The following magazine article was published as the cover story in the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management’s Winter 2014 issue. Find the PDF here.
Serving Up Social Media
By Zoey Duncan, ZEDS Comic Communications
Social media has broken the barriers of online communication, with buzzwords and invitations to connect online infiltrating face-to-face meetings. That’s because social networking has evolved from being a mere garnish favoured by keen communicators, into an essential ingredient for employers and employees who want to remain the cream of the crop.
Just as email is not the final solution to all communication tests, social media is not a magic bullet for sales, public relations or professional development. But social media is a creative, flexible and fun means to meeting organizational and professional goals. Social networking is here to stay — it’s where your target market, colleagues and competition already hang out. It might just be time to taste test what’s on the social media carte du jour.
Social networking defined
Social networking is the term used to describe the relationships we form with others on the internet using a variety of digital platforms. Social media networks (Facebook is a social network, LinkedIn is another) all depend on their users to publish their own media—text, photos and video—and then share that content with a specific or general audience. Contrast social media with traditional media like television, where networks create and serve up the content.
The social nature of social media is what keeps users worldwide plugged in. Social media connects people with common interests in interactive, real-time, engaging ways. With social media, anyone can comment live from a tradeshow floor or ask for food fad advice from peers and find where to get the latest industry news from experts. Social networking across the many available platforms provides a practical opportunity to share messages, discover new markets and connect with real people.
Yes, you can benefit your organization’s members or get your first book deal or hone your craft by maintaining a blog. And yes, Untamed, social media can become a time-waster that keeps otherwise industrious people distracted from other duties. So can email, television, meetings, too many good books on the shelf, or an invitation to dinner.