Here’s my definition:
“In their purest form, Social Media are those media, or methods of communication, that are virtual, and that offer the ability to interact and establish relationships by being ‘social’ with our intended audiences.”
Social Networking occurs within Social Media.
Let’s take a look at what Merriam-Webster has to say about the word Social:
Webster has a host of definitions, a few you can see here. Hmmm…let’s see if any of these apply to what we all know about Social Networking.
1. Involving allies:
When we engage in Social Networking, we definitely find likely allies in our line of work, or our interests, forming relationships with them, often going the extra mile to do what we can to protect them, and sharing the best of them with the rest of the world.
2. Pleasant companionship with friends or associates:
When we engage in Social Networking, we often show a side of ourselves that helps others understand what we are like to do business with. This helps complete the know, like and trust factors that all of us who market our services strive for because our clients need one or more of those components to decide if they want to do business with us.
3. The interaction of the individual and the group; welfare of human beings:
Yes, yes, interaction is key to what we are doing here. If we are here just to broadcast without the connection to other human beings, we aren’t using these tools to the best of our ability.
4. Cooperative and interdependent relationships with others:
Well, thank you Mr. Webster! You had no idea this would be so closely tied to Social Media when you added it to your dictionary, did you? When we spend time using Social Media, this is what it is all about. These aren’t media to be used in a self-centered manner, only worried about our interests.
If we approach Social Networking, and what we are doing in these spaces, as completely dependent on others, always searching for ways to interact, to help, to serve, to educate, to mentor and to bring others along, then we are beginning to see its true potential.
I’d have to say Social Networking has everything to do with the definition of Social. Therefore, lets make it our passion to use these tools in the way they are intended, thinking about the social aspect of them, and constantly finding ways to interact with, and help, others.
Isn’t that marketing that is more fulfilling than what we had in the past?
Social Media takes more than one person to work.
YOU have to put the Social in Social Media.
Social Media means nothing without you, so let’s be Social out there, okay?