What is Social Media? and how can I make it work for my business?

As the name Social Media may suggest it is a Social (enjoying life in communities or organized groups) way to share Media (tools used to store and deliver information or data). Social Media describes the online tools, technologies and platforms people use to publish and share information. These technologies make it easy to share thoughts, opinions, experiences, photos, videos and anything online with the world and in turn to find out what the world thinks of them.  It is the chance to be engaged with and engage others directly that has made Social Media so popular and so different from traditional forms of media.

Social Media sites use tools such as blogs, podcasts, videos, live streams, message boards, forms, communities, bookmarks, RSS feeds and wikis. Some terms you may hear when talking about Social Media are:

Social Marketing is the use of Social Media to promote or sell a business’s services or products.

–          Trade me

–          Amazon

Social Networking is the use of online tools, technologies and platforms to create a profile and socialise with others using Social Media technologies. This can be for private, personal or business objectives.

–          Linked in

–          Facebook

–          MySpace

Blogs are websites where the content (for example text, photos, video, and audio) is put in date order. News pages are often considered Blogs.

–          This page

–          Simon “Swampy” Mash –  http://www.swampymarsh.co.nz/Site/Swampys_blog/default.aspx

Podcasts are voice and video recordings regularly updated in a subscription bases that can be downloaded to a device or viewed online.

–          Apple

Photo and Video Sharing can be uploaded to sites for the world to view and recommend others to view.

–          YouTube

–          Flickr

Micro-blogging is form of blogging where the content of each entry is much smaller than a normal blog.

–          Twitter

To use Social Media in business effectively the businesses or product needs to become part of the social media community and be willing to communicate and listen to other members of the community. You can also use other media to promote or in conjunction with your Social Media.  It is a time consuming process and above all should be useful, interesting and funny for all involved.

After all, it is common sense for people use Social Media because they enjoy it.

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