• A Review of Social Media Terms and Definitions

    by  • 26 August 2013 • social media • 7 Comments

    by Michael J Procopio

    Social Media Explained Chris Lott FlickrLike any new concept there are a new set of terms around social media and its off spring.

    Social Media – social media is a specific thing but like Kleenex® has become the term for any bathroom tissue in the USA, “social media” has become the overall term for anything related to social interactions on the web.

    Social Media is actually just the media that social networkers use on the web. You can think of media in this case as one or more social networks like Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn.

    A media is “social” if two or more users of the media can interact without the action of the owner of the media. Facebook, Inc doesn’t take any specific action when I write on my wall or reply to someone’s post.

    This is to differentiate it from traditional media like newspapers where someone had to approve your post, article, letter etc. Under this definition email and forums are social media, and they have been around for almost as long as modems. The first of the current generation of social networking platforms began in 1997 with SixDegrees.com according to indiana.edu. The largest current social media network, Facebook, was launch for Harvard University in February 2004 and open to the general public in September 2006, according to Wikipedia

    Social Networking – social networking is what people do over social media, but it is not exclusive to social media. If you have ever been to gathering to find new business connections a “networking” event, you know this.

    Social Media Network – this is technically what most people mean when they say social media. For example: are you going to put that picture on social media means are  you going to post that picture on one or more social media networks like Facebook.

    Social Business – social business is a more recent term and is in dispute at the moment as to its exact meaning. Social Media Networking grew up around person to person connecting.

    As the term implies social business is about business and social media networking. For some a social business is a business that uses social media technology internally. Some companies are even looking at getting rid of email for internal use in favor of Facebook or Twitter like services.

    The goal of using social media technology is to change the organization from hierarchical to peer-to-peer. Proponents say this helps make decisions faster. It also make getting answers to questions faster because if well implemented any employee should be able to find the expert who can answer the question faster by using the social media tool, specifically looking at user profiles. Until we implemented an internal social network at my last company of over 200,000 people, there was no way to see who knew what.

    For others a social business is one that acts like a social person towards its customers. Zappos, the internet shoe retailer, is the most commonly sited example. Not only do they actively use social media to communicate with their customers, they also “delight” their customers with surprises like a free upgrade to one day shipping. Once someone called Zappos to order a pizza; Zappos does shoes not pizza or any food item. But in the spirit of giving excellent service, the agent on the phone called a local pizza restaurant and ordered a pizza to be delivered at the customer’s address.

    Link Economy – 

    The link economy is one driven by search engines and therefore in large part by links. I give you something of value when I link to your web property. The value comes in two ways.

    First someone is reading whatever I have written or posted with a link to you it provides a door to your content. The second way the value shows up is with search engines. The more quality links there are to a site, the higher a search engine will rank the site on their search results page. 


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