What is social media?The business world seems to be buzzing about New Year’s resolutions and plans for using social media to engage potential customers and build community.  However, even in 2011, I have spoken with many people who are brave enough to ask the question, “What IS social media anyway”?  Of course, they all know that it has something to do with Facebook, Twitter, and so on.  But, really, what is social media?

According to Wikipedia,

“Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein also define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”[1] Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.”

I like the last line of this Wikipedia entry (highlighted), because it mentions both the technology platforms as well as interaction.  Even more importantly, I think, this definition mentions the fact that the goal is to create “value”.

Do you agree with Wikipedia’s definition, especially the last line?  Do you think that most people would define social media with all 3 components of technology, interaction and value?