Posts Tagged ‘social media usage’

Definition of Social Media? Social Media is ________ ? (fill the blank)

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Several days ago, Stephen Nold on LinkedIn posed the question “Social media is ________? (fill in the blank)”.
Roger Harris, an independent social communications consultant has reviewed the 68 answers posted on LinkedIn and came up with the following results:

A word cloud of the 68 responses reflects the business orientation of most LinkedIn users. From the cloud of responses, social media looks to be “marketing communications that reach people as individuals.”

tag cloud social media definition linkedin

he continues by saying:

‘But the LinkedIn respondents show no evident consensus on defining social media. Moreover, what about social media that is not about marketing? This got me thinking. Do we need to define social media? If so, can we agree on a definition?

Social media seems a simple enough idea. But it can be hard to sell to colleagues and C-suites who see it as just a fad, something that teens do. So maybe we do need a definition.’

David Cushman who last Friday was giving a conference Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Social Media But Were Afraid to Ask defines social media as:


Roger Harris in his post continues his analysis:

‘So how about Wikipedia? Surely the world’s largest online reference source would have something meaningful to say. The closest it comes to a definition is: “Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” Um, okay. But how do you convey that to execs? But the article seems to cover the basics. Let’s take it as a starting point.

tag cloud social media definition wikipediaA word cloud of the 382 words from Wikipedia’s page (excluding references and the words “social” and “media”) shows the four commonest words are (1) community, (2) information, (3) sharing and (4) technologies. These strung together make a straightforward definition “Community information sharing technologies.” (Note: the prominence of the word “industrial” results from considerable space being devoted to distinguishing social media from traditional media such as print, television and radio.)

In her updated presentation ‘One year later – What the F**K is Social Media’, Marta Kagan gives the following definition for Social Media:

  • SOCIAL MEDIAPublic Relation
  • Customer Service
  • Loyalty-building
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Thought Leadership
  • and Customer Acquisition

But she says, ‘don’t assume Social Media is the Answer to Everything.’

David Cushman’s sees Social Media as Social + Media, where:

Social = Group, people, us, what we choose to do together.

Media = Content, distribution, them, what they would seek to do to us.

Roger Harris has a succinct oneliner definition for socila media: “community information sharing technologies.”

My definition …  social media enables you to share content created by you or others using set of highly accessible and scalable (publishing) technologies transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many),  replacing broadcast networks into (powerful) conversation communities.

What is your definition of social media?


The Social Profile of Your Customers

September 22, 2009 1 comment

As we all know, people increasingly use technology to get what they need from each other, instead of relying on companies and businesses.

“Customers are writing about your products on blogs and recutting your commercials on YouTube. They’re defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on you in social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of a social phenomenon — the groundswell — that has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. Most companies see it as a threat. You can see it as an opportunity.” In Groundswell, two of Forrester Research’s top analysts, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, show you how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage.

Social media gives a voice to buyers who can now describe their experience and disappointment to a global audience. And, wow, are they saying a lot.
This is a social trend accelerated by technology, not the other way around.

Companies are more stretched than ever on staff that delivers products and services, as well as support for them. At the same time, due to the fragmentation of media and customer interests, their marketing dollars are not going as far as they used to when broadcasting was considered the way to go.

The good news is that businesses can reach customers where they are, and take advantage of the very same tools to not only satisfy their requests, but to gain insights about their buying habits – something that in the past could be done only with expensive research.

Forrester surveyed more than 1,200 business technology buyers and found that they exceed all previous benchmarks for social participation.


Social participation data for other countries are also available. Try their profile tool here.


Forrester’s Social Technographics classifies consumers into six overlapping levels of participation.


Forrester isn’t the only one diving in to research in the social space. Brightkite, which bills itself as a social discovery network and GFK also did some research lately. The ‘big’ insight wasn’t really big at all. It appears 87% of people prefer face-to-face interactions than spending time online and would rather talk in person at a rate 44 times more than through online means. An interesting article by Jason Falls analyses this for us.

In conclusion, social media, this is where consumers are and thus where marketing is going.