In This Chapter
Discovering what social media is
Checking out key social media sites
Adding social media to your Web-marketing strategy
What in the world is social media (as opposed to "antisocial" media) — and what's it got to do with Web marketing? Good questions. Social media (as a concept) traces its roots back to the first bulletin board systems, discussion forums, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), and news groups. (It might also trace its roots back to the first time when two particularly advanced apes grunted at each other. But for Internet marketing purposes, you can ignore the animal world.)
Today, social media is a complex web of sites and software that allows you bookmark, discuss, vent, and then share with other people. Social media users represent an enormous market. Facebook alone has over 80 million active users. That number is according to Facebook, but hey! — even if it's exaggerated and you divide that number in half, it's still a lot of people.
You need to understand this space of social media. Even if you're not doing any social media marketing, your customers are there, talking about you. Knowing where they talk and how to answer them is critical.
In this chapter, I introduce you to popular social media sites and terminology. I explain how you can use social media to grow your business, build an interested audience, and keep in touch with your customers in a way that everyone appreciates.
Social media sites ...