The confusion about social technology largely hinges on the confusion between these two terms. And this confusion largely accounts for the slow takeup of Social Networking by business.
The two technologies are radically different. Though they both will have, and are already having, major but different impacts on the world. Now clearly the two technologies overlap. For example, there are elements of Social Networking in Twitter, given that people have followers and those followers can communicate together to some extent. And there are elements of Social Media inside Facebook and LinkedIn – e.g. status updates (tweets by another name!).
But here’s the difference:
Social Media is simply a media distribution tool or mechanism. There are numerous social media such as YouTube and Twitter and Flickr, with hundreds of others fighting the war for dominance. Typically, Social Media are the tools that are used by the old style ‘Tell and Sell’ broadcasters who have come from the old advertising industries.
Social Networking is very different and is way more powerful and significant in its impact. It is about connecting and engaging with people of value to your business, not the diffused strategy of disseminating content to a mass audience. It is about developing direct relationships with your prospects.
It achieves this because it addresses our fundamental human need to belong to ‘tribes’ — the fundamental herd instinct that drives us all. Today, we call them Professional Customer Networks.
Social Networking, using the tools of Social Media to help it, is changing the world. Forever.
See how Social Networking and Social Media increase Lead Generation.