What is Social Media?

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Social Media in its purest form is the interaction on web based media between various. Sounds good doesn’t it? But what does it mean for me?

Well social media comes in many forms and perhaps if I use the words facebook and twitter and blogs so perhaps you might understand more.

Social media is about communicating through the interenet to an audience.

Ok so thats the explanation, what forms does it take then?

I have already mentioned three above, facebook, twitter and blogs, but what about forums? With the advent of new smartphones, we know have things such as gowalla and foursquare as well – all of which you gain or add friends to and ‘chat’ to. Of course this is nothing like the old ‘traditional’ means of chatting ie face to face or over the phone – this is based on you leaving a footprint over the internet and people finding you.

But does this then mean that you give too much information away?

Some would argue yes, and that you should only put out the information you feel comfortable giving, so therefore its suggested that you don’t use full names, and be careful when putting full address down – although again, if someone is looking to steal your identity, this information is readily available if you are in the phone book. Instead, think about things such as place of birth or maybe listing down parents and letting the world know your mothers previous names etc. Date of birth as well – perhaps just leave the month of your birth on a profile and don’t put the year. All of which information can help thieves steal your identity. Don’t make it that easy for them. On social media sites such as facebook, control who sees what by using the privacy settings.

But how do I use it in business?

Now this answer would call for a more detailed article, but I will just simply say, that if your business needs to make others aware of it and build brand awareness, then this is certainly one thing that should be incorporated in to your marketing mix.

Be careful though, sit and read more and understand which form of social media is best for your business – its pointless spending hours a day on a form of marketing that will yield you no results. Measurement of this is very important – think, your time is money, and if you are spending hours doing something that will yield nothing, you are hurting your business!

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