A Beginners Guide to Social Media


The rise in internet use has led to the prevalence of internet marketing strategies designed to help businesses improve their online presence and build a strong customer base. The rise of online social networks through which people exchange ideas and hang out has been exponential. It is for these reasons that online social media has become a prevalent medium for communication and business. By learning the basics of social media, you can make an informed decision about how to use it for your personal and/or professional advantage.

Social Media - A Brief Overview

Social media is basically the interaction between people during which they share, exchange, or create ideas and information through virtual networks and communities. From a technical or technological perspective, one can think of social media as several types of internet-based applications rooted in the technological and ideological foundations of Web 2.0. It is these applications that make it possible for people to create and exchange content. As the world of social media has evolved, mobile has become more and more important, with most people accessing social media via their smartphones or tablets rather than their desktop.

Types of Social Media

There are several different types of social media in use today. Some of the more prevalent forms include:

1. Twitter

Twitter enables its users to read and send text messages of up to 140 characters. These messages are referred to as "tweets." Users can access Twitter through a mobile device app, SMS, or website interface.

2. Facebook

Facebook is a social networking service that allows users to register and subsequently create personal profiles, add friends, receive automatic notifications, and exchange messages. Users can also join user groups comprised of other people who have common interests. Facebook Pages are great for businesses wanting to increase their web presence and interact with customers.

3. Blogs

Blogs are websites that are used for the purpose of having discussions and/or exchanging information about specific subjects. This communication generally takes place in context of a "post" written and published by the blog owner. It is to this post that the public can respond. Although blogs were originally written by a single person, "multi-author blogs" that have been professionally edited are gaining popularity and prevalence. Blogs are very common for business websites now as a way of constantly talking with your customers and keeping people up to date.

Some other types of social media include LinkedIn, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

Social Media Marketing

As use of social media platforms such as those listed above has increased in recent years, more and more businesses have begun investing in social media marketing. Social media marketing is basically the use of advertising strategies to share the value of one's goods and services with a target audience that makes use of a specific social media channel. An example of a social media marketing strategy would include tweeting links to a business website's product pages through Twitter.

As you can see, social media has become an incredibly prevalent and powerful social networking tool. By understanding how it works and different ways that it can be used, you can make an informed decision regarding how it can help you in your personal and/or professional life.

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