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What Is Social Media & Web 2.0?

September 15, 2009

In the coming weeks I’m going to focus on sharing Social Media 101 information to build an online data base for corporate and nonprofit communicators. These posts will be updated over time to reflect the newest technologies, articles and ideas to harness each of these platforms. Let me know which platforms are most interesting to you!

What is Social Media and Web 2.0?

Social media, web 2.0 and viral marketing are the newest communication strategy for both corporate and nonprofit organizations. At its core, it is a new way to connect with your customers, donors, supporters and dissenters.

This medium is quickly changing and so will this handbook. Several times a year the information will be update, new capabilities will be added and new technology will be explored.

About

Social Media – Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).

Web 2.0 – The term “Web 2.0” describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web culture communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web.

Viral marketing – Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable.

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