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What the Heck is Social Media?

Jun 12, 2008
Social media in a few words is myspace, digg, reddit, dizzed, face book and much much more. If you're new to doing business on the internet, you're probably wondering what all the buzz is around words like myspace, facebook, blogs and Podcasts. It seems that more and more everyday these words are entering mainstream vernacular. Further, if you're a business person, you probably think you and your staff need to stay as far a away as possible from these social media time-wasters, right?

You would be WRONG! Although lots of productive time is wasted online on email and social networks, the social media can also be a powerful method of promotion of your business. Loosely defined, social media is the combination of technology and social interactions and can take a variety of forms such as social networks, forums, and blogs to name just a few.

If you're thinking that these things are just for kids and teens, you'd be wrong again! There are social networks for people of all ages and interests springing up everyday online, and smart marketers are recognising this and getting on board.

How can you get involved?

- Start by creating a profile on the professional social network LinkedIn. This allows you to create a sort of resume and network with others. You can also join and create industry or corporate groups with this site.

- Get your company a blog. This is an absolute essential nowadays, as much as having a corporate website. Blogging provides away for people to interact with your company, to give it a personality, and to connect with customers and prospects.

- Consider podcasting. Along with blogs, Podcasts are quickly becoming a corporate necessity. Using these brief audio or video programs allows you to provide free information to your customers and prospects on areas of interest and expertise, building reputation, loyalty and awareness.

- Ask someone! There is sure to be some enthusiastic employee in your company who is into social media platforms. Talk to them, and find out how your company can get involved in the social media space in a meaningful way.

Why should you care? Social media is one of the most common ways that people are choosing to interact, with online platforms being used to organise offline events and groups. It won't be long before this is a norm. The question is, "can people find your brand, if you're not there?"
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