What is social media?


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What is social media?

  1. 1. WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?<br />It might be sometimes difficult to define social media because it has so many different aspects in it. Best it could be understood as new kinds of online media where the most important part is interacting with other users. So basically social media websites just don’t give you the information but interacts with you at the same time than giving the information. <br />Main difference between the old kinds of media (still useful ones though) like TV, radio or newspapers and social media is that one is able to give feedback, suggestions or just comment in way more easier and more quickly ways. Old medias are nowadays seen as “one-way streets” where one can read newspaper listen reports on radio or TV with limited opportunities to give own thoughts about the topic. This is where the social media comes in handy as it is seen as “two-way street” with greater opportunities in participating and giving own opinions about the ongoing matters.<br />Social media share the following characteristics<br />Participation<br />Openness<br />Conversation<br />Community<br />Connectedness<br />Basic forms of social media are the following<br />Social networks (MySpace, Facebook)<br />Blogs<br />Wikis (Wikipedia)<br />Podcasts<br />Forums<br />Content Communities (Flickr, YouTube)<br />Microblogging (Twitter)<br /> <br />Main advantages and disadvantages in using social media in marketing? <br />There is no denying that social media plays a big role in companies marketing strategies nowadays and there are many reasons why. Companies have seen the huge opportunities reaching people in social media at relatively low cost. I don’t wonder why when I see the number of people using social media today:<br />More than 110 million blogs tracked every day<br />An estimated 100 million videos watched every day on YouTube<br />750 million active users on Facebook<br />If a company manages to fulfill a successful social media marketing campaign it can expect much more talking about its brand online. People will spread the word and raise awareness about the brand. Other advantage is also the speed of raising awareness compared to old traditional methods. As I mentioned before the costs of marketing in social media beats the traditional ways of marketing by far and in many case in effectiveness also. Reaching the full potential in marketing company can run social media campaign alongside with their traditional marketing and advertising.<br />Like in every good thing there are downsides also in social media. As it is known news in social media spread like a virus. Unfortunately the same happens with the negative news. All it sometimes takes is one malicious post from an individual to harm your company’s reputation in a matter of hours. <br />Business owners have to spend lot of time online responding queries and updating the relevant issues. Once the big crowd has been reached it will be challenging to meet all the needs of the big crowd. The law of reciprocity applies in social media. That is why business owner has to be there responding to the curious people good enough to satisfy their needs. This must be done properly because otherwise the audience might lose their faith on you and spread their dissatisfaction. Social media changes all the time and one has to be aware of that and stay on top of it and make the necessary changes. <br />To wrap it up I’d say using social media in marketing is an effective way to reach big crowds with low costs. However it has to be done properly and with good background work. Researches about the target audience, what their needs are and how to offer the content are important to the potential new customers. It is also important to be part of the community and be active in updating and responding. Not just launch the campaign and go underground and wait for the magic to happen. Activity is the key word.<br />Sources:<br />http://thesocialmediaboomer.com/tag/disadvantages-of-business-social-media-marketing<br />http://socialmediatrader.com/social-media-marketing-for-small-businesses/<br />http://webtrends.about.com/od/web20/a/social-media.ht<br />http://www.icrossing.co.uk/fileadmin/uploads/eBooks/What_is_Social_Media_iCrossing_ebook.pdf<br />