Social media is any form of online publication or presence that allows end users to engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website. In essence, social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, and social bookmarking.
With over 200 social networking sites and many more message boards and public forums on the Web, it’s obvious social media has changed the way we communicate. As a writer for the Web, it’s important to learn about social media so marketing efforts can be maximized, writing materials can conform to current standards, and targeted audiences can be reached.
The following is not an exhaustive list; these are just some of the most commonly used social media sites.
- Facebook: Facebook is a social networking Web site that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.
- Twitter: Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets.
See Also: 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business
- YouTube: YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.
See Also: 34 Ways to Use YouTube for Business
- Flickr: Flickr is an image and video hosting Web site, web services suite, and online community created by Ludicorp and later acquired by Yahoo!. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media.
See Also: How to Market on Flickr
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social networking site that connets professionals.
- Delicious: Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.
See Also: How To Use Delicious Like a Pro.
- MySpace: MySpace is a social networking website known for allowing its users to customize their profile pages.
- Reddit: Reddit is a social news website. Users can browse and have the option to submit links to content on the Internet or submit “self” posts that contain original, user-submitted text. Other users may then vote the posted links “up” or “down” with the most successful links gaining prominence by reaching the front page.
See Also: Writing for Reddit.