Social media. Truthfully, it’s a new term to me, though I believe it’s been circulating for some time. I’ve heard old media and new media. But social media? I want to know more!
Wikipedia describes social media as, among other things, “…connection points… the creation of personal meaning and community building opportunities.” Sounds cool. What does that mean?
Social media is a cornerstone of Web 2.0 and uses new technologies (or existing technologies used in new ways) to connect people in ways email and regular old websites don't quite measure up to. Beyond Google, Amazon and Wikipedia, social media is exemplified in blogs, podcasts, online photo sharing (Flickr), video sharing (YouTube), vlogs, bookmarking sites (del.icio.us), and social networking (MySpace). And this is only the beginning. Get on Technorati.com, do a search on social media and you'll definitly get an ear - er - eye full. With social media outlets, niche interests can be explored and shared through these very personal and relevant connections.
And what about social equity?
I love this post from ExperienceCurve:
“My working definition of social equity for the moment is: “social equity is built by aggregating, connecting, reflecting and amplifying the all the small user contributions over time so the whole is worth much more than the sum of its parts.” Sort of like network effects, the more people using it and participating the more valuable your product or service.
This idea of social equity speaks directly to the effects of social media. It feels similar to brand equity, but with a more inclusive bent. Social media and the equity that can be generated from it allow companies and customers to have relationships that are more personal than ever before. That type of relationship can be daunting. The transparency and immediacy of social media means companies and customers will have to look at their current behaviors and see where there needs adjusting. Companies will have to learn how to interact with their customers on a very personal level. And in return, I think this new relationship encourages customers to show a level of respect they otherwise have not been encouraged to show.