“Social networking,” according to Scott Klososky’s Manager’s Guide to Social Media, “is any website or service that facilitates people communicating one-to-one, or one-to-many, in a conversation. This includes MySpace, Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, Foursquare, blogging, etc. Social networking includes everything from eCommunities to broadcasting communications through text, audio, or video in a live format. Social networking is about connection through conversation among people independently or through organizations speaking with an organizational voice.”
Okay, I understand. If you are a digital nerd, then that’s simple. If you are not a techie person, it might still be unclear. For some of you who have been using social media for a long time now, the definition might already be a truism and explaining it will bore you. However, I want to give favor to those who are new in social networking. So, let me go on and run through on what has been said of what that term means.
If you are born before the rise of the world wide web, you might have seen how time has changed the way we communicate with each other. You have observed that a different medium of communication is used. And, the Internet and social networking sites are ballistically facilitating the conversation. They make communication faster; they give more life to social interactions; they manage businesses to be more productive; and, they have included everyone who has access to any platform whatever color, race, or social status a person has.
Before, we thought that only the elites who have all the affluence in life have access to information. We thought that building bridges are the only solution to connect islands; that planes and ships are the only way to see what’s happening overseas; and, that the telegram (sorry for the late Millennials and the Generation Zs) is an expensive way to send a muddling short message. Gone are those days when the telephone, the television, and the radio became a lucrative innovation in communication.
The new era of the digital world of social networking has greatly transformed the way we interact with each other, not only with our own families, friends, or neighbors but with the whole nation and other countries. And, the big bite is this: ALL ARE OFFERED FOR FREE. You don’t need to pay for a social networking site just to have an account–that, I think, is awesome.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Well, we are still cutting down the definition that Klososky has given us. It demonstrated there, as some of you already know, that social networks have sites where various kinds of communication are being managed. The sites we are talking about are mostly called social media–the tool or medium that we use by creating a profile account where we can share our life stories, photos, videos, etc. I’ll be discussing more the difference between social networking and social media before the end of this article. The following are the top social networking platforms based on a recent study by Dreamgrow conducted in July this year.
Top 5 Social Networking Sites
- Facebook: The study shows that Facebook has already reached the 2.20 billion monthly active users. It is a place where you can network with friends and relatives wherever they are in the world. It is also a hub where you can market or promote your business, products, and services.
- YouTube: Videos are still a powerful tool for communication since they are more interactive and of course, people tend to watch than to read.
- Twitter: It is a platform where you can do microblogging using 280 characters or lesser. The best of Twitter, for me, is the real-time, instant updates on a queue from the most recent posts.
- Reddit: The site is more properly called social media than a social network (more on the difference later). It is a site where you can submit content and give your say in the matter without creating a network of users.
- Pinterest: People who don’t like reading plain texts love this site because it presents content with visual arts. This platform is valuable for sharing recipes, how-tos, charts, etc.
Instagram is on top number 6 followed by Tumblr and LinkedIn. Except for YouTube, Reddit, and Tumblr, you can find me on other social media platforms.
The B.I.T.E.: Getting Online Connections
To understand the B.I.T.E. series, please scan or read these previous articles on my blog:
- Take a B.I.T.E. of Motivation: A Motivator Enhancer
- Take a B.I.T.E. of Leadership: Developing the Leader Within You
Humans are social animals. Well, that is already an accepted cliché about how gregarious we are. Before discussing the social part, I want to focus first on networking so you can build confidence in yourself.
Are you open-minded? LOL. Stop. I’m not talking about multilevel marketing, let alone pyramiding scam. I’m referring to the creation and maintenance of connections and relationships online either for personal or business reasons.
Sharon Connolly, in her book Effective Networking, explores the benefits of creating a network. According to her, having a connection is significant to:
- win more business
- promote your personal or corporate brand
- find suppliers
- find associates and strategic partners
- personal development
- social reasons
- find a job
- grow in confidence
Social networks become both essential and liability to society. Some online networking sites become a platform for fraud, intellectual robbery, igniting rebellion, scamming, hate speech, and other maladies. If you believe you can make a difference, you can do so by providing valuable content that can inspire people toward a better future than the opposite.
Through your social media accounts, you can:
- Create a ripple of change by taking the lead, by socializing, and by serving others. You can read more about this by clicking here.
- Restructure the environment by sharing inspirations, creating positive posts, influencing game-changers, and more by clicking here.
Being an advocate of change yourself, be the person that you can be and resonate the same transformation to others. You can do the following:
1. Build a reliable online presence.
2. Create relevant content, such as blogs, videos, photos, links, etc.
3. Find and join groups or pages online based on your interest.
4. Get the most out of your connections.
From connecting, inspiring, and resonating changes, you might now have the grasp of making an impact in the lives of others.
At this point, I want to discuss the relationship between social media and social networking. Social media is defined by Merriam-Webster as forms of electronic communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities. The media here could be photos, documents, slide presentations, podcast, or videos in contrast with the traditional media, such as newspapers, TV, and radio.
On the other hand, social networking refers to the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships online. As defined earlier, it’s about creating connections through media communication. Simply, social media (noun) is the ‘tool’ and social networking (verb) is what you do with that tool, and how you use it.
The similarity is with the word “social.” People socialize to find common interests, passions, and causes. Empowering people is more about strengthening the connections or relationships that we have with each other through interaction over time.
Remember: You can’t please everybody. Needlessly to say, you can find numerous individuals who will go against you in everything that you do. The important thing is to connect with people who believe in you and find significance in what you do because you make their lives more meaningful than doing nothing at all.
Here is a concluding quotation that you can ponder about:
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin