A social networking service, sometimes called a SMN or social media network, is an internet-based platform that individuals use to build social relationships or social networks with others who share similar personal, professional or lifestyle interests, hobbies, activities and backgrounds. The term “social networking” refers to the ability for two or more individuals to interact with each other through the use of a website or application where they can exchange and share information. Some examples of social networking websites include MySpace, Friendster, Yahoo! 360, and FriendFeed.
Social media is also a broad term that includes various types of web applications that allow users to interact in limited, professional settings. Examples of social media applications include Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Companies that use social networking to engage their employees are known as social networking companies, while those who use social media to advertise their products are called social media companies.
Social media vs. networking One way to compare the two is to consider how one allows you to interact with others while the other does not. Social networking sites allow their users to socialize by posting messages, joining groups and connecting with others who post similar interests and goals. When using a social networking site, you can post messages about your current events, comments about current news, or simply build your own profile for a closer relationship with your friends and other contacts. On the other hand, networking requires that you actively engage in conversations with others. You can create groups to discuss common topics or just to hang out with friends and acquaintances.
The similarities and differences of social networking sites largely depend on how much time and effort you want to put into your activities and whether you want to engage in professional or personal discussions. If you are trying to build an online business, then you will likely be using social media to communicate with potential clients, post news about your company, or just simply keep in touch with your friends. If you are a teacher, you could easily use a social networking site to let students know about upcoming classes, events, or projects, while you engage in informal chats with students about school, life, and anything else that crosses your mind. While most social media sites allow you to have both forms of interaction, it depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
The Good and the Bad About Social Networking One thing that many people forget when comparing social networking and social media is the good side of it. One of the main reasons that many people get involved in social networking is that they feel as if they can connect with others who have similar interests and goals. Because of this, social networking has become a fun and interactive way to meet new people. In addition, when you are active in social network sites, you often get into friendly debates or lively conversations, which can be extremely refreshing after a hectic workday. However, there are some downsides to social networking and social media, as well.
One major pitfall to social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook is that you often lose followers because you become too self-focused. For instance, if you are following a specific person and only checking their page a few times a day, you can soon start to appear like a spammer. By constantly posting updates about yourself and your business, you may actually turn off your followers’ interest in what you have to say. If you post on your social networks once a month, you may still not reach the number of followers that you would if you posted weekly. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are getting value for your social networking time, but that you are still communicating with your followers.
Another common pitfall to social media and social networking is that marketers often use social media and social networking to sell products to their followers. While this can be a great way to bring in new customers, it can also lead to disappointing and even ugly sales pitches that fail to convert. Marketers who only rely on their social media and social networking efforts as a means to promote products may also think that their time is better spent elsewhere. Therefore, if you want to succeed on the Internet, you need to spend some time communicating with your followers, but you also need to spend time marketing your products.
It is true that social networking and social media are both important tools for Internet marketing. However, there is one more important factor to consider when deciding which is more valuable for your business: time. Although social networking and social media are beneficial because it allows you to interact with your followers, you must remember that you still need to use the same amount of time and energy to market your product as you would if you were just communicating with your friends. Therefore, if you choose to use social networking sites as a way to sell your products, you must keep your social networking and media time in mind and only use it to promote your product if you truly believe it will be effective.