Social Media – Misunderstood Concept?

UntitledSpeak to people and ask them what their views of Social Media are and you will get a range of varied replies from; It’s technology, it’s a fad, something my kids do, is it Facebook or my personal favourite that I seem to hear so often: I don’t do Social Media as I don’t want everyone to know my business … I can only chuckle at some of these responses.

Lets demystify this and say that it is some and none of the above, it’s actually just real life playing out in front of us and hopefully we can engage. Yes I say hopefully we can be engaged, as you may need to be thinking about how your are going to expand your circle of influence instead of just trying to maintain the existing relationships. Remember that it’s always good to maintain existing relationships but we only stretch ourselves when we form new relationships.

Social Media consists of two simple words, lets look at them individually in context.

Social – The art of interacting with like minded people, building relationships and broadening a sphere of influence.

Media – Content that is offline or online using different communication mediums e.g. Magazines, Newsletters, Television and Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs to name but a few.

Media has the potential of being social media when it has a possibility for interaction, advertising and posting what you think people might like is just simple media or content. When people start to interact with that media and start having conversations about the content then it becomes social.

So how then do we advertise in this day and age? I enjoy giving simple answers that provoke thought and my answer would be; find the things that people are talking about and are interested in and join those conversations. If your product or service is relevant to the topic or interest you may have a chance to suggest it, but if not you are simply part of the conversation, you are not selling and have no right to suggest or sell anything.

When we show this type of respect for people we build effective relationships and people are more than likely to recommend us to others. You need to be involved in conversations and listening for the potential of things happening. I know that sounds impossible to be everywhere at all times, yes it is but remember if you respect the people within your network they are likely to mention and recommend you to those who are interested in what you have to offer.

It is called networking and that is how we become effective, start listening, get involved in conversations and actively building those relationships that will lead you to the goal you wish to achieve.

Image courtesy of bplanet at

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
This entry was posted in Social Communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Social Media – Misunderstood Concept?

  1. Why only interact with “like-minded” people? Are interactions with others not social?


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