Before we dig any deeper, let's take a moment to cover some of the Social Networking vocabulary. One recent study of 600 people that is highlighted in The Social Media Bible asked, "What's the definition of 'Social Media'?" Interestingly enough, 70% of those questioned admitted they were not really familiar with the term.
In The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, authors Lon Safko and David Brake define the term this way: "Social media refers to activities, practices, and behaviors among communications of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media."
Another way to look at the definition, as About.com guide Alison Doyle explains, is: "Social media includes various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily via the internet to share information and resources. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communications."
Social Media can encompass:
1. Social networking sites
2. Reading a blog
3. Watching a YouTube video
4. Listening to a podcast
5. Sending a text message to another member of a community or group
Even more novel than Social Media is the phraseology Web 2.0, which it seems we are hearing about more and more these days. Turning to someone who's grown up in the age of Social Networking, I asked my 14-year-old daughter what the definition of Web 2.0 was. She pretty much gave me the definition I'd been using prior to conducting in-depth research on this topic: In a nutshell, "Web 2.0 is the new and improved Web."
Based on Wikipedia, but simplified for this conversation, "The term Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information-sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web." It gives users the free choice to interact or collaborate with each other in a Social Media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a viral community. Compare that to (Web 1.0) websites, where users are limited to passive viewing of content that was created for them.
The term Web 2.0 was created by Tim O'Reilly at a conference where he coined the phrase while serving as host. Loosely defined by most people, it refers to all the internet sites and tools that are all part of Social Media (e.g., blogs, social networking sites, "virtual" communities—anywhere someone interacts with others via the internet).
The bottom line is that social media is here to stay. The big question down the road is how much it will continue to be part of our lives both in business and our personal side. One is more the mystery is which social media platform will be the “new shiny software” that we need to be on.
You need to make the commitment to learn, engage and “conquer” social media for your business. What you do in your personal life relative to social media is not as important relative to your professional and business growth.
With all social media you want to be discrete. Whatever you post in terms of pictures or messages, must be worthy of representing your long term future.
In my future blog posts I will share with you what a great tool social media can be to help uncover potential new business leads.
If you would need professional help in the area of determining how to reach your sales goals more quickly then call me at 847-304-4500 to book your 30 minute Turbocharged Business Strategy Session to create some ideas to increase your company sales this year.
Have a great week and productive week, managing the changes and challenges that are currently going on in your company.
I wish you a wonderfully successful and productive week ahead.
Eleanor Anne Sweet
Mistress of Results, Business Advisor
Eleanor Anne Sweet
Turbocharged Sales, Division of The Remington Group, LLC
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