It was surprising to me that I love using social media. Social media is communication. Its about technology and integrating it with your message, to transmit feelings and points in a manner which can be as interactive as the tools used. That’s my definition.
Merriam Webster says it this way, “ Social Media are forms of communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content as videos.”
I never thought I would ‘get it’ so quickly (many years), because I was actually concerned about privacy, security of websites and the destructive capabilities of the unknown. Awareness of safety measures made it easier to jump in and enjoy the experience.
There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;
- Algorithm — This sounded like math or algebra, and I was convinced it would be hard to understand because I’m awful at math!
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary its, “a step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.” Thus, its like baking a cake and knowing what proportions are needed so it won’t flop! If my teachers taught math as food I’d be a grade A student.
2. SEO — This one took a while for me to figure out, but my first impression was it had to be a verb in whatever content you wrote online. (LOL)
Webopedia states, “SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies techniques and tactics, used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.” eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Let me say it this way – if you want someone to find your location you would give directions, sometimes referring to a map or drawing a sketch of the area. SEO is the map/sketch with general directions. As you get more specific with the details, its easier for someone to find you. That’s why SEO is important. It makes information easier to be found when searching online.
3. Followers — This one should have been as easy as the generally understood meaning, which was what I assumed it to be. It is not.
Merriam-Webster states, “ one in the service of another. Fan, devotee.” Social media followers are different from followers whom you lead, and are doing as requested or observed. No way. Social media followers are thinkers who use access to you and your network to expand their own. For many its a one-way relationship without reciprocity. Ideally, it should be a two-way flow of support and sharing.
Having 10K or 100K followers will not guarantee you supporters. You have to build a relationship. This is like having a customer who follows the activities of your company because you sell the Toyota brand of vehicle, and they like cars. Many followers may check out your cars but its the one who engages with you , who may become a customer or refer you to others in his network. Increased engagement, will grow the value to each other in the relationship.
4. Bots — got this one right because I thought it had to be something with robotic features. Bots help with automation which is a process of sharing information and giving feedback , through the use of software, designed to help improve service virtually. I’ve seen them in action and though I’m not keen on talking/writing to anything which is not human, they do generate responses which are quite relatable. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and any other bot are all here to stay, so we might as well make them welcome into our world!
Social media makes it possible for strangers from worldwide locations to meet virtually, through various channels with speed and efficiency. Its easy to have face to face communication with folks because there are so many options, and they are constantly being upgraded. Building quality relationships are easier through the use of ‘real-time’ interaction via Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snap Chat, and a host of other computer and mobile apps.
Your followers can eventually become your close friends / business associates. Gamers interact and share as they engage in their online sport with those they follow and others. Even with all this access, the traditional emotional barriers ( human qualities) are there to be overcome. Trust still has to be established with followers and the site where you meet, for the relationships to mature into more than a collection of addresses.
Am I a social media follower?
Yes I am. I’m following many folks I will probably never physically touch, but the potential for a planned meet-up is also possible. Through blogging and sharing my words you will learn about me and my interests. I’m inspired daily by the writings of many of my followers. Our humanness and diversity keeps us engaged socially online. Maybe one day we will meet. Until then, I’ll see you when I power up on my blogs, medium, twitter, beBee, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goggle+, tumblr, and others.
Does my experience mirror your understanding? Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?
If this resonates with you, let me know. Please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!
Credits: merriam-webster.com ; webopedia.com ; pixabay.com
© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved
Originally published at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 6th, 2017