It’s hard to deny. When people speak of social media there is a certain buzz. It’s almost as if Facebook, Twitter and other popular forms of social media are mystical. Sorry to break it to you, they’re not.
Social media is not magic.
I am going to do something that probably feel like a sin to those who worship at the altar of the social media gods. I am going to boil down social media to what it really is.
There is simply too much novelty, hype and inexplicable infatuation with social media. That’s all well and good if you are the kind of person who wants to chat with buddies online all day, or post photos of the grilled cheese sandwich you ate for lunch. Some people think this is great fun. On the other hand, if you want to use social media for business, it’s better you see social media for what it is.
Social media – let’s break it down.
Media – noun
1. a plural of medium.
2. the means of communication
1. pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2. seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3. of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.
4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation: People are social beings.
( thank you, dictionary.com )
Social Media Demystified
Therefore, social media is a collection of online mediums used as a means of communication to connect with others, engage in a community and develop relationships.
That’s it. It’s pretty simple. So, keep it simple.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that by building relationships, you have to develop deep friendships with everyone. It simply means relating with one another.
So, let’s go over that one time in it’s most simple form.
Social media is an online means of communication to connect, engage, and relate.
Simple and powerful.
Facebook, Twitter, Etc.
Facebook, Twitter, etc. are just platforms. That’s it. They are tools in a toolbox.
Every person or business is trying to do connect or communicate differently. The same is true for you.
1. What do want to communicate?
2. Who do you want to engage?
3. What are effective ways to connect?
4. How can you and your audience relate with one another?
Answer these questions. Then choose the tools that help you do the job right.
Think about it for a minute. If you do these 4 things well, you will accomplish what you want.
With social media platforms, you can do the following:
- tell them who you are
- tell them what you do
- tell them how you can help them
- explain how they will benefit
- educate people
- tell a story
- Let people know about sales or discounts
- share advice and tips
- make people smile or laugh
All of these things are powerful. The best part is that you can do this at little to no cost.
So, answer the right questions, decide how to best communicate, pick the right platforms (tools) for the job and get started.