What is Social Media and where to start
Social media is showing up everywhere these days, but it can sometimes be difficult to answer the question of what is social media.
You may think it's a way to communicate with friends, or share various types of content, or bookmark your favorite sites... It's all of this and more.
Here are some examples of social media sites:
|Type||What is it?||Example|
|Social Bookmarking||Tag websites and search through websites bookmarked by other people.||Google, StumbleUpon, Delicious|
|Social News||Vote for articles and comment on them.||Digg, Reddit, Fark|
|Social Networking||Add friends, comment on profiles, join groups and have discussions.||Facebook, MySpace, Orkut|
|Social Photo and Video Sharing||Sharing photos or videos and comment on user submissions.||YouTube, Flikr|
|Social Blogging||Post a blog entry, comment on blogs, announce a messsage to followers||Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr|
So where do you start?
Most websites will fall into the Social Bookmarking category. Since simply allows people to bookmark your website and share it with friends and the public, it is a quick and painless way to jump on the bandwagon. There are a couple websites that allow you to add these social media icons to your site for free, like www.addthis.com or www.sharethis.com.
If you would like to venture further in the social media cloud, you could try creating a Facebook fan page where you can annouce updates and build a community of followers. Or perhaps create a Twitter account to share your thoughts or perhaps your weekly specials. Maybe your website is too promote your product, in that case you could start a blog and share your thoughts and expertise on what you are selling.
Whichever platform or sharing tool you decide to use, you should always have a goal in mind and not get sidetracked. Having a facebook fan page with an announcement from 1 year ago won't bring you potential clients. Or having a twitter account but not "tweeting" regularly won't help build traffic to your website.