What EXACTLY is Social Media…really… when you get down to it?

Social Media as a viable commercial option has arrived on the scene so quickly that I believe those that are not intimately connected with it, don’t really understand what it is. Then there are the people who think they know what it is eg. Oh yaaa lets put that on Twaddle and Facespace lets embrace Social Media (and look good in front of our peers/bosses)…don’t even talk to me about THEM. I’m not a social media SNOB but it annoys me in any walk of life when people jump on the bandwagon and the gravy train or just do things to look cool. Rant over.

Firstly to deal with the definitions:

Social – Some definitions ;

  • relating to human society and its members; “social institutions”; “societal evolution”; “societal forces”; “social legislation”
  • living together or enjoying life in communities or organized groups; “a human being is a social animal”; “mature social behavior”
Media – Some definitions;

  • In communication, media (Singular: Medium) are the storage and transmission tools used to store and deliver information or data. It is often referred to as synonymous with mass media or news media, but may refer to a single medium used to communicate any data for any purpose.
And finally social media;
  • Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words …
  • A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, social news sites like Digg or Reddit, and other sites that are centered on user interaction.
source: wikipedia (of course!)

Here’s 5 steps to get you on your way to a great social media campaign:

1) Choose the right people

If setting up a campaign, you should make sure that the primary research and finished product(s) is centered around the community. And any community is made up of individuals so you must ensure that any campaign appeals to your target tribe (thanks Seth)

but…you must also ensure that it appeals to each indiviual. If you can identify the individual that is the tribe’s ‘leader’ then so much the better. They are the online gatekeeper to your brand.

2) Choose the right technology (right)

Like else where in life; its not what you’ve got its how you use it. The aim isn’t to use the newest or most expensive technology. The aim is to get your target audience to engage with your brand. Now innovative technology may well do this but just using it for the sake of it won’t help anyone. A place for everything and everything in its place.

3) Give people a reason to interact with you

Why should anyone want to join your community. Just because you think your company/product/service is the bees knees, to everyone else you are just another soulless company trying to sell stuff. Give them a reason to love you and your product! Then if they love you they’ll tell their friends about you…which leads me on to…

4) Spread the word

Use all of the seeding channels you possibly can. Chat in forums, write in blogs, create groups on social networking sites. Get online editorials to review your campaign, bloggers to link to you. Identify key influencers and bloggers to make them aware of you. DON’T try and bribe them to write about you…they will probably write about it!

5) Be honest and transparant

Internet users are not dummys. They’ve been clever enough to find your video/game/application/widget so don’t insult them by trying to pull the wool over their eyes. You’ll give the impression of being a wolf in sheeps clothing…or a cat amongst the pigeons…

Never, ever pretend that you are doing anything other than that which you are doing i.e. trying to get their attention. In fact if following the AIDA model you should be trying to stimulate:


No-one likes fake people and no-one likes companies who pretend to be their best friend.

social media blog


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