Social media are technological systems that permit the generation or sharing/exchange/engagement of various types of expression, information, career interests, and others through virtual communities and online networks. This can be done in a variety of ways such as blogs, forums, micro-blogging, networking on social networking sites, social bookmarking, wikis, instant messaging, chatting, video, image and others. Social media is also referred to as Web 2.0 and is growing exponentially in recent years. It has been used for business and marketing purposes, for public relations, and now it can be used for self expression.
There are many types of media that fall under the umbrella of social media. Some examples include multimedia, instant messaging, RSS feeds, web content, podcasts, music, photos, videos, blogging, RSS feeds, message boards, and social networks. These are just a few examples, however, there are many more that are just beginning to explore and take advantage of the power of this new medium. As time goes on, social media will only continue to expand and grow.
Businesses and companies who want to market their business and reach a target audience need to realize that social marketing networks are not static entities. They are always changing and evolving based on what businesses need. Therefore, it is vital that businesses engage in it to stay up to date and in the conversation. Social marketing networks are no longer just a place for businesses to sell and promote their products and services. Today, they have become a place where businesses and consumers can interact with one another.
For any business or marketer, it is imperative that they understand how social media channels can benefit them and help market their brands. Being involved in digital marketing allows a marketer to reach out to their target audience at anytime day, every day. It provides them a chance to connect with people who are interested in what their brands have to offer. Through social media channels, a marketer does not have to go through the traditional means of trying to convince people of a product or service by television, radio or print media – social media allows a marketer to talk face-to-face with their target audience, which is invaluable.
There are six types of social media that are often referred to as social networking, each of which has its own purpose and its own unique aspects. These are: blogs, micro-blogging websites, vblogs (also called weblogs), RSS feeds, tweetstorms and discussion forums. Each of these web channels is used for a specific purpose that helps a marketer increase exposure to their brand and products. When it comes to digital marketing, it is important to use all six forms. Here are the six different types of social media:
Blogs/micro-blogging websites Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube are all examples of micro-blogging websites. Micro-blogging websites allow users to post short, often humorous or controversial posts; these posts are viewable by millions of people worldwide. A great advantage to social media is the ability to reach a large audience for a relatively low cost per post. Because many people regularly read blogs, micro-blogging websites benefit from having a large base of followers. Brand awareness can also be gained through pinterest social media pages, since users are able to leave comments on other people’s posts.
RSS Feeds These feed services receive updated content on a continual basis from several sources and then push this information to all the subscribers or users of their service. RSS are also known as news feeds, and work very well when it comes to content creation. Users can vote on content, add summaries and reviews, and create bookmarks so they can reference different websites when viewing a particular category of content. The flipside to RSS is that users can lose credibility when their feed is tampered with or stolen. As well, users can face legal troubles if the feed is used to post malware or harmful software.
Social Media Engagement With social network users spending billions of hours each week on sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, and Yelp, it’s no wonder that small businesses feel they have a unique opportunity to engage their customers in a cost effective manner. Businesses can run ads, join groups, send text messages, play games, and take advantage of each social platform’s unique features. In order to engage consumers effectively, businesses need to be visible early and often. When a business does not set up an initial presence on a social network, it may never become popular.