“Social” Media?

social-media-kellyshibariIf anyone is starting out in social media, the first question that is most commonly asked is, “Well, what is it exactly?” It seems like so many social media managers just spend their day on their computers or phones, chatting and typing on sites like Twitter, and it really just seems more like play than work. But it’s not. They follow that age-old adage:

“Do what you love and the money will follow.”

If more people understood social media, I think that they would find that it’s an amazing tool to get the word out on any product or company, or any new product that a company might be looking to promote. Remember “Chocolate Rain”? It was such a weird viral hit on YouTube… until DrPepper decided to hire the kid and turn him and the song into its new ad campaign. The ad was all over the Net, and was talked about on a lot of internet chat rooms. In its simplest form, that’s an example of social media marketing.

Wikipedia describes social media as

primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.

Primarily, social media depend on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words to build shared-meaning, using technology as a conduit.

Social media utilities create opportunities for the use of both inductive and deductive logic by their users. Claims or warrants are quickly transitioned into generalizations, due to the manner in which shared statements are posted and viewed by all. The speed of communication, breadth, and depth, and ability to see how the words build a case solicits the use of rhetoric. Induction is frequently used as a means to validate or authenticate different users’ statements and words. Rhetoric is an important part of today’s language in social media.

Social media is not finite: there is not a set number of pages or hours. The audience can participate in social media by adding comments,instant messaging or even editing the stories themselves.

Over the next couple of posts, I’ll go over what social media marketing is, what it is not, and its differences from “old” media. It’s relevant to know this stuff since blogging and microblogging is a major part of internet marketing. Understanding what social media is will help you (and your company) get your name out there to the masses. I’ll also discuss social media from time to time, and hopefully you too can become social media savvy — and then all this talk will finally make sense from a business standpoint.

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