Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. These are all examples of social media, and I bet as soon as you hear these words, you can add at least another three sites to the list off the top of your head. But what is social media?
Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn't allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content.
I particularly like Ron Jones' social media definition:
"Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online."
There is a wide variety of social media, ranging from social sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr through social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
In my opinion, social media has shot to the forefront of people's attention because it's fun. Thanks to social media, it's easy to share your ideas, photos, videos, likes and dislikes, with the world at large - and find out what they think of them. You can find friends, business contacts and become part of a community or a bunch of different communities. Social media gives you what TV never could - a chance to be engaged and engage others.
Because of this, social media is of particular interest to businesses. Currently, businesses of all sizes are experimenting with social media marketing, grappling with the question of how to get in on what appears to be an especially viral way to get their message (and their products) out there.