service experiences and problems with the company’s product or services:
- Hertz Rental Car is now using Twitter to resolve customer service complaints.
- GoDaddy saw complaints by customers on Twitter that they were offended by the Super Bowl commercial the company had aired that year. To turn this negative into a positive experience, the company offered to help the woman move her domains to a new company to ensure positive customer service. This allowed the company to put a positive spin on an otherwise negative tweet publicly.
- Keith Pape was irritated that his American Airlines ticket did not standby on an earlier flight. Pape took to Twitter and complained about this. Within six minutes, American Airlines reached out to him, and Who resolved the situation to his satisfaction within an hour.
The simple fact is that businesses must not only have a social media presence, but they must attend to it and nurture it. They cannot simply ignore giants like Facebook and Twitter.
The truth is that their customers are on these sites, whether the company is or not, and you can bet the customers have something to say. It is better to be in on that conversation for a business than to ignore it entirely.
Social Media: Buyer Beware
The benefit of limiting your interaction to those who know what real life is is limiting the amount of information you have shared. When you open your social networks up to a larger audience, you also open yourself to possible problems. Identity theft can happen if you overshare on public social networks.
Keep information private such as your birthday, address, and other very personal information. Some individuals have even used social media to cover their tracks in cases of having committed crimes against individuals or to learn when homeowners are on vacation and vulnerable to being robbed.
Overall, social media has many more benefits than drawbacks, as long as you remain mindful about how to use your information against you.