The definition of social media can be quite confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. So what is social media? The real meaning of social media is simply contained within its two words: being social on particular media platforms. The social part is the engaging, listening, blog writing, commenting, sharing and following part. The media is the place you’re going to be engaging in using different tools and platforms.
Social networks allow people or businesses to create their own personalised profile to suit their needs, which includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ along with many others.
There are many different ways in which social media can be used and it’s not just about ‘being on Facebook’ or ‘having a Twitter account’, but so much more. Each platform that’s out there allows users to engage for personal use or for business purposes and, used in the right way, has the potential to bring huge rewards to your business.
What is social media for business? Social Media for business is slightly different to social media for pleasure. It’s about listening, seeing trends and jumping in at the right time to give a credible view or reply to a conversation within your business area. It’s about showing the rest of the world that you are an expert at what you do by regularly adding high quality content to your website and sending it out on all your social networks in order to drive traffic back to your website. It’s about sharing content from other people which is credible and reputable, to show that you can appreciate someone else’s good work within your business area. It’s also about encouraging feedback from current or potential customers that you have deliberately targeted by using specialist ‘target group’ or ‘followers’ tools.
The great thing about social media is that you can have communities or groups whereby you know the sort of people who will be engaging – the beauty of it is that anybody can speak to anyone. This allows you, as a business owner, to easily target who you want engage with. Using social media couldn’t be easier in terms of engaging with your target audience. The tools are out there for you or your business to gather valuable information about locations, trending hashtags and who’s influencing who. These are important factors when setting up a social media campaign, but if you don’t, it could potentially be harmful due to you targeting groups or followers who aren’t even interested in your business area.
People love being connected. Social media allows connections; whether they are for business or for personal use. The majority of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, use the the idea of connectivity between people from different groups in order for their platform to operate. By doing so it allows links to other websites, blogs, networks and connecting with friends of friends. A great way to visualise how everyone is connected to each other is to see the LinkedIn map if you have profile. If your business is run on recommendations then social media marketing is what you should be looking at. Your customers can recommend you to their customers who then can recommend you to their customers, and the connection cycle goes on.
Blogs allow people to create online documentations or journals of whatever topic they desire. In a business sense, the idea is to show creativity and expertise within your industry. Many people aren’t aware of the benefits it provides to businesses if carried out in the right way. The great thing about blogs is how SEO friendly they are. They will rank well within search engines due to the fact that they can focus on keywords for optimisation. This then allows the blog to refer back to the website, then the company. In addition to this, due to on going updates from Google, content is becoming more a key to online success, therefore regular updates will go well with those update guidelines. Blogging is a great way to interact with engaged readers or potential customers. It allows blog commenting where anybody can share their views with your blog article.
Social bookmarking is as simple as sending a friend via email a link to a website or blog which they might like. The basics of social bookmarking include ‘tagging’ a website and saving it. Instead of going down the route of saving them to your browser as a standard bookmark, you are effectively saving it ‘online’. Now that your bookmarks are stored online, you can access and share them much more efficiently with your friends or customers. Some great new ways of social bookmarking can be achieved through tools using Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Digg and websites such as Reddit. Most social bookmarking websites catogorise their information through popular news from around the world at the time. Websites such as Reddit and Digg allow readers to share with ease using their different social platforms.
Mobile Social Media
Over recent years, due to the introduction of Android devices, social media on mobile platforms have become increasingly popular. Most people own a mobile phone and most people are on social media. With the two combined, it can produce a quick and efficient way to keep on top of the social media world whether for business or personal use whilst on the go. There are differences between your normal social media to your mobile social media. Mobile devices using social media incorporates actions such as geographic location settings which allow, according to statistics, the majority of iPhone or Android phone owners to use their devices mainly for social networking; second to that is general news, which unsurprisingly can be shared through social networking. Mobile social media is growing day by day, therefore as someone who uses it for personal or business, it’s something that they need to understand how to get the most out of it.
The way we see social media in 2013 is massive to say the least. We often talk about the way content is at the heart of both social media and SEO. That gives an indication of the importance of having high quality content added regularly to a website. Search engines are starting to recognise the people who are putting effort into generating this original content, implementing it to their social media and SEO campaigns. Content is without doubt, King.
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