Typically when I hear people complain about the modern terms like Social Media, I immediately tune out because most often, it feels like they are attempting to sound intelligent simply by being contrarian.

That said, this morning I heard the term challenged again, but the speaker, Jesse Hirsh, had a fairly decent argument for challenging it in that Social Media is too broad of a term seeing as how it can include media such as smoke signals if you really think about it. Of course, each person brings context to the phrase Social Media and typically the things that pop into our heads are the big three: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

That being the case, I started to wonder if a phrase like Online Socialization was more what people mean when they say Social Media.

I like this distinction because it clarifies the whole concept really well and as a result, could help to clear up the waters as far as what role Facebook, YouTube and Twitter play in effective brand management.

Those who get Online Socialization, or whatever you're going to call it, understand that an effective Social presence is comprised of both online and offline components. At the office, we use Online Socialization primarily in terms of Twitter and our blogs, but we are also out at events. In fact this is convention season for us and so as we ramp up to travel to various conventions and actually get face-to-face with people, we're also ramping up our planning around how we'll use our Online Socialization presence to augment those experiences.

Perhaps adding another phrase to this whole world is only muddying the water, but I'm going to keep chewing on it for a while.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.