When you hear the term social media, what do you think of? Due to the word “media”, a lot of people think of the “news media” or “social news”. This is understandable since that word has always been linked to the news. And, believe me, you are not alone. This is due to the fact that social news IS social media, but there are also many other forms. Well then, what exactly is social media, and how is it able to benefit you?
Social media means relating and interacting with other people through creating, sharing, and exchanging their thoughts and ideas through comments of themselves, posting pictures and/or videos. On these sites you can socialize with others while slipping your business link in once in a while. Nothing wrong with a little friendly advertising, is there? So where are these social media sites? Well, I can almost guarantee you have been using one or more for some time now. Below is a description, and examples, of some of these sites:
Social Networking: This type of site connects people together by posting on their lives and what they are doing. You can post about your business and share a link. This helps drive traffic to your site, especially when others share your business link with their friends. Create a profile; add friends, and then post “status” updates. Interaction with others involves comments on peoples status’, playing games, and joining groups others, or you, create. (Examples: Facebook, Hi5, Last.FM).
Social Bookmarking: This concept provides users to save bookmarks online, not just on their computers. This opened the door for businesses to advertise by posting their links to the site. Some frown on this, saying its spam, yet others allow it. How does it work? Register an account, bookmark your own site, and then start browsing and tagging websites bookmarked by other people. They in turn may click on your links to check them out. Having your business site is the key. (Examples: Del.icio.us, Simpy, Blinklist).
Social Photo and Video Sharing: Create an account, upload pictures and/or videos and share with friends and family. Depending on your type of business, or even if you don’t have one, these sites can draw attention to you. Linking through other social media sites to get people to view these is a helpful. (Examples: YouTube, Flickr).
Social News: A collection of articles written by people just like you. Interact with others on the site by commenting and voting on articles posted. If you are a writer these sites are a good place to get your work noticed. (Examples: Digg, Redditt, Propeller).
Social Blogs: Blogs that allow viewers comments and/or discussions concerning the blog itself. (Examples: Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress).
Social media can help your business, so register, and advertise, on as many as you can. Remember, any webpage that allows you to interact with other people, and post on the page itself, will fall under the category of social media. So do not limit yourself to the above sites.