Home > Uncategorized > Social Media V.S. Social Networking

Social Media V.S. Social Networking


What’s the difference between Social Media and Social Networking? This has been a question that makes people keep scratching their heads while trying to clear the definition.


Lon S. Cohen gave an explanation in his post on the cohcom blog:


“Social Media can be called a strategy and an outlet for broadcasting, while Social Networking is a tool and a utility for connecting with others. 


The difference is not just semantics but in the features and functions put into these websites by their creators which dictates the way they are to be used. There’s also a kind of, which came first, the chicken or the egg kind of argument to be made here. I suspect that Social Networking came first which evolved into Social Media.”


Later, Mark Stelzner provided a simpler explanation: 


“Social Media are tools for sharing and discussing information.  Social Networking is the use of communities of interest to connect to others.  You can use Social Media to facilitate Social Networking.  Or, your can network by leveraging Social Media”


After learning their definition to Social Media and Networking, I came up with my own understanding of them. Social Media is the platforms for sharing and discussion while Social Networking is the behavior of building connections with others. 


As a marketer, we should understand that social media are tools for us to reach our consumers by connecting with them through social networking. Or we can use it as a channel to spread the messages. What really matters to marketers is the social networking behavior. We want consumers to know about the information of brands and spread the message through their social networking with their friends on social media. The internet empowers the social networking to be easier and faster in a greater scale on social media. 


Having presence on social media is not enough, making consumers to spread the messages to their friends through social networking is what we expect. 


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