what is social media
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What is Social Media? Definition from 3 perspectives

For users, Social Media is a way to network with loved ones and consume interesting content.

For marketers, Social Media is a strategic pitch for brand promotion, with efforts aimed at achieving goals.

For businesses, Social Media provides an essential source of results, and growth in this area brings both opportunities and responsibilities in managing their online presence.

You definitely have at least one Social Media account.

I’m also sure you spend at least an hour a day browsing Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube or Tik Tok.

Moreover, I’m sure that when you created an account on a social media platform, you were never curious to know what Social Media is.

You just followed a trend.

You saw that your other friends have made an account on Facebook and have a lot of fun posting photos and giving each other likes, shares and comments.

And you wanted to be part of the buzz.

You felt you were starting to be marginalised and decided not to get into this situation, so I bet you didn’t even think about it when you first entered your details into your Facebook sign-up page.

By the way, do you remember what the sign-up page looked like back in 2009, when Facebook first entered Romania? Something like this:

what is social media – facebook sign-up page in 2009
That’s when the boom of this social network started in our country.

Romanians were super-enthusiastic about the craziness that Facebook offered in terms of social interaction.

And this craze was quickly seen in the numbers:

  • In January 2010, the platform had 500k users
  • A year later, it had already reached 2.4 million
  • 8 months later, in September 2011, Facebook already counted 3.7 million users in Romania

It was huge, back then, that more than 10% of Romania’s population was on a single digital platform, given the conditions related to the quality of the internet (much lower than today), the available technologies, but also the purchasing power of Romanians, in relation to the factors mentioned above.

And if, in 2011, it seemed enormous that 10% of the population uses Facebook, today more than 10 million Romanians have an account on this social network, which they access at least once a month.

This figure means almost 60% of the total population of Romania, a country with an urban-rural ratio of about 60%-40%, to understand that the need to interact with peers, to integrate into a social group, is felt in us at a natural level and is not a mark of the fact that urbanites feel more evolved.

Even so, although…

  • the concept of Social Media has existed since before Facebook
  • Facebook has positioned itself from the beginning as the spearhead of the Social Media concept and today owns the second largest social media platform, Instagram.
  • has gone through numerous scandals and lawsuits on issues such as data security, hate speech, fake news, conditions offered to employees, etc., seriously damaging its image in the eyes of users and
  • over 2 billion people worldwide have at least one Facebook account
  • …I bet that still very few Romanians think about what Social Media is, what it means, what are the benefits of social platforms and how they affect us.

Like back then, even today, most of us just want to spend our time in an original way, to live unique experiences, to be informed, to have fun, to connect with family, friends and other Facebook “friends”, with just a few clicks.

Social Media, on the border between technology and the need for socialization

Our need to spend our time in an original way, to connect with our loved ones and to socialise is a natural characteristic.

Humans are social animals.

The desire to socialise is in each of us and the need to socialise is a normal behaviour.

The instinct to communicate, to interact with others, to socialise, has always existed in us.

My grandfather follows a daily ritual of meeting with friends in town to debate different topics.

He formed this habit since his youth, when “Social Media” meant face-to-face meetings and endless discussions.

Today, this behaviour has stuck.

Only the social media have changed, influenced by the technological advance.

We communicate, we communicate because it makes us feel good. Imagine not communicating with anyone in any form for a few days… how sad!

It seems, however, that you’re not satisfied with just socializing.

You are curious to know more about what Social Media is.

Curiosity is a quality and I sincerely appreciate it, because it sparks your imagination and makes you smarter.

So I’ll satisfy that curiosity, and start with the official definition of what Social Media is.

Social Media, official definition:

“Social Media defines a group of technological tools (websites, apps) that work with the help of a terminal connected to the Internet (computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone).

These tools aim to facilitate communication between two or more users (social groups), as well as the creation, distribution and exchange of content (text, photos, audio, video, multimedia presentations, etc.).

Social Media means blogs, forums, social networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), video sites (YouTube), photo sites (Shutterstock), mobile applications, messaging services (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype), online games, Wikipedia, etc.”

Ok, now you know what Social Media is… but something seems to be missing, right?

Something, somewhere, you’re missing. You’re not fully satisfied with this dry definition of social media.

You want to get to know this ecosystem better, to turn it inside out, to understand its functions very well.

What is Social Media? Definition from 3 different perspectives

Well, besides the official definition of Social Media, each of us perceives this phenomenon differently and, implicitly, the social networks that facilitate this concept.

The difference in perception takes into account a number of factors.

These factors can be geographical, demographic (age, gender, social status, religion, profession) or psychographic (interests, affinities).

Today we will discuss the differences in perception of what Social Media means, depending on interests.

On this segment, we will see how Social Media is perceived:

  • from the perspective of a Social Media user / consumer
  • from the perspective of a Social Media Marketing specialist
  • from a brand / company perspective

What is Social Media from a user’s perspective?

How do users view Social Media?

I’m referring here to your friends, your parents, people you follow and know are neither specialists nor have a business to promote.

They are simple, normal people who use Social Media to disconnect from their daily activities.

This category uses Social Media to communicate with friends, to post news or special events in their life, to be part of something, to “waste time” (sic!), to relax or to have fun.

These users use social networks to search for the information they need, to shop online, to read digital media.

In my spare time, I am also a consumer of Social Media.

I visit my Facebook account quite often to see the news, to read the latest news, to laugh at funny cat videos or to play games.

Social Media is consumed for entertainment, it’s a form of interaction with others and it’s an experience that makes you feel integrated.

I know you spend time on Social Media and I also know how time passes when you’re immersed in conversations with friends on Messenger, when you’re watching one video after another and when cat posts make your day.

Social Media, from a user’s point of view, is the coolest way to spend quality time with people close to you or to unwind by consuming content.

But we can’t say the same about:

What is Social Media from a marketer’s perspective?

We asked our friends on the agency’s Facebook page what they would do if Facebook disappeared.

Many answered that they would simply move to other platforms.

After all, we have a choice.

But we also received answers from online marketing specialists who said that if Facebook disappeared, they would starve.

Ok, let’s get this straight, they were being dramatic.

A professional digital marketer, offering professional Social Media services, cannot starve.

It’s true, without Facebook, a good part of the income of marketing agencies or freelancers would evaporate.

But what we understand from this is that:

Social Media, from a marketer’s perspective, means an income, a job.

Social Media specialists wouldn’t exist without Social Media, right?

Social Media for specialists is an area of work that they have to keep up with.

For us as specialists, Social Media is a way of life.

We are online almost all the time, keeping up with all the updates made by the platforms, learning something new every day.

Social Media for us is just like any other job.

A Social Media specialist creates a plan to promote a brand, works on strategies to reach certain goals, looks for solutions to give the brand the visibility it needs, in front of the relevant audience.

The specialist optimises the brand’s Social Media pages, thinks about what, when, how to post, builds audiences, sets budgets, analyses competitors’ activity, sets content calendars.

For Social Media enthusiasts things are simpler.

The beauty of this field lies precisely in the elements that facilitate a more efficient process of socialising brands with their followers.

The Social Media specialist creates strategies that enable the creation of a framework in which a brand’s followers get the information they need from the brand.

Social Media is seen differently, however, on the other side of the relationship between a specialist and a brand.

So, let’s see:

What is Social Media from a business perspective?

As I told you before, I don’t think marketers would “starve” without Social Media platforms.

What I am sure of, however, is that marketers would starve without companies.

What does Social Media ultimately mean for a company or brand that wants to promote itself?

Answer: MONEY ?

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that 99% of the clients of Social Media Marketing agencies have as their goals sales, leads, conversions, i.e. more revenue, more profit, more money.

Brands want more sales, they want brand awareness, they want to be known, they want to be more visible than their competitors and for that they are willing to pay more or less money.

For a business, Social Media is a source of results. Growing in Social Media gives them opportunities and responsibilities.

Being the easiest way to be present in front of a large number of people, Social Media for a business is a must have, a must-have, it’s the asthma spray bottle.

Through Social Media, a brand can communicate most effectively with former, current and potential customers.

Here, these are the 3 insights that give a clearer understanding and shed some light in the minds of those who wonder “what is Social Media?”.

Which of these categories do you fall into?

If you have a business, or want to develop your personal brand, then Social Media is the best long-term solution.

You’ll benefit from visibility in front of millions of people, you’ll have somewhere to connect with people who have the same interests, you’ll have somewhere to choose your potential customers and you’ll benefit from the most effective communication channels.

You’ve probably already realised that the three categories are complementary, forming a pyramid of benefits with the top of the pyramid pointing towards companies.

Specifically, businesses generate revenue by turning to Social Media Marketing specialists to reach potential customers, i.e. people who consume Social Media just for fun.

There’s room for everyone in Social Media.

There’s a place for everyone, whether you want to grow your business or become an influencer, to decipher how social media works, or just want to laugh at cat videos.

What is Social Media Marketing?

For many of us, social media has a simple definition. But experts explain in more detail what social media marketing is: social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media platforms and social networks to market a company’s products and services.

This definition of a social network is correct, but it is missing something important. Let’s boil it down to the basics.

A better definition of social media is explained as the process of creating custom content, for one or more social media platforms, with the aim of driving audience engagement and promoting a business more effectively.

Audience interaction with a brand, increasing brand awareness, are among the most beneficial aspects of social media.

Suppose you meet someone for the first time with the intention of building a beautiful relationship. What can you do to make this person like you instantly? You won’t get a second chance, so the question is how do you make that first impression count? There’s an art to knowing how to capture someone’s interest from the first moment.

Success in marketing on certain social media platforms depends on your ability to find your target audience and make them happy. The goal is to think of social media as a phone call, not a television. What value can you offer for free that your consumers would be willing to share with others?

Social media marketing efforts fail if your story is a monologue of last-minute discounts, repeated in posts.

Why is social media marketing so important today?

Today, consumers are quick to scroll through social media pages when they want to find out something specific. Whether it’s a service or a product, Social Media is the ideal place for your audience to find information about your business, reviews, ideas, opinions.

If you don’t have an active presence on social media, you miss the opportunity to make a good first impression.

Social media is a great place for brands to get insights into their audience’s behaviour. Smart companies continue to invest in social media marketing to grow their business in the future.

In a highly competitive environment, your business can’t afford to miss out on social media marketing. Completing the first definition of social media marketing, we can say that social media presence is an essential factor in the success of any marketing effort.

It is a highly competitive influencer space, where there are thousands of new influencers, millions of posts from famous and emerging brands.

What are the most important Social Media platforms?

Before launching a social media marketing strategy for your business, you first need to have an overview of the distribution of social media usage.

Given the increasing penetration and usage of social networks today, you should start your marketing efforts by focusing on the platforms where you can find the largest part of your target audience.

To do this, you need to find out which social media platform has the largest user base.

The latest statistics show that Facebook continues to dominate strongly, and is practically the king of social networks, with 2.94 billion active users in 2022. This means that about three out of four of the 3.96 billion social network users are active Facebook users.

Facebook stats and social network rankings say it all. Not only is it the social media platform with the most active users, but it also ranks among the most used social media apps.

27% of Android users worldwide use the Facebook app on a daily basis.

In second place on the list of the most popular social media platforms in 2022 is YouTube, with 2.48 billion active users – 84% of the number of Facebook users.

Considering that 720,000 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day worldwide, it can seem like a difficult task to get your video noticed.

But consider these YouTube stats: 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched daily and 90% of consumers say they discover new brands and products with YouTube.

The third and fourth most popular social media platforms are WhatsApp and Instagram, with two billion and 1.44 billion active users respectively. Incidentally, both are owned by the same parent company as Facebook: Meta (formerly Facebook).

Further down the list are WeChat, the Chinese version of WhatsApp, and TikTok, with 1.29 billion and 1.02 billion global users respectively. This is followed by Facebook Messenger with 1 billion users worldwide.

These statistics present a clear picture of Meta’s dominant social network ranking. Of the seven most popular social media platforms, more than half are its entities – namely Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Basic social network management includes a unique configuration of each social profile and regular social network posts, monthly, weekly or daily.

re7consulting agency in Bucharest boasts the best Social Media specialists. We will set up your campaigns, analyse the results, manage your budget and (most important of all) open a clear line of communication with the client, so that all our reports offer quality and efficiency.

Not creative? No problem. Our in-house team will create content for your website or blog, post frequently on social media, respond to clients and positively influence brand awareness through paid and organic social media strategies.

Contact us today to provide you with the best solutions on Social Media and managing your company’s online presence.

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