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What Is Considered Social Media: Definitions, Uses, and Examples

What Is Considered Social Media

Table of Contents

What is considered social media, how does it work, what are the benefits of a marketing strategy, and what should you know before you take the plunge before signing onto a social media platform?

As your friendly, neighbourhood digital marketing agency, we’re here to help answer any and all questions you might have. But first, let’s answer the biggest question of them all.

What Is Considered Social Media?

So, what is considered social media exactly? Social media is a term that describes websites and applications, focusing on communication, interaction, and collaboration. It also focuses on community-based input and sharing content.

People use social media or social networking platforms to stay in touch with friends and families and interact with different communities. Businesses use these platforms or networks to market and promote their products, track and address customer concerns, and keep an eye out for the competition.

Business-to-consumer or B2C websites will also include social components and use various tools to track, measure, and analyze leads and gain customer insight.

Popular Social Media Platforms

When answering what is considered social media, we also have to talk about the variety of apps and platforms. 

There are many social media platforms out there, with varying numbers of users and popularity. Facebook still seems to be one of the biggest platforms and as of 2023, it has 3.03 billion active monthly users. It’s a popular platform for both users and businesses, as many take advantage of Facebook advertising services.

Following Facebook, there’s TikTok, and Reddit with the highest number of users, which are 1.05 billion and 1.66 billion, respectively.

Instagram and Snapchat are popular among younger generations with a combined audience of 2.83 billion monthly users. For networking, many use X and LinkedIn, while YouTube remains the top video platform. 

The Origins and Evolution of Social Media

When we talk about what is considered social media, we have to also talk about its origins and how it evolved into what it is today. Originally, social media started out as a way for people to interact with friends and family.

However, it soon expanded to serve many different purposes, and in 2004, MySpace was the first network to reach 1 million active monthly users.

Participation in social media was explored in the years that followed when Facebook and X were introduced. Businesses started being drawn to these platforms as a way to reach a wider audience on a global scale.

Nowadays, social media plays a crucial role in how businesses create and shape their marketing strategies. That’s, of course, not at all surprising considering the sheer number of hours people spend each day on social media apps and websites.

How Social Media Works

Another piece that goes into answering what is considered social media is understanding how it all works. 

It’s important to know that every social networking platform works differently and has its own unique set of features. That said, most share a few similarities that make them easier to use and get accustomed to. These include:

  • Profiles: Most social media platforms require users to create a profile if they want to do more than just browsing. To comment, share, interact, and participate in discussions, users will have to create either personal or business profiles.
  • Sharing content: At their core, most, if not all, social networking platforms are about sharing content in one form or another. However, most allow sharing images, videos, and some form of text.
  • Direct messaging: Messaging was one of the first uses for social media, and some social media platforms use direct messaging as their main feature.
  • Timelines and feeds: Most social networking platforms pull all of the published posts from accounts you follow and add them to your timeline. They will also often aggregate suggested posts based on what you like or have interacted with, as well as relevant ads.
  • Algorithms: Every social networking platform uses some sort of algorithm to determine what content to display to users and in what order. What’s more, most algorithms are designed to deliver content that users are most likely to engage with.
What Is Considered Social Media
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Applications of Social Media in Busines

Social networking platforms have many uses in today’s business world, including promotion, connecting, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common applications of social media for business.

Social Media Analytics

Gathering and analyzing data from social media networks to help make more informed business decisions is done through social media analytics. 

The most common use is for sentiment analysis, a practice that uses machine learning models to perform text analysis of human language. The metrics pulled from this type of analysis are used to detect the overall sentiment and whether a piece of text is neutral, positive, or negative.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can increase a company’s brand exposure and customer reach. The goal of both social media and digital marketing strategies is to create compelling content, which users will want to share on their social networks. 

A key component of social media marketing is social media optimization, which is a strategy for drawing new visitors to a website. Through strategically placed links and share buttons, businesses are able to promote their products and services with status updates, blogs, and social media posts.

Recruiting

With a well-thought-out marketing strategy across different social networking platforms, many businesses recruit new employees. With social recruiting, employers are able to reach a lot of potential candidates on a global scale.

The Benefits of Social Media

While social media and social networking can be a double-edged sword, when used right, it does have many benefits. Let’s see the things you can accomplish as a user or as a business with the right marketing strategy.

Easier Communication

Thanks to social networking, customers are able to reach their favourite brands much faster and more efficiently. In turn, businesses can receive, review, and respond to customer concerns.

Making Brands More Relatable

Using a proper marketing strategy and some social media wizardry, brands are now able to come across as relatable. It can humanize the brands people use and become a more prominent figure in their industry. 

Promoting Content

It goes without saying, but using Facebook advertising, or advertising on any other social networking platform, is crucial for any business. Using various types of content and ads, brands can reach a targeted audience on a global scale. 

Generating Leads

As social media platforms have evolved over the years, they’ve become more powerful tools for driving leads, both directly and indirectly. What’s more, many platforms out there have now added clear calls to action and paid or marketing aspects of a network.

Answering Your Questions

Now that we’ve answered what is considered social media, let’s answer some other popular questions.

What is social media listening?

The goal of social media listening is to monitor relevant conversations on social networking platforms. It also helps brands understand the underlying mood or sentiment, allowing them to respond to customers and competition.

What is social media marketing?

A term that describes the use of social media platforms to interact with customers, drive website traffic, and increase sales.

What is social media management?

Social media management is the process of creating, scheduling, and monitoring content that is designed to nurture and grow audiences across different platforms.

Is YouTube considered social media?

Yes, YouTube is considered to be a social media platform as it allows users to share content and foster communities.

What is a social media handle?

A social media handle, also known as a username, is a unique identifier given to individuals and businesses to represent themselves on social media apps and platforms.

Our Final Thoughts on What Is Considered Social Media

We hope to have answered what is considered social media and how it all works. As you see, there are many different platforms out there, but almost all share a similar goal – fostering communities.

If you want to see the true power of social media advertising and marketing and how it can transform the business – get in touch with us! We’ll give you our best marketing plan (or two), and use a variety of strategies and tactics to really boost your business.

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