Social Technology – it’s just a waste of time

Social Technology, often referred to as Social Media in South Africa, is the actual technology that is used when sharing data to multiple people across the Internet for social purposes. They vary tremendously in what they do and what they can achieve – both for business and personally.

Purpose of Social Technology

The basic purpose of Social Technolgies are to be able to create a community. This can be a community around ourselves, a business or even a product. Take Red Bull for example, this is both a product and a company. Through large scale efforts across multiple Social Technologies the company Red Bull has managed to create a vast community around it and it’s main product – it’s energy drink.

Name some Social Technologies

Blogs – a small website where you can put pages of content onto (your own views, good information, random stuff – whatever you want) and the general public will have the option to comment on what you’ve said, review it or even share it with their own social circles.

Facebook – a social platform that’s designed for people to write and add comments about daily activities in their life, or about articles that you’ve spoken about to your own group of friends. These friends can then comment or like what you have to say etc. It’s a great way to get the communication going.

Twitter – A free service that you can add your own comments, articles, message, pictures or whatever you like. But you only have 140 characters to do this, so it’s a bit like an sms.

LinkedIn – A similar service to Facebook, except it’s on a very business-like format. In fact, it’s a social network for professionals ONLY.

YouTube – A picture is worth a 1000 words right? So then how many words is a video worth? This is why YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. There are videos for practically everything on it, and yes people do look at them. If you’re lucky enough you may have hundreds or even thousands of people looking at your videos – like the lion, buffalo and croc video.

Google + – Similar to Facebook, Google has recently launched its own version of Facebook so it too can try and capitalise on the success that Facebook has had. In here though there is a lot more choice of who can be in your group and see what you want them to see. So your boss doesn’t have to know that you’ve got a horrible hangover just because you’re friends with him/her on Facebook.

And there are plenty more out there too…

So what’s Social Media then?

Social Media is any technology that allows users to share media of any sort (written content, images, video), and also allows other users to comment on that media, so that a conversation may be started.

The key though is to choose the right technology to use depending on your goal. My suggestion – define your target market first and then find which technology they are using, then get trained on how to do it properly!