Social media definition: 3 essentials

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2010/09/25 · 23 comments 17.684 views

Today we launch our ComMetrics blog checklist. Using social media metrics, social media marketing and social media monitoring tools these posts are intended for bloggers, Twitter or Facebook users (see also Social Media DOs and DON’Ts).

Read on to see the first of this series.

    What is social media?

I wrote a preliminary definition of this term on our ComMetrics University blog, but here is a refined version:

In short, Social Media encompasses any tool or service that uses telecommunication technology, including digital media, to facilitate production and exchange of information and action.

Context such as culture, private versus work-related use and factors such as gender and age of users influences how social media is used.

More specifically, Social Media empowers consumers of content to become producers of content relatively quickly and easily, without having to be geeks.

In part, social media can shift communication from a broadcast model of few-to-many to a model of many-to-many, as well as many-to-few (i.e. everybody wants to share but few might want to hear).

Social media means interaction (e.g., answering questions, replying to an email), exchange of opinions, information, feelings and emotions that hopefully result in better understanding.

Factors such as gender and age, as well as cultural and organizational context (e.g., during work versus after work, small versus large company setting) influence how these processes occur.

Conversations are between content creators, readers, colleagues, friends and sometimes strangers that may result in action being taken by one or more of the parties (e.g., to attend a webinar, reception or meet for coffee).

Please make sure you don’t miss any post in this series by registering your email with us to get the latest updates first in your inbox – you’ll be glad you did.

    Bottom line – engagement, interaction and communication requires time

Social media offers many opportunities, but also a few risks, including wasting time.

For starters, being authentic and personable, as expected by blog readers or Twitter (i.e. micro-blogging) followers takes a lot of time and being personable means efforts are not scalable (i.e. you have to write a thoughtful answer to a blog comment yourself).

As well, being a member of a group on LinkedIn or Xing means you have to participate, including commenting on other people’s posts since this is part of the exchange, the social, sharing side of being a group member. Many people are members of several groups, but cannot or will not spend the time to contribute. In fact, we are not even sure if they have the time to read what group members post.

This is why we believe, more often than not, less is better. Join fewer groups, but stay active and be visible, tweet less frequently, but with more substance…

Article source:  Social media definition: 3 essentials

What is your take? Please leave a comment below.

The short video below gives you an overview
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