Social Networking Vs. Social Media
Too often Social Media and Social Networking are assumed to be the same, but there is a significant difference between the two both in terms of meaning and features they offer to clients. While Social Media is a tactic of connecting with a target audience, Social Networking is a means of sharing information and interacting with other users.
Here at GJK Associates we believe that both are vital elements of a Surround Sound Marketing Strategy. It is important to have a plan so that they work together and complement each other. Social Media sites are used for Social Networking. In fact, if leveraged correctly Social Media can be a great foundation for all your Social Networking activities. The core element is SOCIAL.
Social Networking sites are primarily used for connecting with old and new friends, but Social Media sites are business driven as they are generally used for promoting or broadcasting of products and help various businesses in spreading the information about their offerings. As they are more about direct communication, businesses find them easier to use and consider them a wonderful online marketing tool and for promoting and popularizing their product and services.
The differences between social media and social networking can be better understood in context of the following features. This understanding will help the e-Marketer in formulating strategies to leverage them for brand building and business development.
Social media is a means for transmission and sharing of information with a broad audience. Anyone can easily create and distribute this information and all that one requires to be part of social media is an internet connection!
Social networking refers to deeper engagements. Groups of people with common interests, associate together and form online communities to build relationships through social networking sites.
Social media is a communication channel like television, radio or newspaper, that is used to deliver a message. Social media is not a location that is visited but basically a system or format that broadcasts information to others.
Conversations form the core of social networking; hence this is all about a two-way communication. Based on the subject and topic, members come together to share thoughts, experiences and opinions. Through this exchange, deeper relationships are nurtured for a long term.
Return on Investment (ROI) Measurement
Social media is about creating the buzz, hype and excitement about the company’s services and products. Measuring ROI in such a case becomes tricky as one finds it complicated to assign a value to the hype generated. Because of this limitation, marketers choose a different mode of ROI measurement and assess the depth of the conversation or type of conversation or the influence achieved from the conversation.
ROI measurement is straight forward in social networking. For example, measurements of website traffic, volumes of conversations, size of the network base, etc., are clear indicators of the effectiveness in the marketing efforts.
Building a following on social media is tough and prolonged. Unless an established brand, one can neither generate a following overnight or auto-generate individual conversations.
If smartly used, social networking can lead to an exponential growth in the network. This is primarily due to the rapport established between the company and the focus group members through direct communication which is not only personal but also purposeful.
Requesting contacts to put in positive comments or cast votes is risky and laborious in the case of social media. Skewing or manipulating comments, likes, diggs, etc., for a desired image building may result in a black mark in terms of dishonest practices.
Social networking is less informal and more discussion oriented. Hence this provides the scope for businesses to not only introduce the company and its offerings but also request for suggestions or feedback. These conversations, once established as genuine have the potential to convert many members into loyal followers / fans.
Knowing the differences in the two separate marketing concepts, despite the overlaps, can greatly influence the strategies made in this direction.
Ginny Kronsted is one of the area’s leading social marketing strategists and widely recognized as a top Facebook marketing expert. Ginny’s background includes over twelve years in the fields of relationships, marketing and Internet technology, making social marketing her ideal arena.
Through her consulting and training, Ginny teaches and consults with businesses and brands to become a true social business, with measurable profits from integrating proven online and offline social marketing strategies. Ginny can be reached at Ginny@GJKassociates.com
Contact Ginny at for more information on our complete line of business services and a schedule of social media classes