Robert Scoble, a well known blogger and technical evangelist, recently announced he will no longer be posting to his blog, Scobleizer. According to his final post, Mr. Scoble will now be posting everything on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, because “the world has moved on, and it is on social media”.

 

Mr. Scoble seems to be missing two very key concepts. First, blogging is still a definitive part of social media, and second, social media and social networking are two very different concepts.

 

Viral MarketingSocial media is any type of media that is designed to create conversation. Anything from blogs to cat photos are social media, because they are content that is designed to start conversations between people.

 

Social networking is the interaction between people. It does not its beginnings in a media source, like a blog or cat photo. It is simply the conversation created from the interpersonal connections between people.

 

It may sound like semantics, but confusing the two terms can limit your digital presence.

 

A successful digital strategy contains a two stage process for both social networking and social media.

 

Stage 1: Social Networking – Engage in conversations with your customer on social networking sites like Facebook. Set up a business page where they can ask questions about your business and you can learn more about what they need. Respond in a timely manner when customers comment on your page, so that they know you are listening.

 

Stage 2: Social Media – Enhance these conversations with social media. Start a blog on your website that talks about issues faced by your customers and solutions to these issues. If applicable, post photos of recent work you have completed. Search the internet to find content that will add value for your customers and keep the conversations flowing. Connect all of this different content to your Facebook business page to  build on the conversations initially started through social networking.

 

Following these steps will help you gain a better understanding of your customer’s needs and how your business can fulfill them.

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