Is it a bird? Is it a plane? What is that funny looking thing in the cloud that never seems to stop moving??
Silly as it may seem, this is really a fair question to ask and has come up in Red Deer social media customer discussions. For many, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media, but is that really a fair evaluation?
In the second post of our “Social Media Series”, we will explore just that. And if you missed it, you can go back and read the first post, “Social Media. What Does That Even Mean??”, here.
But if you’re rearing to go, let’s get to it.
Are Facebook and Social Media Interchangeable Terms?
Ask anyone on the street what they think social media is, and many would simply exclaim, “Facebook!”, which is not surprising considering that the Oxford dictionary actually defines it as a verb, stating that it is “[to] spend time using the social networking website Facebook”.
Wow. I wish I had that kind of linguistic power!
Alternatively, the Cambridge dictionary states it as, “the name of a website where you can show information about yourself, and communicate with groups of friends”.
Now, the creator of the platform, Mark Zuckerberg, in his 19-year-old wisdom, stated shortly after the launch of the platform in 2004, that the website’s purpose was to “find some interesting information about people.”
Now let’s look at the features and functions we talked about in the last blog.
On the official, verified Facebook Facebook page (yes, we see the irony, and we’re laughing too), their mission is defined as to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. On the website, they also state that “our products empower more than 3 billion people around the world to share ideas, offer support and make a difference”.
In their own terms, Facebook’s function is to build community, share ideas, offer support and make a difference.
The features are pretty self-explanatory, but they include actions such as “Like”, “Comment”, “Follow”, “Post”, as well as to create “Stories”, have “Friends”, send messages, share “Reactions”, and create groups.
So What’s the Verdict?
To recap, our definition of social media is 1) A website, app, or electronic communication 2) That facilitates communication between communities, groups, or personal relationships 3) And allows the sharing of, and/or interaction with content such as videos, photos, and other information for personal or corporate uses.
So, combining our dictionary definitions, statements from Facebook itself, as well as our look at functions and features, we can define Facebook as a website and app that facilitates communication (through messages, groups, and friends lists) in order to share ideas (i.e. content such as posts, photos, and videos).
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
So How Can I Use Facebook for Business?
According to Hootsuite, 90 million small businesses use Facebook. With both paid and free tools, businesses can create a profile to post about offers, events, and store hours, as well as interact with customers through messenger, all on a platform that has almost a billion active users.
If you decide to use some of your budget to use Facebook ads, you can also create targeted campaigns to put your product or service in front of the audience most likely to buy from you. With Facebook’s incredibly robust analytics and astronomical audience reach, this social media platform a must-have for any sized business.