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Understanding social media


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Social media is the online media that leads to social engagement and content sharing.
Social media is not only social networks but also blogs, social sharing sites, chat apps etc.
The slides answer basic questions relating to social media to help understand the subject and make informed decision about how and how much to use this tool of social engagement.
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Understanding social media

  1. 1. Is social media the sum total of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter? Must you have an account in such sites? If you thought so, you had better brush up your social media IQ Read on…
  2. 2. What is social media  When you say social media, you refer to communication tools or websites that act as a platform for exchange of information.  The exchange is mostly two-way or multiple- way.  It is mostly instant, and spreads fast.  It is mostly free of cost.
  3. 3. Social media vs social networking  Social media includes social networks and also bookmarking sites, app based cross- communication tools, photo-sharing sites, blogs and other platforms for social exchange.  Social media is basically the platform and tools for information sharing, while social networking is focused on engagement and relationships (networking).
  4. 4. contd…  Social media thus includes all platforms/tools that allow sharing of information and also cross- communication, while social networking can work only on platforms that allow instant ‘networking’.  Popular social networking sites at present are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. Video sharing on YouTube and TikTok are quite popular. WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging app.
  5. 5. Main social media platforms  New platforms are emerging every now and then, and these fast replace or undermine the existing ones.  Facebook is great for engagement with clients, peers, employees, students etc.  Twitter is great for broadcasting new happenings about yourself or your brand.  Instagram and Pinterest are great if you want people to see photos; so it suits quite well areas like fashion and design.
  6. 6. contd…  Linkedin is great for building professional networks.  Photo sharing sites such as Google Photos and Flikr can be used for photo sharing directly, and on blogs and websites.  WhatsApp and Telegram are instant messaging/ chat apps.  Blogs are great any time. Blogs complement other social media very well. Blogs also have more permanent value and more serious appeal than social networking sites.
  7. 7. Which platform do I choose?  Go for as many platforms as you can handle and whichever are relevant to you. But not more than required.  It can limit your social presence or that of your business/ brand if you are not on social media. But you must choose the social media that go with your purpose – and run it professionally.  Remember, social media can be addictive. It can waste time and serve no purpose if you are not focused on what you want out of it.
  8. 8. Are big numbers so important?  Do not run after numbers: number of comments, likes, followers, friends or other social media metrics.  Value those numbers that have value: clients who’ll buy your product; real friends; real followers to whom your opinion matters; people with similar interest…  Do not buy followers or project fake numbers. They do not help much but are bad for personal reputation and reputation of profession/ business.
  9. 9. Security on social media  Information about you on social media platforms and tools is open by default – it is available to all. Most platforms give options to limit public information about you.  Decide how much to reveal. Review this aspect periodically.  Do not post such personal data (including photographs/ video) of your own, children, others that can be used by fraudsters and other criminals.
  10. 10. Should I respond to commenters?  Yes, you must care for feedback; you must engage. Social media is not for those who want to live in a private island.  When you don’t respond to messages or others’ comments on your posts, you are not being social.  Businesses MUST NOT ignore feedback of any type.  Avoid being discourteous. Respond carefully to online abusers (trolls) and spammers.
  11. 11. Social media is only a tool.  Social media is just a new means of engagement.  As a tool, it can be used for good and bad purposes. When not used wisely and for good, it can harm persons, businesses, societies.  Social media cannot substitute sincerity in engagement, good service, usefulness of a product and other intrinsic values that a relationship / brand / product has.  So, take social media as a tool – not an end in itself. Finally…
  12. 12.  If you are interested in knowing all intricacies of social media, you can visit my page at Amazon: Author page: Manoj Pandey  It has these books on social media:  The Manual of Social Media  The Manual of Blogging Epilogue