What is social media? Well, that’s good question and the complete answer could fill pages without really delivering the clarity that a small business marketer might desire.

So here’s the simple definition for the purpose of this blog.

Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.

In a way the definition doesn’t really matter nearly as much as the application and changing role of marketing in a social media world.

Social media, and by that I’m lumping together blogs, RSS, social search, social networking and bookmarking, presents the marketer with a rich set of new tools to help in the effort to generate new business.

More on that!

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • The simplest, clearest definition that I have heard.

  • I recently posted my definition also:


    Mine was in bullet form since I couldn’t simply come up with a pithy sentence.

  • That’s a tight definition, and one I’d be happier to tout than the buzzword-laden wordcrap (without followup) I often see.

  • I’d have to add the element of relationship to your definition. After seeing everyone in action at Blog World Expo ’08, it’s obvious that the Blogosphere is all about collaboration and helping each other succeed. How awesome!

    Follow me on Twitter @aaswartz

  • Well, that pretty much sums it up.. yes, elaboration is quite clearly possible, but honestly the deeper you get into it the more room there is for a complete loss of clarity..
    Social media is based entirely around the human need for interaction and communication with our fellows… Business takes advantage of this through networking..

  • too complicated. I like the one I posted a year ago better:


  • I agree that the definition is very clearly defined. I would go one step further to state that social media is not only about social interaction and technology but the use of it in order to collaborate as stated. Collaboration is the key to social media.

  • In a way, the newspaper can be a form of social media since it allows readers to comment back to the editor on articles they read.

    It’s social media in slow motion since readers’ comments are not printed right away, unlike social media where your comments appear in almost real time.

    And, like social media, comments have to be approved by the moderator (for web) and editor (for newspaper).

    So, there are similarities with the main difference being speed and availability.