I went over the high-level overview on social media in the article “What is Social Media and Why Should I use it,” now let’s look at some of the popular social media tools and how they work.
The approach in building a social media profile is the same for businesses and individuals.
In both cases, the desire outcome is to create new opportunities and connect with other relevant profiles to create a valuable network.
When I say opportunities, it doesn’t always have to do with making money, it can simply be finding a new people with the same interest as you or potential joint venture partnerships.
Types of Social Media
Before you dive into all the social media websites, you need to understand the different types of social media and their functions.
Once you have a basic understanding, it’ll be easier to realize its networking power.
I won’t address every social media platform but in general there are three major categories you can build your social media profile in:
Blogs and micro-blogging: This is usually web content updated regularly and can be written text, videos and graphics.
It usually provides commentary or news on a specific topic that allows people to interact with the content provider.
Social networking: An online community focuses on connecting and exploring people who share similar interests and/or activities.
It has specific means to connect people with each other such as classmates, colleagues, interest groups, events, or find people randomly from their profile of interests.
Photo, video and audio sharing: Multimedia sharing is made popular but Flickr and YouTube which provide a unique platform for people to distribute multimedia content across the internet.
Users can easily comment and rate on videos watched, images viewed, or music heard.
Wikis: A wiki is a website that allows for easy creation and editing of linked content.
Similar to the concept of an encyclopedia, wikis have a wealth of specific information and are often used to create collaborative websites to provide intranet and knowledgebase systems.
Social bookmarking / social news: These are tools for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet in the form of tagging, the process by which many users add name tags in the form of keywords to shared content.
People can rate, comment, and share bookmarks easily with others with similar interest.
Think of it as a “popularity contest” for links on the internet ranking them based on how many times it has been bookmarked and its rating.
The same applies to social news, websites let users submit and vote on news stories or links to determine its ranking and popularity.
Typically multimedia and collaboration tools are utilized as an enhancement to the communication tools. People share videos, podcasts, photos and bookmarks they like to further personalize their brand to others.
The Power Of The Network
I’ve created some visuals below to better illustrate the effects of social networking.
Imagine each “level” is its own community where everyone knew each other.
In this case, level-1 community has two people willing to promote your brand.
They could be your family, friends, business partners, vendors or affiliates.
Notice that not everyone in level-2 participated in sharing your information to the next level.
At level 6, that may be someone very interested in your product, services or your personal brand.
As long as a community has people connected to people in another community, it’s just as easy for that level-6 person to reach you.
The possibility to connect is endless. All the networking happens on the internet making the connection painlessly fast.
Are you convinced yet?
Ready to do some networking?
Keep reading designdamage — next we’ll get into the step by step setup and how to build your profiles.