What is social media?

March 12, 2013

What is social media?

What is social media devon digital design digital marketing

Social media.  Literally everyone is banging on about it.  However if you don’t know what it is you can feel a little out of the loop.  You’re not alone.

It’s swept the digital world and internet by storm  but with no real ‘release’ so to speak.

If you want a quick look at what it is and how it can help your business, take a look below.

Social media- a definition.

What is social media?

A Google search for ‘social media’ brings up 3 billion results.  There are currently 400 social sites available to date and over 20

Social media isn’t hard to define.  However if you asked any of the social media guru’s out there, or most digital agencies they would probably skirt around it.  Don’t be put off, because it’s an incredibly simple concept.


“Social media is defined as a platform where a society can share media, publicly or privately, that another society can engage, interact with and share themselves.”


Let’s deconstruct that and look at what it means.

The platform is anything like a blog or social networking site.  Something like blogger, wordpress or Facebook.  All this means is that you can sign up, and that company (i.e. Facebook, Blogger etc) will provide you a personal ‘platform’ to start searching or connecting with people using the same platform or platforms.

A society is basically a group of people connected by a common thread.  For instance it could be a love of food, wanting to network, or even just a love of music.  Each social media platform is aimed at certain societies.  Facebook for instance is aimed at people wanting to connect with friends and businesses, it has a wide reach and a variety of sharing methods (we’ll touch on this later).

Spotify on the other hand is entirely music focused.  You can create playlists and share them with friends or publicly and you can view and review music from around the world.

Media.  Media is everything from articles, posts, videos, sounds, songs, photos and more.  Also referred to as ‘content’ it is the backbone of social media.  You can use your platform, to share your media with your chosen society.  See how this is working?

This is when things become circular.  I see a post from a business networking site and comment on it.  I then share that post along with my views to my friends and colleges on another platform

Sharing is what drives social media.  There are various levels of sharing and social media has come under a lot of flack for sharing too much.  From private information, to drunken photos to employers.  The rule of thumb is that most platforms have a variety of ‘controls’ to control who see’s your content.

Facebook for instance can be very open and public, but with certain posts only going to employees.  Other content such as articles posted within LinkedIn groups might require you to be a member to be able to even see, yet alone comment on.

There is no doubt that social media is here to stay and it’s impact on business is already measurable indeed.  However there are a lot of ways to mess it up.  Don’t follow what your competition are doing unless it makes sense too.  Can you even do what they’re doing?  Can you measure it and will it deliver ROI?


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