Facebook for Business: Social Media VS Social Networking

social media for businessThere seems to be a fairly obvious need for small to medium size businesses to have a presence on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Despite this need to have a presence,  most businesses don’t leverage social media and social networking for communicating their brand, increasing revenue or building a following.

Social networking
The main purpose of social networking is to connect with other people. The key to social networking is basically the interaction of people. You fill in your profiles on social media channels and people interact with you based on the personal details that they read about your business. Social networks help businesses create strong relationships with new and existing customers.

Because social networking is direct communication between you and the people that you choose connect with, your conversations are richer, more purposeful and more personal. Your network exponentially grows as you meet and get introduced to others.

Social media
Social media platforms are a channel for communicating with new and existing customers. These channels allow businesses to deliver their message and create a dialog with the public. Businesses can use social media to create and distribute content .

The communication is two-way. Depending on the topic, subject matter or atmosphere, people congregate to join others with similar experiences and backgrounds. Conversations are at the core of social networking and through them relationships are developed.

What social media and social networking have in common
One thing that social media and social networking have in common is that they both depend on viral marketing to become truly successful. If the content goes viral, more and more people will be paying attention and the more online traffic you have, the better your chances are of increasing your business. A simple way to look at the basic difference between social media and social networking is that social media helps people to make the connection and social networking enhances that connection. People get together because they have common interests, passions, and causes and they continue to strengthen their relationships as they get to know each other through interaction over time.

The difference between social media and social networking
The difference is not just semantics but in the features and functions put into these websites by their creators which dictates the way they are to be used. There are some key differences and knowing what they are can help you gain a better understanding on how to leverage them for your brand and business.

It can be difficult to determine the ROI from a social media program. How do you put a numeric value on online conversations about your brand, product or service? This doesn’t mean that ROI is null, it just means that the tactics used to measure are different. For instance, getting existing customers to return to your business can greatly increase revenue.

Social networking’s ROI is easier to observe and measure. If the overall traffic to your website is increasing and you’re growing your businesses social network, you can correlate the increase in online visitors to your social media program.

A good social media program will take time and hard work. You can’t automate individual conversations and building a following doesn’t happen right away. Social media is definitely a process and not an event.

We don’t recommend attempting to skew or manipulate comments, likes, reviews, or other customer feedback in order to protect your business’s online image. Buying Youtube votes, FB likes and other social media credits, doesn’t benefit your business and it can quickly become a public relations nightmare if word leaks out about your companies dishonest social media practices.

With social networking, you can tell your peers about your new business or blog and discuss how to make it a success. The conversations that you create can convert many people into loyal fans, so it’s worth investing the time.

Social media and social networking do have some overlap, but they really aren’t the same thing. Knowing that they’re two separate marketing concepts can make a difference in how you position your business going forward.

Social Media can be called a strategy and an outlet for broadcasting, while Social Networking is a tool and a utility for connecting with others.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms combine the Social Media and Social Networking experience for both people and businesses.

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