A brief introduction to social media

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Hello again!

Thank you for waiting for me to get the ball rolling properly with my blog! It’s been a crazy week, including a visit to London to attend the #srconf 2012.

There were some great presentations there and I’ve brought so much information back with me it will take months to share it with you all! Great news from a content point of view though!

Right then! Let’s get started with a brief description of social media and what it actually is.

Social media could be simply described as “media (communication tools) that enable social interaction either over the web or via mobile devices.”

The term itself – social media – and a quick google search will show that it is actually a much broader topic than just the above though! Social media has now come to encompass not just the actual means of communicating, but also the theories, techniques and strategies that it can be used for from a business context.

I like to think of it though as a modern way of using traditional skills to communicate.

People like to talk“, which explains why social media has become such a big topic, especially when looking at its use for recruitment and marketing. You can reach a massive audience in a simple and efficient way! Gone are the days of having to send junk letters through the post (snail mail!) or even by pigeon! You can now leverage the massive amount of interaction that is happening on the internet every day and get your message across in a laser targetted way.I’ll be going into how this can be done much later, but for now, we just need to remember that it is “massive, focussed and quick“!

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There are 8 different types of social media at the moment and no doubt you’ll use some, if not all of these on a a daily basis:

  • Social networks e.g.Facebook, MySpace and Bebo
  • Microblogging e.g Twitter
  • Blogs e.g. WordPress as we’re on here, but there are too many blogging sites to mention!
  • Content communities e.g. YouTube, Pinterest
  • Podcasts e.g.iTunes
  • Forums e.g. as with blogs, far too many to list, but all are specific to a niche
  • Wikis e.g. communal encyclopedia type sites, self edited
  • email (not usually included, but it’s still a massive communication tool!!!)

Although these are all different in format, they are all about human interaction (communication and “engagement“) and sharing content (information). When you start learning and reading about social media, you’ll keep coming across this buzz word, “engagement” and no-one really seems to put a proper meaning to it!

I feel it’s time that someone commits to a decision and shares the meaning, from a social media perspective on exactly what this term is!

Read it here now for the first time!

“Engagement is communicating with a social contact (person) and sharing content (information) which is relevent and meaningful to them”

All of that too much to share with you now, but I’ll share some hints and tips on this in later posts and will hopefully get some “engagement” from all of you out there to build on this 😉

So that’s pretty much what social media is and the various forms it comes in!

My next post will be on Social Networks, where I’ll be explaining in much more detail what they are and what they’re about.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Tony

Tweet me: @BigT76 or comment using #socialmediatony

You can also connect with me on Google+

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