Recently there seems to be a lot of chatter revolving around what IS "social media." Even podcasting, which has long been considered a founding member of the social media club, may be getting the Pluto treatment, and getting booted to the curve.


But by focusing on trying to define what is and is not social media, are we really doing a disservice to companies that are curious about these tools? Is it more important that they understand what tools fall into the 'current' social media bucket, or how and why using those tools are important?
I vote for the latter. I don't care if you want to call podcasting 'social media', or 'goat cheese from Nantucket', I just care about what it does, and whether it can help businesses grow and better reach their customers. The label isn't important to me, what the tool DOES and how it can be used to BENEFIT a company is what I am interested in knowing.
And last night on Twitter, I heard a new term 'microsharing'. Now granted, 'microsharing' might be a better term than 'microblogging'--or maybe it isn't.
But I think we are short-changing the advancement of this entire space when we get hung up on something like labels. Tomato or tomato? Who cares? Is it more important to come up with THE 'accepted' definition for 'social media' (until someone moves the goalpost in a month and comes up with a better one), or is it more important to help Company A better understand how ONE of these tools can better help it reach and communicate with its customers?
I say let's worry less about naming the tools, and more about making sure that companies understand how and why they should be using them.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier