The REAL Meaning of “Social Media”

At http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/01/15/t-o-w-prca-3030-topics-of-the-week/, we are to blog about  the list of definitions that were provided to Adam Vincenzini on Twitter and discuss our interpretation of social media. Before I begin, here are a few that stood out to me:

@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”

@fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution!

I have learned so much using, engaging, and interacting in the “social media” world.  My first social media engagement was using Facebook to re-connect with old highschool friends.  Then, I was required to take part in Twitter, LinkedIn, and PROpenMic along with blogging. PROpenMic’s founder, Robert French  surprised me by responding to mehimself. This applies to all the others I’ve interacted with through social media.  For example, on Twitter, I’ve had responses not only from my professors, but other public relations practitioners. From there, I’m able to connect with them through blogs and Facebook. As this was happening to me, I said to myself : Now, I know why my professor Barbara Nixon required us to do all of this. 

  I am nervous transitioning from the “student life” to professional student. Of course, I have lots of questions that needed to be answered, which is why@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*stood out to me.  Being active throughout  social media, I’ve been able to network with various professionals in all different fields, teaching me something new every day, every moment, and every time I have something to say within the community, which leads to me the next comment.

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”  At first, I didn’t think I was “qualified or smart enough” to blog or to be active on Twitter. I was very intimidated (and still am to an extent) by others who have a more impressive Twitter Bio or who are more technological savvy than me.When I had a serious conversation with my professor and thanked her for requiring us to be a part of social media, she told me  “you present yourself very professionally throughout social media.” When I heard that, I was shocked and I gained more self-confidence in my professionalism along with always telling myself now that I will be successful one day (maybe not today or tomorrow). My point is that the more you take part and express yourself, the more knowledge you gain despite how new “social media” is or any other technological advancement.

I’ve learned that by utilizing social media beyond class requirements shows that I’m not afraid of technology to others. Social media is only beneficial if you engage, participate, and express your opinions with all the topics being discussed.

Social media only exists if people interact, collaborate, and communicate to each other like what this person says: @fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.” In order for social media to even exist is for social media users contribute to the topics by commenting to various social media communities developing a conversation. If all social media users would use social media using the 5C’s mentioned,  social media will become more collaborative more than what it is today. 

How does this pertain to me? Well, I joined various social media communities without participating in the conversations to get a feel of what people were/are saying. Then, I began to converse with others and contribute to the conversations. Once I did this, I began to notice that my Twitter followers increased (that doesn’t matter to me) along with my blog posts increasing traffic. The point that I’m trying to make is this: If it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t be networking and receiving advice from people who have been in my shoes. From there, I was able to link my blog posts directly to Twitter so my followers are able to see it. As a result, those followers are able to see what I’m all about due to my “About Me Page.”  One social media conversation can lead to readership, which can lead to friendships, then leads to endless opportunities. The more you interact and use social media,the more knowledge you gain.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution! This I totally agree with because it is a revolutionary change that is exponentially growing and changing how businesses,corporations, and non-profit organizations “do business.” Interacting is key to social media. Another example of how I benefited using social media is when I was on Twitter explaining I was working on a social monitoring report. I had many responses asking me “what tools are you using right now?” from people whom I’ve never engaged with.  Also, a University of Georgia Professor commented on my “how ethical social monitoring is, which led me to view her page where I found other tools to use for my report. Social media is all about interacting and helping each other out. For that, I’m thankful for using social media. So if you’re not using it now, what are you waiting for?

With all of this being said, my definition of social media is this: 

@Leh1185Social Media: a way to participate & interact with others on a professional and personal level leading to friendships and connections.

 I would love to know what you think, so let me know what  your “social media” definition is.

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