Social media: Whose job is it anyway?

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What is social media?
I know this is a bit basic for all the social media gurus in the audience, but it is important to lay some groundwork. I asked each of the respondents to give their definition in 140 characters or less (Twitter rules, of course).

Here are the responses:

  • Liebling: Social Media is the creation, sharing, and commenting on digital content.
  • Lazerow: The sharing of information between people.
  • Berkowitz: Any form of media that allows for immediate, public consumer response that's incorporated into the content produced.
  • Singh: Social media is media in any form for any platform created by, for, and with consumers.
  • Perkett: Social media is simply talking *with* -- not at -- your constituencies (customers, friends, partners, prospects, etc.) & engaging them online.
  • Holtz: Tools and processes used to connect, share, and to organize and collaborate with others.

For the search marketing fans and quant-geeks in the audience, I decided to take a look at the keywords used most in these definitions in order to extract the commonalities.

It is no surprise that the term "share" was mentioned the greatest number of times, followed by the three C's: consume, content, create. No real surprises here so far. While only used once, I think Berkowitz's mention of the word "immediacy" is extremely important. When dealing with social media there is an inherent element of immediacy (due to the speed at which information is disseminated). Given the immediacy of social media, one might think that a media agency is not equipped to do this type of work, as media agencies don't generally deal with crisis communications (and other forms of relating to the public) the way that a public relations firm might.  Does that mean I think PR firms are best suited to handle social media? Not necessarily.

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