Social Media is a fairly new term, which may or may not be clearly defined in your mind. In fact when I was asked what Social Media was to me, I had to sit and think a little while to really decide what I considered Social Media. And because I realized that I did not have a clear definition of Social Media I figured that it was likely that everyone’s opinion or definition of Social Media would be different. So, for the proposes of this article I asked several professional Social Media Managers and every day individuals using Social Media, what Social Media was to them. There was not a single answer that was the same. However, I used bits and pieces of their response and my opinion to create the below definition of Social Media.
Social Media: Damian Morris, out of Oklahoma starts his answer with, “Social Media is any form of media, ie newspapers, websites that can not only give you information but allows the user access to interaction.” I like this, Social Media is a tool that shares information to a large community of people AND allows that community to share or comment on the provided information. But Social Media has become so much more than that, “Social media is a tool that has become really important in my daily life. I didn’t notice it happening, it sort of sneaked up on me.” says Colette Swan. In fact, this is how most feel with Social Media. When I first got on Myspace several years ago I remember saying stuff like, “I finally gave in and got on Myspace” and “I know I said I never would, but I am now on Myspace.” The truth is, most people attempted to stay away from Social Media, however peer pressure won and now it’s an important part of our lives. Social Media is no longer simple either as Rachel Vane says, “Obviously, today, there are much more sophisticated, complicated and specialized platforms.” Social Media has become so complex that companies such as LinkedIn and Facebook will literally spend millions of dollars each year just to keep their sites up and performing. Businesses spend millions on Social Media marketing and less on Super Bowl commercials, showing the power of Social Media. So to stay on topic, what would my simple definition of Social Media be?
Social Media is an online platform where individuals can gather and share information, photos, videos and other forms of media with each other. Social Media is relationship building in the comfort of your home or favorite WIFI Hotspot. Social Media is staying in touch with friends, family and strangers. Social Media is the new form of communication.
Obviously, this is my definition, which I got to by networking with individuals using Social Media. It is likely that your definition will either be similar to mine or drastically different. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here, however I invite you to use the comments field below to give your feedback on the above definition. What do you agree with, what do you disagree with, what would you add or remove? Let your voice be heard and share your thoughts. What is Social Media to you?