What are the 7 functions of social media?
Social media, primarily, is a way for users to stay in touch with friends and family. While it started like that, it branched out to networking, recruitment and career development, and meeting like-minded people online, to reflect, and share perspectives and observations on different topics.
There are many such platforms where people tune in and interact with each other based on their interests and hobbies:
- Social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn.
- Bookmarking sites – Pinterest, Flipboard.
- Social news – Digg.
- Media sharing – Vimeo, YouTube.
- Microblogging – Twitter.
- Social review sites – FourSquare, TripAdvisor, Yelp.
- Community blogs – Tumblr, Medium.
- Sharing economy networks – Airbnb, Kickstarter, Pantheon.
New sites keep mushrooming all the while and whilst, everyone jumps on the bandwagon of their required need or choice, it is important to know that it is all standing on seven main components that make social media what it is.
Watch Here: The Role of Social Media in our Lives
The building blocks of social media
- Identity – This block serves as a publisher of user identity and amount of users in a social media framework. It discloses a user’s name, age, occupation, gender, location etc. Besides, expressing information in positive and diverse ways such as likes, comments and even dislikes. More or less, this is a reflection of one’s identity, values and principles.
- Conversations – Inherently, all social media tools are made for interactive use. Today, communication is as varied as it is important on these portals. They are in the form of comments, hashtags, messengers, mentions, etc., all targeted to meet your mindset doppelgangers. Sharing an idea and getting views and positive comments definitely boosts one’s self-esteem. Here sensitive conversation can be had as openly as socializing, which is the foundation of all social media.
- Sharing – We are social beings, and expressive ones at that. Networking is a big theme in today’s world and it is a proven fact that it makes everyone happy too. Swapping ideas, knowledge, and experiences has made inroads on all the channels of social media. Various topics like best practices and entertainment content have become debatable and one social platform or the other comes into play while taking any decisions and sides.
- Presence – Slowly but surely, that which was taken for granted earlier has changed and a strong social media presence is what everyone aims for. While many have mastered the use of just the presence and number of followers to earn a living. This is because we all possess an innate ability to influence others, all of us may not practice that though the “influencers” have leveraged it perfectly. But all and sundry can be an influencer using social media and maintaining the consistency of replying to comments, keeping up with the trends and generally keeping in touch with all the followers.
- Relationships – This is a pretty forthright block; make new connections while maintaining the old ones. Social media is a place where you can find almost everyone, and chat is a tool that helps keep in touch with them regularly. This helps build relationships through sharing information, having a conversation, adding each other as friends and subsequently meeting up physically. Some of the platforms have regulated well-structured and formal social guidelines to stay within, much like LinkedIn and Facebook. Although there are sites that allow users to be almost brutally honest such as Twitter and YouTube. And with recent developments, and Elon Musk at the helm of Twitter, the “revelation is all” quotient goes a notch higher.
- Reputation – At its core, reputation is the measurement of status identification indicating how well-liked you and your posts are on a social network. Apparently, it is difficult to pinpoint one certain way which is better than the other as all the portals have varied tools and guidelines that study and devise the meanings. Reputation literally means the opinion of other people and the level of trust factor to defines your reputation.
- Groups – No two people are the same, although there are similarities within people and communities, which is where the importance to this block arose from. The easiest to construct after one’s own profile are groups communities and sub-communities. Here is where the voice is one; where social and moral support is found and so relevant grouping can be done in a very simple manner. It is highlighted that groups are a compelling block on social media and Twitter’s lists and Facebook’s private, public and secret groups tell a-plenty about this factor of social media platforms.
Insights show that many companies are incorporating these methods into their strategies regularly and tweaking them periodically to achieve maximum results. Many have devised a “honeycomb” method that keeps interchanging the blocks to optimize outcomes.
There is no turning back from the revolution called Social media. It is deeply rooted in our system now and everyone has learned to communicate through social media channels. These seven functions of social media can direct and discern how social media activities can be diversified in terms of their application and influence on their target audience. Skepticism about social media’s impact on businesses has no place anywhere now that it has been proven to be one of the most essential tools of social media marketing services.
“The first rule of social media is that everything changes all the time. What won’t change is the community’s desire to network.”– Kami Huyse