What are social media? (2023)


  • Ben Lutkevich,technical resource writer
  • Ivy Wigmore

What are social media?

Social media is a collective term for websites and apps that focus on communication, community contribution, interaction, content sharing, and communication.collaboration.

People use social media to stay in touch and interact with friends, family and diverse communities. Businesses use social apps to market and promote their products and monitor customer concerns.

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business to consumersites include social components such as user comment fields. Several tools help companies track, measure and analyze the attention the company receives from social media, including brand awareness andcustomer insight.

Social media has huge traction globally. Mobile apps make these platforms easily accessible. Some popular examples of general social media platforms includeTwitter,FacebookeLinkedIn.

What are the business applications of social media?

In business, social media is used to market products, promote brands, connect with customers and foster new business. As a communication platform, social media promotes customer feedback and facilitates sharing of their experiences with the company. Businesses can quickly respond to both positive and negative feedback, resolve customer issues, and maintain or rebuild customer trust.

Social networks are also used tocrowdsourcing. This is the practice of usingsocial networkgather knowledge, goods or services. Companies use crowdsourcing to get ideas from employees, customers, and the general public to improve products or develop future products or services.

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What are social media? (1)

Business-to-business examples (B2B) applications include the following:

  • Social media analytics.This is the practice of collecting and analyzing data from blogs and social media sites to assist in making business decisions. The most common use ofsocial media analyticsis to make customersentiment analysis.
  • Social media marketing (SMM).This app increases a company's brand exposure and customer reach. The goal is to create engaging content that social media users share on their social networks. A key component of SMM is social media optimization (SMO). AsSearch Engine Optimization, SMO is a strategy to attract new visitors to a website. Social media links and share buttons are added to the content and activities are promoted through status updates, tweets and blogs.
  • Social customer relationship marketing.CRM Socialit is a powerful business tool. For example, a Facebook page allows people who like a company's brand to like the company's page. This, in turn, creates forms of communication, marketing and networking. Social media sites give users the option to follow conversations about a product or brand to get real-time feedback and market data.
  • Recruitment.social recruitmentit has become a key part of employee recruitment strategies. It's a quick way to reach many potential candidates, both active jobseekers and people who weren't thinking of a job change until they advertised the recruiting position.
  • corporate social networks. Companies also usecorporate social networksto connect people who share similar interests or activities. These applications include internal intranets and collaboration tools such asYammer,Day offeMicrosoft Teams, which give employees access to information and communication resources. Externally, public social media platforms allow organizations to stay close to customers and make it easier to conduct market research.
What are social media? (2)

What are the benefits of social media?

Social media offers many benefits, including the following:

  • User visibility.Social platforms allow people to communicate and exchange ideas or content easily.
  • Business and product marketing.These platforms allow companies to quickly market their products and services to a wide audience. Businesses can also use social media to maintain a following and test new markets. In some cases, the content created on social media is the product.
  • Audience building.Social media helps entrepreneurs and artists build an audience for their work. In some cases, social networks have eliminated the need for a distributor, because anyone can upload your content and conduct business online. For example, an amateur musician can post a song on Facebook, get instant visibility among their network of friends, who in turn share it across their networks.

What are the challenges of social media?

Social media can also pose challenges for individual users in the following ways:

  • Mental health issues.Excessive use of social apps can result in burnout,social media addictionand other issues.
  • Polarization.Individuals can end up infilter bubbles. They create the illusion of open discourse when the user is truly isolated in an algorithmically generated online community.
  • Misinformation.Polarized environments promote the propagation ofmisinformationwhere the perpetrator's intent is to mislead others with false information.

Companies face similar challenges andunique social media challenges.

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  • Offensive posts.Conversations on intranets and business collaboration tools can veer off into non-work related topics. When this happens, co-workers are likely to disagree or get offended. Controlling these conversations and filtering out offensive content can be difficult.
  • Security and retention.Traditional security and data retention policies may not work with the features available in collaboration tools. This canincrease security risksand compliance issues that companies must deal with.
  • Productivity concerns.Social interaction, whether online or in person, is distracting and can affect employee productivity.

What are enterprise social media best practices?

It is important for companies to have a social media strategy and set social media goals. This helps build trust, educate your target audience, and create brand awareness. They also allow real people to find and learn about a company.

Here are some social mediasocial media best practicesfor companies to follow:

  • Establish social media policies that set expectations for appropriate employee social behavior. These policies must also ensure that social media posts do not expose the company to legal issues or public embarrassment. The guidelines should include guidelines for when an employee must identify themselves as a company representative and rules for what type of information can be shared.
  • Focus on B2B marketing platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Implement an engaging environment,non-client focusedstrategy in social media campaigns. An example would be using Twitter to answer customer questions.
  • Include rich media such as photos and videos in the content to make it more engaging and engaging for users.
  • Use social media analytics tools to measure user engagement with content and stay on top of trends.
  • Use a colloquial voice in posts that look professional but not stiff.
  • Shorten long content to make it socially friendly. Lists and audio and video snippets are examples.
  • Accept employees and customers speaking positively about the organization and pass on this content.
  • Check analytics and management tools frequently, if not daily, as well as social media accounts.

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What are the different types of social media?

The four main categories of social platforms are these:

  1. Social media.People use these networks to connect and share information, thoughts and ideas. The focus of these networks is usually on the user. User profiles help participants identify other users with common interests or concerns. Facebook and LinkedIn are good examples.
  2. Media sharing networks.The focus of these networks is on content. For example, inYouTube, the interaction revolves around videos created by users. Other media sharing networks are TikTok and Instagram. Streaming platforms like Twitch are considered a subset of this category.
  3. Community networks.The focus of this type of social network is in-depth discussion, similar to a blog forum. Users leave discussion suggestions that turn into detailed comment threads. Communities often form around selected topics.Redditis an example of a community-based network.
  4. Review council networks.In these networks, the focus is on evaluation, usually of a product or service. For example, on Yelp, users can write restaurant reviews and endorse each other's reviews to increase visibility.

What are examples of social media?

Here are some examples of popular web-based social media platforms:

  • Facebookis a free social networking site where registered users create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
  • LinkedInis a social networking site designed for the business community. Registered members can create networks of people they know and trust professionally.
  • Pinterestis a social curation site for sharing and categorizing images found online. the main focusPinterestit is visual, although it requires brief image descriptions. Clicking on an image will take the user to the original source. For example, clicking on an image of a pair of shoes can redirect the user to a shopping site; an image of blueberry pancakes can redirect to the recipe.
  • Redditis a social news website and forum where site members curate and promote stories. The site consists of hundreds ofcalled subcommunitiessubreddits. Each subreddit has a specific theme, like technology, politics, or music. Members of the Reddit site, also known as “redditors,” submit content that members vote on. The goal is to elevate well-regarded stories to the top of the main pages of the sitefiopage.
  • Twitterit's freemicrobloggingservice for registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets. Twitter members can broadcast tweets and follow tweets from other active users using a variety of platforms and devices.
  • Wikipediais a free, open-content encyclopedia created through a collaborative community. Any person registered inWikipediacan create an article for publication; no registration is required to edit articles.

The conclusion

Social media is everywhere. Individuals and businesses of all sizes and types use it. It's a critical resource for interacting with customers, gettingcustomer feedbackand expanding the company's visibility.

Oneeffective social strategyit can improve an organization's reputation and build trust and awareness among a growing network of connections. While some are better suited to B2B promotion, no platform is off limits.

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This was last updated onSeptember 2021

Continue reading About social media

  • 20 social media recruiting strategies that work
  • Social media analytics best practices tempered by privacy laws
  • 7 benefits of customer experience management
  • What is the difference between social media and social networks?

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