Stella PR+ Marketing | Social Media versus Social Networking
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Social Media versus Social Networking

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We’ve had a few discussions come up regarding the importance of social media and social networking. While social media and social networking work together to reach similar goals, it is important to understand the difference.  So what is social media versus social networking?

In Social Media Marketing for Dummies terms, social media is a conversation that involves using technologies and tools to communicate directly with your customers. A subset of social media is social networking. Social networking is where you interact with people to build an online community.

Let’s first dive into social media.

Social media can be considered the “strategy” for ways to share and exchange information/ideas in a virtual community. Social media would include your website, blogs, video, photo sharing, and more.

Not much new news here… but one that might surprise you is that news releases could easily fall into the social media category too. Yes we said that!

The New Rules of PR and Marketing, explains that if done correctly, news releases can be a good tool for generating consumer engagement and brand awareness. Consumers and buyers now read news releases on Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines, on vertical market portals, and with RSS readers. While mainstream media and trade press continue to be the core for most communication, the primary audience is no longer journalists. A news release audience is composed of millions of people with internet connections and access to search engines and RSS readers.

Next up is everyone’s favorite, social networking.

This is where you have the chance to engage with your customers directly. Today, it is expected for a brand to interact with people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more to build an online community.

To leverage social networking for your company, it is important to always remember your target audience. After you’ve identified your target audience, then you’ll be able to use social networking to showcase your company’s expertise. Ways to engage can be anything from developing an interactive application with a click through ad to your company’s site to posting a survey on Facebook/Twitter for customer feedback.

Are you engaging with your true target audience directly and on a consistent basis?