What is Social Media?

Twitter Cartoon 3With all the recent discussion on Facebook and Twitter about Social Media guidelines, we have received many inquiries from the franchise community about Social Media training for their employees and franchisees. During these conversations, it was quite evident that many did not understand Social Media and some did not know what it is. So, we thought we’d take it to a basic level and explore the various definitions of Social Media as it is defined by different sources online. Here’s what we found:

Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. …

A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or My Space, social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, social news sites like Digg or Simpy, and other sites that are centered on user interaction.

Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.

Social media are works of user-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, wiki or video hosting site.

An umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words and pictures. …

Software tools that allow groups to generate content and engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange of content (examples are YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, MySpace etc)

Social Media is the collection of tools and online spaces available to help individuals and businesses to accelerate their information and communication needs. [Axel Schultze]

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