Defining Social Media

As I explained in my previous post on an introduction to Social Media, I think of social media primarily as a tool for communication – communication between a customer and a company, between individuals located across the world, between experts and beginners, between people like you and me. It allows for engagement, collaboration, sharing, community-building and much more and can also lead to surprisingly fast results.

Yet as a start to our conversation about how we can use social media to improve our lives, productivity, business, ideas, I think it is appropriate to spend a bit of time thinking about what social media actually is and what it means.

There is no widely accepted definition of social media. And that may be both a blessing and a curse. To overcome this definitional abyss, Adam Vincenzini over at the comms corner asked 140 communicators to define Social Media in 140 characters, and the results were great!

I have taken the most interesting of the project’s contributions and edited them into thematic chunks.

The results:

  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS COMMUNICATION/CONVERSATION
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS REVOLUTION/CHANGE
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS RELATIONSHIPS
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS DEMOCRATISATION
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS LEARNING
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS CONNECTIONS
  • SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT SHARING
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS COMMUNITY
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS MARKETING DEVICE

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