What Is Social Media?

social media app icons on iphone

Social media refers to websites and applications that are designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. Many people define social media as apps on their smartphone or tablet, but the truth is, this communication tool started with computers. This misconception stems from the fact that most social media users access their tools via apps. 

The ability to share photos, opinions, events, etc in real-time has transformed the way we live and, also, the way we do business. Retailers who use social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy usually see measurable results. But the key to successful social media is to not treat it as an extra appendage but to treat it with the same care, respect, and attention you do all of your marketing efforts. 

Social Media Marketing Is Fleeting

In the early days of social marketing, there was little competition for the dollar—not so today. For example, you can spend thousands of dollars on a Facebook ad campaign and, sometimes, get no return on your investment. By its very nature, social media is a short attention span media—it is much harder to get someone’s attention with a Tweet then it was to get someone’s attention with a newspaper ad. That’s because ad headlines and copy are harder to write on Twitter or Instagram.  

You Must Be Active on Social Media

One of the biggest mistakes retailers make is to open up accounts on every social media platform they think is relevant and then leave them alone with no activity. Having an account with any of the social media platforms does not mean your business is into social media any more than owning golf clubs makes you ready for the PGA. In fact, social media users are turned off by the retailer who opens accounts and does not engage with clients and the public and consequently become labeled a pretender. The reality is, it is better to not have a social media icon on your website if you are not going to actively engage with it—and actively means on a daily basis

Don’t Make It All About You

The other big mistake retailers make is to use social media to talk about what is important to them rather than talking about what is important to the customer. As a retailer, you may think it is great to shout that you have a sale going on; and in some regards, this would be true. But, if that’s the only reason you are getting involved in social media it won’t be beneficial. Your goal should be to provide content that is relevant to your customer and engage with them to the point that they want to share your post with others.If you use social media you need to engage with your customers, involve them in a dialogue, and ask them for their opinions. Post a picture of two items you are considering carrying in your store and ask customers which one they like best. This creates a dialogue which leads to shared posts which leads to engaged followers. Plus, if you follow this example, it will also lead to enhanced margins because your back and forth conversation will prevent you from buying the item that won’t sell as well.

Images Are Key

Another thing to consider is that the most commonly-shared content on social media is an image. So, always include an image with your posts. This will dramatically increase your chances that one of your followers will share the post with their network. While building up a large network of followers is great, ultimately what you want is to have your followers—no matter how many you have—share what you’re posting with their network, and those people will share your post with their followers, and so on. This is the new form of “word of mouth” and it’s what people mean when they say a post went “viral.”

Understanding Social Media

Social media originated as a way to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses which wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth, or with many people simultaneously.

Globally, there are more than 3 billion social media users. Social media is an ever-changing and ever-evolving web-based platform.

According to the Pew Research Center, social media users tend to be younger. Nearly 90 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 used at least one form of social media. Further, these users tend to be better educated and relatively wealthy, or earning over $75,000 per year.


  • Social media is computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities.
  • Social media typically features user-generated content and personalized profiles.
  • An estimated 69 percent of Americans used social media as of 2018

The Many Forms of Social Media

Social media may take the form of a variety of tech-enabled activities. These activities include photo sharing, blogging, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, business networks, virtual worlds, reviews and much more. Even governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.

For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family. Some people will use various social media applications to network career opportunities, find people across the globe with like interests, and share their thought, feelings, insight, and emotions. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network.

For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool. Companies use the platform to find and engage with customers, drive sales through advertising and promotion, gauge consumer trends, and offering customer service or support.

Over one-fifth of an individual’s online time is spent on social media.

Social media’s role in helping businesses is significant. It facilitates communication with customers, enabling the melding of social interactions on e-commerce sites. Its ability to collect information helps focus on marketing efforts and market research. It helps in promoting products and services, as it enables the distribution of targeted, timely, and exclusive sales and coupons to would-be customers. Further, social media can help in building customer relationships through loyalty programs linked to social media.

Real-World Example

While social media has its positive side, many point to the platform and call out negative features, likening its overuse to an addiction. Some contest it contributes to inattentiveness, stress, and jealousy. The National Center for Biotechnology Information links heavy social media use to depression. Also, many times, social media may be a conduit for misleading information and falsehoods.

The 2016 American presidential election has well-documented accounts of the impact of the ability to spread false information through the platform. Such a phenomenon leverages the power of social media, allowing anyone to reach an audience of millions with content that lacks oversight or fact-checking.

The figures for the most popular social media websites as of January 2019 are as follows:

  1. Facebook (2.27 billion users as of January 2019)
  2. YouTube (1.9B)
  3. WhatsApp (1.5B)
  4. Facebook Messenger (1.3B)
  5. WeChat (1.08B)
  6. Instagram (1B)
  7. QQ (803M)
  8. QZone (531M)
  9. Douyin/Tik Tok (500M)
  10. Sino Weibo (446M)

25 Advantages Of Social Media That Are Good To Keep In Mind

Social Media is everywhere. Not being connected via social media is the exception, not the rule. While there are many debates, complaints, and legitimate downsides to being connected 24/7, there are also a lot of advantages that some of us take for granted or may not even be aware of. To help us appreciate having the world just a friend request away, here are 25 Advantages of Social Media That Are Good To Keep In Mind. Be sure to like and share!

nullSocial media essay-Is social media boon or bane

In this social media essay, we will try to cover as many points as we can
What does social media mean?

Without going technical and confusing basic concepts, I’d like to split the terms individually and explain them further.
Social refers to interacting with other people and exchanging information with them.
Media refers to a platform of communication, i.e., television, internet, etc.
Hence, by using these two terms, the definition can be concluded as:
Social media fundamentally comprises internet-based communication tools that permit people to communicate, interact and exchange information with each other.

Just like everything else, social media also has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Social media :


Social media is an excellent form of interface to communicate with our old or new friends, colleagues, and anyone we like to chat with anytime. Social media helps people bring back their old memories, celebrate new memories and also meet new people in their life. Social media platforms have been a blessing for the world of communication.


Social media inevitably brings amusement and entertainment for everyone of every age, gender, caste, color, and creed. Teenagers feel great when they upload a picture and get likes and kind comments on their posts. Older adults feel great when they see the photos and videos of their children & grandchildren happy. Social media admittedly does an excellent job of making everyone happy.


People get all sorts of great opportunities in life for their betterment through various social media platforms. Students from overseas who have worked hard get great opportunities for colleges abroad. A person looking for a job uses social media platforms for the desired position in their desired place. Social media also gives a chance to entrepreneurs and dreamers who want to bring a change for good. Social media does provide a significant push to a person who needs it with incredible opportunities.


It helps the new rising businessmen who wish to expand their business to more people, overseas, etc.
Instant requirements fulfilled:
Due to social media, our immediate needs or even regular requirements are met with just some clicks away. If we are hungry or craving for something to eat, we get food delivered to us easily and quickly without any effort. Need urgent clothes, shoes, and electronics? Online shopping does it for you in a heartbeat!

World updates:

Anyone can get an update of every corner of the world within a few minutes. A person sitting in one corner of the world can get to know stuff about another part of the world, like who is the most critical person in a particular place. Social media also provides every sagacious or bogus information about politics, trends, lifestyle, music industry, film industry, gaming industry or anything else for that matter.

Disadvantages of Social media:

The rise of social media has not only given rise to good things but has also created quite a few damaging ones. Let’s have a look at a few of them!

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