by Deb Ng
I received a lovely note from a BlogTalkRadio host who is enjoying all the helpful posts on the BlogTalkRadio blog, but is a little confused about the term social media. Since I’m often asked about social media and why it’s important, I thought it would be a good time to throw another definition into the glossary.
What is social media?
Social media is one of those terms that are difficult (for me) to define. While it means different things to different people it has to do mostly with utilizing user generated content, social networking sites and online communities to create a conversation. Social media can mean voting sites like Digg or microblogging sites like Twitter. It can mean commenting on blogs or having conversations in chat rooms like the ones at BlogTalkRadio. Basically, social media is the art of communicating online.
Unlike traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and television news, social media allows us the ability to communicate and discuss. If we would like to comment on a blog post or tweet, we can. However, I can comment all I want to my television set during the evening news and no one will hear me but Mr.Ng, that is, if he’s not snoring on the couch already. Social media gives us a voice and we like that.
Why should we care?
You should care because social media is the future. Big Businesses are now jumping on the social media bandwagon. Consumers or users want to have a voice. Anyone not allowing voices to be heard now risks losing business to a company with a better community management system. We now know folks would rather put their trust into a business that has good communication with its clients than a company that allows them to get lost in a phone menu to nowhere. We also know that businesses appreciate social media because it allows them to learn how their consumers feel about a product or service and how they can improve. In this day and age, to brush aside the little guy can be a big mistake.
Why does the BlogTalkRadio community need to care about social media?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a host or listener, you’re using social media right now. If you comment on this blog or in a forum or chat room, you’re participating in social media. If you use Twitter, or FaceBook or Reddit, you’re participating in social media. If you want others to learn about your BlogTalkRadio shows, you will need to use social media to promo and plug. Social media also allows you to learn what’s on your listeners’ minds. Did they like a show? Did they hate it? How will you know without giving them the ability to communicate in return?
You may think social media doesn’t matter, but it does because it’s going to shape how we communicate and do business in the future. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of the conversation?