How do you explain social media?

There seems to be so many ways to define social media! When discussed in class, we came up with many definitions, most of which included words like “interactivity” and “dialogue.” However, outside of a classroom discussion with people who maybe don’t know a lot about social media, people who don’t use it, or people who don’t see the marketing value of it, how do you explain social media?

Here’s a 2008 “In Plain English” example of how to explain social media to kick this off.

If you’re speaking with someone who is at least familiar with a few major platforms, I like to use a planet analogy.

Think of social media as a planet: Planet Social Media (PSM), if you will. There are numerous countries (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc…) that each have their own standards, language, and culture. Your homeland is your personal website and the goal is to drive tourism and awareness by building and managing embassies all over PSM. If you are not  present on PSM, none of its citizens will know you exist. Why does this matter? Facebook alone has a population of more than 1 billion.

What do you think? Is this a fair analogy?


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