Social Media in a Nutshell: a Guide for Beginners


Social Media in a Nutshell: a Guide for Beginners

by Jenny Phillips

Social Media is what it sounds like- it’s media that is social. It allows for interaction via the Internet, and as easy as that sounds, most forget about the whole “interaction” bit. The business world has taken social media to a new level, using it as a branding tool. But go figure, just putting your brand out there doesn’t mean people will care about it.

First, let’s begin with types of social media sites:

  • Social Networking (
  • Social Bookmarking (
  • Blogging (
  • Microblogging (
  • Wikis (
  • Photo Sharing (
  • Forums / Video Sharing (
  • Presentation Sharing (
  • Music Sharing (
  • Search (
  • Technology Weblog (
  • Location Sharing (
  • Site Sharing (
  • Professional Networking (

As you can see, there are plenty of different types of social media, and likewise, a plethora of sites in each category. Creating the most successful social media plan means figuring out who your clients are, where they’re at on the web, and keeping your material interesting enough to create and keep a social “relationship” online. KEYWORD: “relationship.” Don’t just be a site! Followers want real people. Why? Real person interaction creates trust, which keeps followers coming back.

It is important to know that all social media is constantly changing to best fit the interests of users, stakeholders and advertisers. Therefore, social media specialists, like the ones at Interworks, must always keep themselves up to date on social media trends, and so should you if you plan on it being beneficial.

So how can social media fail to connect with your target audience? Ask yourself these questions:

Am I on the sites that will reach the greatest amount of my target market?
Being on every site won’t necessarily benefit you, nor do you want to waste the time of making consistent sites for all of these outlets if they don’t help you gain real leads or interest.

Is my blog made more for me or for the target?
Don’t use your blog to sell yourself. Use your blog to give valuable, relevant and interesting information to your target. Same goes for Twitter posts and links.

Is my Facebook fan page just sitting there like a bump on a log?
Contrary to popular belief, or rather popular mistake, Facebook fan pages should provide relevant content, interaction and conversation.

There are so many other aspects to a good social media campaign, but the two most important things to remember are”

  1. What works for one brand doesn’t always work for another.
  2. Keep up with your followers.

A social media plan is like a musical composition, a painting, or a recipe – a little of this here, a little of this there, and all ingredients must complement the others.

More About the Author

Jenny Phillips

Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
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